Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sourdough Moravian Sugar Cake - Sourdough Surprises

Last month the Sourdough Surprises challenge was wontons. A great challenge really. I had made wontons before and wasn't too worried. I knew I would avoid frying them since frying rarely works out well for me. I quickly decided on a filling, modified the wonton wrapper recipe I usually use and I was good to go. Ha. Hardly! That dough gave me hell to roll out. I gave up after a few tries and never posted last month. 

I definitely did not want to miss out on August as well. Things are a bit hectic and more than a tad crazy but I am ignoring all of that while I talk about the Moravian sugar cake. The Moravians came to North America from the former Czechoslovakia. They brought with them (or maybe they developed it in North America?) this really delicious coffee cake. It's popular in central North Carolina and Bethlehem Pennsylvania and not very well known outside of those areas. The base is a sweet dough and the top is lots of butter, sugar and cinnamon. I did not use all the butter or sugar that most recipes called for but that did not stop this coffee cake from being amazing. I ate half of it the night I made it. No regrets. The added potato makes it extra fluffy and tender. I don't make coffee cakes very often but this one has earned a spot on the - make a million times list. 

Stop by Sourdough Surprises to see all the other delicious coffee cakes!

Sourdough Moravian Sugar Cake

1 small Russet potato (you will need 100 grams for the recipe)
65 grams sugar
56 grams softened butter
1 large egg, beaten
120 grams 100% starter
110 grams potato water
260 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup sugar (brown or granulated)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch or two grated nutmeg


Cook the potato until soft. Cool and reserve the cooking liquid. You may use milk if you do not have enough potato water.

Mash 100 grams of potato with sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in the egg, starter and reserved potato water. Next mix in the flour and salt. The dough is very sticky.

Cover and let rise until doubled. The potato and potato water will make things go a little bit more quickly.

Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Scrape the dough out into the prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Use your fingers to make indentations across the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the cold butter pieces. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together and sprinkle over the butter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until dough registers at least 190 F.

The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. You can certainly use that much if you like but I found it plenty sweet with what I used.


  1. Great idea to use potato water! My grandmother used to add it to her bread and it made a really tender loaf.

  2. Wow! This cake sounds amazing!! I am going to have to try this recipe out! Thanks for baking along with us this month!