11.05.2005

D.C. Detour: Moravian Sugar Cakes

Inspired by a quick trip to Winston-Salem, N.C. ...

Remember when you were little and you'd make cookies from scratch with your mom and stick your grubby little hands in the batter at each and every opportunity? My favorite stage was always the beginning when the brown sugar and butter that starts so many cookies were blended together.

I think that's part of the reason I love Moravian sugar cake, a signature specialty of my mom's hometown of Winston-Salem: It's essentially an excuse to eat butter and brown sugar. More bread than cake (the base is actually made with potatoes), the "cakes" are topped with a melted mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. You can toast them or zap them in the microwave for a few seconds to make them sticky and gooey. They're tasty at room temperature, too.

Want to try the sugar cakes yourself? Dewey's Bakery in Winston ships them overnight in packs of three for $14.50 (not including shipping). I recently ordered a batch and they arrived as fresh as can be. They'd also make great holiday gifts.

Any history buffs interested in the Moravians of North Carolina, check out this link.

11 comments:

MRS said...

As a Winston-Salem native myself, I cannot tell you how excited I was to see this blog entry. Don't forget the traditional moravian cookies as well.

Amanda said...

I'm partial to the spice cookies. They're so thin you can eat about 100 in one sitting. Glad to hear from WS native!

Anonymous said...

The key to picking out the best Dewey's sugar cake (if you are lucky enough to be at a store selling them) is to pick the one with the most crevaces, thus maximizing its buttery/sugary delicious-ness.

Amanda said...

I like the way you think.

Jenny said...

I'm not a native Winston-Salemite, but I did live there 4 years during college and would always bring a few sugar cakes back for the fam at Christmas time! Glad to know I can order some online for a taste of home!

Rachel said...

Just found your site through Amalah.com. I'm a W-S native and a former DC girl. Yes, sugar cake and cookies are fabulous (even Williams-Sonoma thinks so!). I have tried a couple of times to make sugar cake from scratch using an authentic Old Salem recipe. Conclusion: I'm leaving it to the pros from now on.

Anonymous said...

I too am a native of "culture" city, Winston-Salem. What a wonderful town it is with its Moravian heritage. Old Salem is a delightful restored 18th century community. The Dewey's sugar cake is awesome. I have found the best Moravian Sugar and Ginger cookies can be ordered from Ms. Hanes at 1-888-764-1402. You can also order Moravian stars from Ms. Hanes. Fred Crouch, Wash. DC

Anonymous said...

one of the few things I miss about the city of winston-salem is dewey's.

Ann Coogler said...

I am a native of Winston-Salem and would like you to know that Mrs. Hanes cookies are the only hand rolled and cut cookies left of these type. If you go to Old Salem they will be in the Moravian Book and Gift shop, ask for Mrs. Hanes cookies. For a tour of her bakery outside the city call, 1-888-764-1402. You can buy her cookies in cellophane bags at the bakery for a bit cheaper than in the cans.

Terry Ramsbotham said...

I am the Manager of Historic Winkler Bakery and the Sugar Baker there. To all of you who enjoy what we do, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Just so you will know, you can order out Sugar Cake through our mail order found at oldsalem.org.

Come to see us!
Terry Ramsbotham
Manager,
Historic Winkler

Anonymous said...

Received a tin of Mrs Hanes cookies recently. Imagine my surprise when I noticed a foul smell (like bird droppings) and a small amount of an unknown liquid in the tin.

I called Mrs Hanes cookies and asked for permission to send, at my expense, the cookies back for a replacement.

The person I was speaking to, Gigi Condon, must have been having a Malox Moment. She erupted with anger and sarcasm, and then snarled that No, the cookies would not be replaced, because I'd likely find something wrong with whatever was sent. Then she hung up on me.

Mrs Hanes Cookies would be well advised to keep Mz. Condon away from customers for at least five days every month.

Inedible product and a rabid pit bull answering their phones. Not good.