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What it Takes to Bake a Cake

One noticeable candidate for the highest-ranking stress in Pesach prep is baking. We know it can seem daunting to make deliciously textured cakes that everyone will enjoy, but with all the ideas that follow, we’re confident that you’ll be able to fill that cake-sized hole in your menu. And just like our FT staff, you’ll find yourself baking them again and again, all Pesach long.


Chocolate Cupcakes

This is my family’s favorite cake recipe, made as cupcakes for an easy to-go snack. Thank you, Mommy, for making dozens of them every Erev Pesach. And then dozens more on Chol Hamoed because they’re gone before you can blink.


  • 8 eggs
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1¾ cups oil
  • 1¾ cups potato starch
  • ground nuts, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Beat eggs for 8–10 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed. Add sugar and the rest of the ingredients and mix. Pour into muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes.

—Suri Friedman, copy editor


Easy Pesach Blondies

Here’s my family’s favorite Pesach blondie recipe. We make a bunch of these every year. Thank you to my friend Blima for sharing her family recipe years ago.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 7 oz (200 g) ground nuts
  • chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix all ingredients together besides chocolate chips. Place batter in a 9x13-inch (23x33-cm) baking pan. Top with chocolate chips. Bake for 45 minutes, or more until the center is fully baked.

Happy baking and enjoy!

—Goldie Fogel, administration



Back when I was growing up, ladyfingers were synonymous with Pesach. We ate them for breakfast with milk and then noshed on them all day long. Try this simple recipe for a favorite classic!


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • juice of ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Beat egg whites with 14 cup sugar; set aside. Combine yolks, potato starch, 14 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Fold in egg whites. Spoon onto parchment paper in finger shapes and bake for 20–25 minutes.

—Faigy Grossman, recipe columnist



I make loads of these for noshing and also serve it for dessert with pareve ice cream.


  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2⅔ cups potato starch
  • ⅓ cup cocoa
  • 2 cups oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix all ingredients. Pour into 2 9x 13-inch (23x 33-cm) pans. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

—Faigy Peritzman, columnist


Almond Cake

For those who eat gebrochts, mezonos cakes for kiddush on Yom Tov morning are always in high demand. Here’s one we enjoy as a change from all the chocolate ones.

YIELDS 1 9X13-INCH (23×33-CM) PAN

  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 12 oz (340 g) sugar
  • 4 oz (110 g) ground almonds
  • juice of 1½ lemons
  • 3 oz (85 g) fine matzah meal

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Beat yolks and sugar till creamy. Add almonds, lemon juice, and matzah meal. In a separate bowl, whip the whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Bake for 30–40 minutes.

—Rachel Samet, writer


Rorie’s Grain-Free Brownies

My grain-free brownies require no mixer and no separating eggs, which is what I love most about this recipe. The sweetness level can be adjusted to your taste, so no matter what your sugar preference is, this brownie will be your go-to chocolate fix this Pesach.


  • 1 cup Rorie’s Grain-Free Flour
  • ¾–1½ cups coconut sugar, white sugar, or xylitol
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips, chunks, or nibs, coconut flakes, chopped walnuts and/or pecans, for topping (optional)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 9-inch (23-cm) pan with cooking spray or use a 9x 13-inch (23x 33-cm) pan for thinner brownies. Set an oven rack in the center of the oven.

Combine grain-free flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla extract; mix until a smooth batter forms; it will be slightly thicker than a typical brownie batter. Add batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Leave brownies plain or top with any topping or a combination of toppings for a loaded brownie.

Bake on the center rack for 35–40 minutes. Cool completely. If desired, melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and spread on top of brownies before cutting into bars or squares.

Brownies will stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 3–4 days. They freeze beautifully and taste amazing semi-frozen.

—Rorie Weisberg, health columnist


Fat-Free Biscotti Sticks

I’ve been selling whole wheat low-fat baked goods for over a decade. One of our most popular biscotti flavors is fat-free classic biscotti. I was determined to try to recreate it for Pesach. Most baked goods for Pesach are laden with sugar and oil, and after working so hard for Pesach, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, guilt free. Now we all can! Here’s what my testers said: 1) Great crunch and taste. Not overly sweet. 2) Heavenly! 3) Better than your all year round one! Just remember to make a shehakol and not a mezonos! Please follow the instructions carefully.


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1¼ cups ground blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2–4 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • melted chocolate, for glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat eggs, sugar, and salt for 5 minutes on high speed until light and lemony. Add vanilla sugar. Add ground almonds and mix just until incorporated. Add baking powder.

Gradually add potato starch, gently sifting it in a small sifter over the mixing bowl, mixing just until combined. Stir in sliced almonds and chocolate chips, if desired, very lightly. Pour into prepared baking pan immediately, smoothing the top with a spatula. (It’s a loose mixture, not a doughy one.)

Place in the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until set and golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and cool for at least 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan with the paper and slice into thin sticks with a sharp knife. With the aid of a spatula, gently place on prepared baking sheet, one near the other. Return to oven and toast for at least 10 minutes or until crispy.

Turn oven off and leave biscotti in until they look dry and crunchy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Carefully transfer one at a time to a container and store in the freezer.

Note: You can make this free-form too. Line a large baking pan with at least two sheets of parchment paper. Fold up both sides of the parchment paper, leaving the center on the baking pan, forming a U. Pour the biscotti mixture onto the baking paper, coaxing it to remain within the folds. Place it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cool as above. Slice the loaf down the center first (it will have spread a bit) and then carefully slice into sticks as above. Continue as above. Yields 30 sticks.

Tip: I tested this with blanched ground almonds and with a combo of blanched and regular ground almonds. I found the latter to have a slightly better texture.

—Brynie Greisman, recipe columnist


Apple Streusel Cake

I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but we love gebrochts baked goods, and they’re so hard to find in the magazines these days! For all of you fellow gebrochts eaters out there, here’s a winner from Rebbetzin Sara Finkel’s Classic Kosher Cooking with a couple of adaptations. It’s super easy to make and comes out amazing every time!


  • 6 tart apples, peeled and sliced
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 1 cup ground nuts
  • 2 Tbsp potato starch
  • ¼ tsp salt
Streusel Topping
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Toss apples with lemon juice. Mix together cinnamon, 12 cup sugar, and nutmeg and combine with apples. Set aside.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy, slowly adding the rest of the sugar and vanilla. Stir in oil, matzah meal, ground nuts, potato starch, and salt. Pour half the batter into a greased 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan. Spread apple mixture on top. Cover with remaining batter.

Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake for 45–50 minutes.

—Chaya Baila Leiber, copy editor


Chocolate Drops

Every year we kick off our Pesach bake-a-thon with four triple batches of this recipe. A cross between meringues and cookies, these chocolate discs taste best when eaten straight from the freezer. We like to serve them for dessert together with homemade applesauce. Thank you, Omi, for this delicious recipe!

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate chips. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add vanilla and vinegar and keep beating until stiff. Fold in melted chocolate.

Drop teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

—Mindy Spiro, production assistant


Pesach Apple Kugel Muffins

Reproduced from Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman with permission of the copyright holders, ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications, Ltd.

This is a totally different take on apple crumble or kugel, with the batter on top of the apples. I love mini muffins for a nice presentation, but you can save time by baking one big kugel in a baking pan instead. These muffins are great for a snack, afternoon tea, or a picnic.


  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • dash of kosher salt
  • ½ cup matzah meal
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease or line muffin tins or a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan; set aside.

Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine all batter ingredients in another medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Fill muffin cups or pan with apple filling until they’re two-thirds full, then pour batter over the apples until the cups are full. Sprinkle with topping. Bake muffins for 30 minutes or bake kugel for 45 minutes, until the tops are set and lightly browned.

—Naomi Nachman, columnist


Unbelievably Delicious Soft Biscotti

This is the type of recipe you quadruple and then repeat. Either that or hide it in the back of the freezer marked kishke (as if they’ll fall for that).

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups cake meal
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped chocolate truffle bar, or slivered almonds, chopped mandarin oranges, and dried cranberries
  • cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix first five ingredients to form a sticky batter. Mix in the add-ins of your choice. Divide the dough in half and form two wide, low logs. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cut into 1-inch (212-cm) strips. Turn strips on their sides and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Broil for 1–2 minutes on each side. Set a timer to avoid burning these beauties!

— Sarah Faygie Berkowitz, columnist


Coffee Crumb Cake

I have this recipe from my very dear friend Annie Neumann, who passed away a few years ago. Although I recently make baked goods like cookies and biscotti, which are easy to grab and go, this cake has yet to be retired.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ½ 4-oz (110-g) box ladyfingers,
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Beat eggs, sugars, and oil slowly. Add potato starch and baking powder and mix until combined. Transfer batter to a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, combine all the crumb ingredients in a bowl. When the cake is done, remove from oven, sprinkle the crumbs over the cake, and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean.

—Rivky Kleiman, recipe columnist


Best Ever No-Mixer Brownies for Pesach

Reprinted from OvertimeCook.com


  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1¼ cups Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup potato starch
  • ⅔ cup almond flour or ground almonds

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the top is set. These brownies freeze nicely in an airtight container.

—Miriam (Pascal) Cohen, recipe columnist


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 887)

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