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Dewey's Moravian Sugar Cake

In Old Salem ,NC is Dewey's Bakery. Their sugar cake is world famous. Each Christmas I ship this wonderful treat to friends all over the US. Never met anyone who didn't adore it. One of these friends calls it her "Christmas Crack" This is the original Dewey's recipe.

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  • Step 1. Prepare mashed potatoes. Peel one medium potato, boil until soft. Drain and mash. (Set to the side.for use in the dough).
  • Step 2. Prepare the dough. Combine the egg, shortening, salt, milk, potatoes, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, and mix with the paddle (or whisk attachment if using hand mixer). Mix for about 4 minutes to blend all ingredients. If you are using a standing mixer that has a dough hook attachment, change over to the dough hook and add the bread our and then the cake our. If you do not have a dough hook, just continue with your hand mixer. Mix the yeast with the water and add to the bowl with the other ingredients, and mix until combined.
  • At this point, if you are using a dough hook continue mixing on medium speed for about 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you do not have a dough hook, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Step 3. Cover and let rise about 1 -1/2 hours until dough has doubled in size.
  • Step 4. Grease with shortening a 12 x 18 or 1/2 sheet cake pan with 2-inch sides. Punch dough down and roll out to approximately 12 x 18 rectangle shape on a at surface. Poke holes in the dough with either a docker or a fork, and then t the dough into the bottom of a pan. Fit dough tightly to the sides of the pan, but do not push the dough up the sides of the pan.
  • Step 5. Let the dough rest while you combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a pan on stove top. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. Poke small indentations with your fingers into the dough, making sure not to poke holes all the way through to the pan. Pour the warm butter sugar mixture over the top, spreading gently with a small spatula to ensure an even distribution. Let the dough rise again until doubled in height (approx 30-40 minutes).
  • Step 6. Bake in preheated 365 degree oven for 15-17 minutes. Sugar Cake should be lightly browned on the bottom. Note: Check after approx 10 minutes to make sure there is not a air bubble in the dough. If there is a bubble, simply burst the bubble and continue baking Cut into squares and serve warm.
  • Total time is approximately 4 hours to produce.
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"In Old Salem ,NC is Dewey's Bakery. Their sugar cake is world famous. Each Christmas I ship this wonderful treat to friends all over the US. Never met anyone who didn't adore it. One of these friends calls it her "Christmas Crack" This is the original Dewey's recipe."
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  1. kroach021269
    I have made this recipe several times and it always is good. But I have learned to make more of the topping to cover all of the cakes. It takes me longer than 4 hours, it usually takes me at least 6hrs. I have started referring it to A Labor of Love Cake. Lol
  2. Elisabeth S.
    I have just finished pouring the sugar/butter mixture over the cakes. I am really skeptical that this is going to turn out anything like a Dewey's cake. First, I had to add more than 1/2c extra flour; the dough was incredibly sticky, and the dough hook couldn't even grab onto it to get it off the bowl. Even with the extra flour, it was still very sticky, and I had to use a lot of flour when rolling it out. Second, when you roll this out to the specified size, the finished sheet is less than an eighth of an inch thick. How can you possibly transfer that to a pan? I ended up just making it back into a log and pressing it out in the pan. Third, as I said, the finished dough, when rolled, is <1/8" thick. Even doubled after the second rise, this is going to result in a 1/4" cake. I was making this into 4 8x8" cakes, and after seeing the thinness of the dough, I put double dough in one pan, and made 3 cakes instead. Fourth, the butter and sugar doesn't ever come together. So when you go to pour, you first get a lot of butter on its own, and then a thick sugar that is difficult to spread (it cools and thickens very fast). I will come back and post a review after we've eaten these.
  3. Elisabeth S.
    Had to add much more flour (>1/2c). Made 3 cakes, not 4, due to thinness of dough.
  4. Elisabeth S.
    Okay, dumb question, but this says it makes 4 cakes. Instructions are for a half sheet pan. Assuming this recipe makes 1 large cake (half sheet pan size) that is then cut into 4 cakes?
  5. MTinATL
    This should probably be a 4 1/2 star review but only because while its so close to Dewey's but not quite exact. It's absolutely delicious and has a 5 star flavor, but the yeast dough tasted just a little different. Maybe the type of yeast or water or type of potato matters? Either way, this is a fabulous sugar cake and as close to that taste of home that is Dewey's as I've found online.
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