Passover Pareve Apple Cake

Passover Pareve Apple Cake Recipe

When it was given to me, this recipe originally specified flour, not matzo cake meal. I didn’t think it was very good, but I made it a few times anyway, as my family and friends liked it. Obsessing over how to improve the recipe to make it more to my own liking, it dawned on me that someone had converted a perfectly good Passover cake into an everyday cake and that if I converted it back it would be much better. I love it now, and everyone I have served it to raves about it. One day I didn’t have quite enough ground cinnamon, however, and I blended together a substitute with the teaspoon of cinnamon I had plus ground nutmeg, mace, and ginger to fill out the tablespoon measure. That was yet another improvement.–Arthur Schwartz

LC Don't Tell the Tooth Fairy Note

We suspect that this cake might have magical properties. You see, if any of it remains uneaten, and is stored away properly, by morning you will find that the topping you sprinkled lovingly on top of the cake has become “a moist, candy-like coating.” This may be the first time that we’re actively excited not to eat a whole, freshly-baked cake in one sitting. Cake that not only improves, but evolves? That’s the kind of magic we like. Just don’t tell the tooth fairy.

Passover Pareve Apple Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes one 8-inch-square cake


  • For the topping
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, or a combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and ginger
  • For the cake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup matzo cake meal
  • 5 medium apples, , preferably Golden Delicious, Crispin (Mutzu), or other apples that keep their shape when cooked, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
  • 2. Mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • 3. In a bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until well mixed. Beat in the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until the mixture is thick and foamy. Beat in the oil, adding it in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the spatula, stir in the matzo cake meal, blending well.
  • 4. Pour half the batter mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle about half the topping mixture evenly over the batter. Top with half the apples and all the raisins. Scrape the remaining batter over the apples, spreading it out to cover the apples. Arrange the remaining apples on top of the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping mixture.
  • 5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the sides of the cake pull away very slightly from the baking dish and the topping has begun to caramelize. (A cake tester is not reliable. It will not come out clean due to the moist richness of this cake.) Let the cake cool in the baking dish for several hours, until completely cool, before cutting it into serving portions. This cake is yet another Yiddish food that improves with age. Keep the cake in its dish, covered tightly with plastic, and the next day the topping will have become a moist, candy-like coating.
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  1. Rae says:

    This recipe is amazing, and I had lots of happy guests, but I would recommend you cut the sugar in half. It really isn’t necessary and assuming this recipe makes 8 servings it is 375 calories *per* serving.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Thanks for the tip, Rae. Those who don’t care for super sweet desserts will find that quite helpful. Appreciate it! And glad to hear you had a houseful of happy desserters.

  2. Shanna says:

    could you replace the matzo meal by regular flour?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Shanna, from what I understand matzo meal and flour are not necessarily interchangeable. Since matzo is flour and water that has already been baked, the consistency of the meal is different, the recipe proportions are not the same, and it has a gluten structure that varies from flour in baked goods. You can easily make your own meal by grinding matzo in a food processor. Or perhaps someone has more experience in this substitution? If so, we would love to hear.

  3. Alicia says:

    Praise Yahshua for sweet ideas! Happy Passover everyone! John 24:6

  4. Stu Borken says:

    I have made this Passover Pareve Apple Cake twice in two days. Brought it to my son’s work place and no one thought it was anything different than a regular cake with cinnamon and apples. They loved it and asked for more. I was “long” on cake meal so I made another one. If you follow the instructions and get the eggs and sugar and oil foamy then the cake rises like a regular cake. The texture, the flavor are all wonderful. Arthur Schwartz was quite the baker!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely to hear, Stu. So glad it’s now part of your Passover tradition. And yes, Arthur Schwartz had the gift!

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