Southern Traditions: Moravian Sugar Cake

Southern Christmas Morning Traditions: Moravian Sugar Cake | Fairly Southern

Buttery, gooey, brown sugar-y. This was always the taste of Christmas morning in my house growing up. As it turns out, Moravian sugar cake is a holiday tradition that I share with many other North Carolinians, including my husband and his family! And it’s one that you’re going to want in on.

But first, a little history….

The Moravian Church is a Christian denomination that broke away from the Catholic Church prior to Luther’s Reformation. Moravian settlers came to North Carolina in the 1750s, and they established the town of Salem (which later joined with the town of Winston to become Winston-Salem) in 1766. A number of traditional Moravian bakeries have existed in the town ever since.

Southern Christmas Morning Traditions: Moravian Sugar Cake  |  Fairly Southern

Dewey’s Bakery is a Moravian bakery established in Winston-Salem in 1930. They quickly became a local favorite in North Carolina and have now expanded to ship their products throughout the United States. They are also now a Certified B Corporation, meaning they have met certain standards for sustainability and social responsibility (y’all know I love that!). While their products can certainly be enjoyed year round, their cookies and sugar cakes are especially popular around the holidays. Grocery stores and seasonal pop-up shops throughout North Carolina are ready to supply us locals with plenty of sugar for Christmas!

So what is sugar cake, exactly?

The best way I can describe it is that it’s similar to monkey bread, but in coffee cake form. The yeast-raised dough is topped with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and molasses, then baked. In short, the stuff is DELICIOUS and basically crack, especially when warmed. It’s buttery and gooey and you WILL fight your sister for the piece that looks to have the most sugary drizzle.

Southern Christmas Morning Traditions: Moravian Sugar Cake  |  Fairly Southern

I totally get why Moravian sugar cake has become a Christmas morning tradition for so many families here in NC and beyond. It’s everything Christmas morning should be: warm, comforting, indulgent. It pairs perfectly with good cheer and family and tradition. It may be a European recipe by birth, but we have fully adopted and embraced it here in the South.

If you’re still debating what to eat on Christmas morning, pick up a Moravian sugar cake. You won’t be disappointed.

xoxo Laura

P.S. – This is not a sponsored post. I just adore sugar cake! Now, if only I can convince Dewey’s to make a version that’s gluten free…

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