Innovative Passover Desserts and Sweets

May 8, 2009

6 min read


Passover never tasted so good!

So many people think that Passover is a time when there is "nothing to serve for dessert" or that the cakes "all come out dry and tasteless". Here are a few recipes that I hope will dispel those old notions for good...

Rocky Road Brownies

My mother makes these every year, and, as the saying goes, they are "to die for"!

1 cup walnuts, chopped
4 oz. / 115 grams semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks margarine = 1 cup
** if you cannot find Kosher for Passover sticks of margarine, use oil **
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup matzoh cake meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely ground

Preheat the oven to 325°F / 160° C.

Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with baking parchment paper or spraying it well with baking oil spray.

Melt chocolate and margarine in a double boiler. Stir well. Stir in the sugar. Cool slightly. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in the cake meal and salt and remove from heat. Stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour this batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Remove the pan from the oven, and sprinkle the brownies with the additional marshmallows. Slide the tray back into the oven and bake 3-4 minutes more, until the marshmallows are puffed.

Remove the tray from the oven and melt the chocolate chips. Drizzle the melted chips all over the brownies and then sprinkle them, while the chocolate is still wet, with the nuts. Cut into squares and serve. Freezes well.

Passover Lemon Bars

This is delicious, and you'll never miss the chametzdik version!

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup matzah meal
1 stick margarine, melted OR 1/2 cup oil

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons margarine melted OR 2 Tablespoons oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons potato starch
Powdered sugar for topping

Use an 8" baking pan, and line it with parchment paper or foil. Lightly grease this lining.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Make the pastry dough by mixing the ingredients together until smooth. Pour this batter into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake is golden. Remove from oven to a wire rack.

To make the topping:
Beat eggs until they become thickened and increase in volume. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the powdered sugar. Pour over the crust and bake 20-25 minutes, until it sets. Remove from oven.

Cut into bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. Freezes well.

Rhubarb Ices

Excerpted from my Pesach, gluten free cookbook "A Taste of Tradition: Pesach and Beyond" (Feldheim Publishers),

Serves 10

2 pints / 500 grams fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
2 lbs. / 900 grams – 1 kilo rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
2 cups semi-dry good quality white wine
2 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons fruit flavored liqueur
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, pulp removed

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cook, covered, over a low flame until soft, about 45 minutes. Turn off the flame and puree everything with an immersion blender until smooth. Pour this out into a 9x13 pan and allow it to freeze for 6-8 hours.

Take the pan out of the freezer. If it has become rock hard, allow it to soften for 30 minutes before beginning this next step.

Scoop the frozen mixture, or cut it into pieces, and place it, half of the pan at a time, into your mixing bowl. Beat it with the metal flat beater on medium speed, until it resembles sorbet consistency. Do this to the entire batch. Refreeze until serving. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving for easier scooping.

PassovChocolate Sponge Cake

Excerpted from my Pesach, gluten free cookbook "A Taste of Tradition: Pesach and Beyond" (Feldheim Publishers),

Serves 6-8, depending on how generous you want to be with the slices!

8 eggs, separated
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
5 Tablespoons cocoa
2 & 1/2 Tablespoons potato starch

Preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C.

Prepare a large 10 "tube pan. Although most sponge cakes say not to grease the pan, I personally do grease it very lightly. Then dust it lightly with a bit of cocoa, shaking off the excess. Set aside.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into one bowl and the whites into another. Beat the white until nearly stiff, then add into it half the sugar, continuing to beat all the while. Turn off the beaters and set the whites aside.

Beat the yolks until thick, add in the remaining sugar and beat until creamy. Add in the cocoa and potato starch and beat just another minute or two until they are incorporated. Turn off the beaters.

Fold both mixtures together by hand. While folding, if the batter seems too liquidy, you may add in a bit more potato starch. Pour this into your prepared tube pan.

Bake for 50 -75 minutes, checking to make sure it does not burn. When done, remove the cake from the oven to a wire rack. Leave it to sit for 15 minutes. Prepare a large piece of foil, lined with one or two paper towels on it.

After it has cooled somewhat for the first 15 minutes, slide a long, sharp knife around its edges, as well as the innermost edges. Carefully lift up the pan and flip it over onto the prepared foil/ paper towels. Remove the pan. Leave the cake to sit until it is more cooled, then wrap it up gently and freeze until the day of use.

To create the decorative topping you see here in the picture, first make the following glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 Tablespoon instant coffee

Make sure the cake is completely cooled, or else the glaze will only sink into the cake.

Stand the cake on the serving platter or cake stand you want to present it on. Once you've poured on the glaze, you won't be able to move the cake off the tray!

Mix the glaze ingredients together with a spoon in a small bowl. As soon as it's thick but still drippy, pour it all over the top of the cake. With the help of your spoon, smear it around the top slightly and allow it to drip down the cake's edges.

Using an ordinary carrot peeler, create chocolate curls from a fat block of baking chocolate. Pick them up carefully with a fork or toothpick and place them all over the top of the cake...and serve.

Incredible presentation and delicious every time!

Have a wonderful and tasty Pesach!

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