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Moravian Sugar Cake

Moravian Sugar Cake

This is a simple, potato and yeast-based cake that's popular in areas in NC and PA where Czech members of the Moravian church settled. 
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 18 squares


  • 1 (about 1/2 lb) Russet potato peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup milk heated to 110 degrees
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons regular yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Topping:
  • 6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • Boil the potato until tender. Rice or mash. Stir milk and yeast together until yeast is dissolved in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, warm potato, salt, butter, egg, flour, and yeast mixture and, using a dough hook, mix until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms. Place dough in a large, buttered bowl and cover with a tea towel.
  • Allow to rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  • Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan and punch the dough into the pan. Cover and allow to rise, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, use a fork, your hands, or a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the sugar and cinnamon for the topping until it looks sort of like wet sand.
  • Press shallow dimples in the dough, sprinkle with sugar mixture in an even layer over the cake.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and browned. Cool in pan for 20 minutes prior to serving.


If your house is cold, you might need to allow this to rise longer than 45 minutes!
I find using a ricer for the potatoes makes the best texture. I actually got mine at Aldi but it is very similar to this one. 
Keyword cake