Passover Apple Cake

Passover apple cake. A classic from the astoundingly awesome cookbook author, Arthur Schwartz. Kosher for Passover yet still tastes like any traditional apple cake. Talk about a godsend.

A square of Passover apple cake on a green plate.

This Passover apple cake from renowned cookbook author Arthur Schwartz has magical properties. You see, whatever leftovers you can’t polish off the first day and carefully stash for tomorrow will have morphed from a sugary topping into an indulgently gooey, caramel-like topping. 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. So enticing we find ourselves making it all year long and not just at Passover. Talk about a godsend.
Renee Schettler Rossi

*Can I Make My Own Matzo Flour?

Can you substitute matzo meal that you finely grind in a blender and then put through a fine sieve? One of our readers shared with us that unless you have an industrial strength food processor, regular matzo meal is not easily converted into real matzo flour as it can cause even a strong processor to almost overheat. But if you have a super-powered one, feel free to try it if you have matzos but no matzo flour available to you.

Passover Apple Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Serves 9 to 12
5/5 - 7 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Jewish Home Cooking cookbook

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  • For the topping
  • For the cake


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and lightly oil an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl with a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until well combined. Beat in the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing 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. The mixture will be VERY thick.

Spread half the cake mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle about half the topping mixture evenly over the batter. Arrange half the apples on the batter, making layers if you need. Sprinkle with the raisins. Scrape the remaining batter over the apples, spreading it out to cover the apples. Arrange the remaining apples on the batter and sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping mixture.

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 room tempearature 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. Originally published March 29, 2010.

Print RecipeBuy the Jewish Home Cooking cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Passover recipes should probably have their own rating system as they can't truly be judged against your year round recipes. This Passover apple cake is almost quite as good as any apple cake that I've made. Its ease of preparation plus delicious results give it reason to be a testers choice!

I used yellow delicious apples and they held their shape nicely. The thoroughly beaten eggs become a good leavening agent as we can't use any commercial ones during Passover. This would be a lovely dessert for the seder meal. Additionally, it improved overnight so it could be made in advance and will continue to be a perfect dessert throughout the holiday week.

The timing was accurate and the resulting cake was moist and the apples tender. The topping becomes chewy and candy-like as promised. I used only cinnamon as I am not a fan of the other spices but I imagine that they would work well if you like them.

This simple Passover apple cake isn't just tasty but fun to make as well. I used a combination of mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. You could just as easily use a premixed apple pie spice mix or cinnamon alone. I chose to use a mixture of Granny Smith and Fuji apples as this is what I had on hand. You could use almost any apple with a little flavor. I found that the raisins added another layer of texture and flavor. I opted for pecans as opposed to walnuts simply because they are so darned delicious.

A couple of recommendations. First, you may find it difficult to find matzo cake meal. Fear not! Matzo meal is nothing more than pulverized matzo crackers and matzo cake meal is just finely ground matzo crackers. I pulverized mine in my food processor and then put them through a sifter. The result was a very fine flour-like substance. Next, I mixed my spices, nuts, and sugar in a resealable plastic sandwich bag (it's easier and cleaner than using a bowl). Finally, and maybe most importantly, you should mix your eggs and sugar for nearly 5 minutes. Mixing it until thickened and foamy may be a little subjective. You may certainly use a hand mixer but if you have a stand mixer, by all means, use it. After the mixing is complete, folded in the matzo cake meal completely with a rubber spatula.

I covered my apple cake with plastic wrap after it had thoroughly cooled and refrigerated the cake for several hours. This turned out to be one fine coffee cake!

Pareve Apple Cake Recipe Larry Noak


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  1. Has anyone ever doubled this recipe? Just put a double thick layer of batter in the oven. Wondering about cooking time

    1. We haven’t tried this, Leslee, but if any of our readers have, we’d love to hear from you. I’d be concerned that with such a thick layer of batter it may be difficult to get the middle fully cooked. Do let us know how it works out for you and what your timing is.

        1. I’m so pleased to hear this, Leslee! Would you be willing to share your baking time, in case anyone else wants to double it?

          1. I actually cooked it exactly as the recipe said, 1 hr 15 min. It cut nicely once cooled but according to other posts, I won’t get the full effect until tomorrow

  2. A question – I live in Denver, and would love to try this cake. Any input from bakers on adjustments for the altitude? A New Yorker until four years ago, I’ve had mixed success with recipes I brought with me.

    1. We haven’t tried this at high altitude, Kathy, but would love to hear from anyone who has. I would suggest increasing the oven temperature to 375°F and baking for only about an hour. And unless your apples are very juicy, I’d add a little extra liquid, maybe a tablespoon or so of oil?

    1. Good catch, Janice. Yes, you should peel the apples. I’ve updated the recipe to show that.

  3. Hi there. Is matzo meal the same as matzo cake meal? Or are they two different things? Also, do you have any recipes that use potato starch? Thank you.

    1. Hi Laurie. Matzo cake meal is a finely ground version of matzo, more closely resembling flour. If you have matzo meal, you may be able to use a food processor to grind it a bit more finely. I’ll make some inquiries on the potato starch question, though we don’t typically see a lot of recipes that call for it.

  4. It is a very nice recipe.
    One clarification though:
    On Martha Stewart shoe, Arthur demonstrated this recipe and the order in which the batter/apples/sugar but spice mixture was placed in a baking dish was different from the recipe you posted as follows:The half the batter, then the apples, then the spice mixture, then batter again, apples and finally the spice mixture.
    Which is correct?
    Thank you in advance for your prompt reply.

    1. Helen, I love that you watched his video and noticed the difference! I just checked the original book and our recipe matches Arthur’s original instructions in the book. That’s not to say he didn’t change the ordering over time, as he obviously did. I can imagine putting the spice on top of the apples in the bottom layer helps the spices permeate the apples more, as you get in the top layer, whereas this way lends the batter a little more spiced oomph. It’s not going to be bad either way! But just to confirm, yes, the instructions here exactly mimic the original recipe.

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