Moravian Sugar Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup whole buttermilk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • ½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a small saucepan, bring potato and water to cover by 1 inch to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, and mash until smooth. Measure 1 tablespoon mashed potato; reserve remaining potato for another use.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together yeast and ¼ cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 tablespoon mashed potato, yeast mixture, egg, buttermilk, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat at low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Gradually add 2¼ cups flour, beating at medium-low speed until a smooth and elastic dough forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 tablespoon flour if dough sticks to sides of bowl.
  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. Grease a 9-inch square cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon softened butter.
  7. Place dough in prepared skillet. Punch down dough; gently stretch dough into a 10-inch square so it comes 1 inch up sides of skillet. Using your fingertips, make indentations all over dough, taking care not to poke all the way through dough.
  8. In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 10 tablespoons butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Slowly pour hot sugar mixture all over dough, gently spreading with a small spatula as needed to fully cover dough. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°.
  10. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe by Southern Cast Iron at