passover apple and walnut cake
I feel awful for not posting this Passover cake recipe before the holidays. You could have prepared it for the Seder and enjoyed it for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea the next morning. The truth is, I only thought about it last Thursday night, when Jon told me that his mother always prepares lots of cakes during the holidays to have for a snack with Moroccan mint tea in the afternoon. As a good wife, I spent the whole day on Friday baking cakes so that he would be just as happy spending his first Passover as a married man. This Passover apple and walnut cake was part of the lot, as well as a strawberry and cream nut pavlova and Passover brownies. I’m not a big fan of Passover cakes, because they’re quite heavy and tend to taste just like a sweet version of matsa. But this apple cake is so different, in fact, you won’t even notice that it’s Passover-friendly at all. Remember the delicious apple cinnamon bread that I posted in December? This cake is just as good, and is inspired by the latter as well as one of my grandmother’s favorites that I found in the cookbook she left me.
Passover always reminds me of my grandmothers, as we used to spend the holidays with either Teta (paternal grandmother) in Panama or Savta (maternal grandmother) in Israel. For the first Passover I celebrated as a married woman, I wanted to bake something special, something that would remind me even more of all the family memories we shared together during this time of the year. Savta loved to write and cook, just like me, and so she put together a wonderful cookbook full of stories paired with her favorite recipes. I received a copy of cookbook from my mother when I got married, a tradition that Savta wanted to keep going when she would no longer be physically with us.
This Passover apple and walnut cake was one of her favorite desserts to serve over the holidays, surely because it’s perfect for those with a sweet tooth — just like her (and me). I adapted the recipe just a bit, but all the credit goes to my incredible grandmother and her amazing cooking skills. The cake is made with two layers of crunchy green apples, covered in cinnamon and brown sugar and surrounded by a thick vanilla cake batter. The two layers of apples keep the cake so moist, turning this recipe into a winning Passover cake in comparison to the hard-as-a-brick desserts you tend to find during the holidays. The batter is prepared with no dairy products whatsoever and calls for vegetable oil instead, thus making this dessert suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or who don’t like sweets full of butter.
Although this cake calls for 2 full cups of matsa meal, it doesn’t taste like matsa at all, surely due to all the cinnamon, apples and walnuts it contains. It keeps well for 4 days on the kitchen counter, making it the perfect bite to eat if you’re craving something sweet during the middle of the day. After 48 hours of holiday eating and feeling so stuffed, I still found a tiny bit of space to indulge in another slice this morning for breakfast with a cup of coffee. There’s only one more slice left of the cake, and once that’s gone, I’ll be officially on a diet again!
For more recipes to cook during the holidays, check out my new Passover category.
Looking for another Passover-inspied recipe made with apples? Here’s a haroset recipe made with dates, apples, walnuts and cinnamon — perfect to spread over matsa for breakfast during the week.
- 6 green apples, chopped and diced
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups matsa cake meal
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 ½ teaspoons Passover baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and flour with matsa cake meal a springform pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs on high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add in the granulated sugar and vanilla sugar and continue beating until slightly thicker, about 2 minutes. Slowly add in the vegetable oil, then the matsa cake meal, potato starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Pour half of the batter into the springform pan and top with half of the apples and the light brown sugar. Gently pat the apples down into the batter with a spatula. Pour the other half of the batter over the apples and top with the remaining apples, light brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Pat the topping lightly with a spatula.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan before removing.
How did your Passover apple and walnut cake come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania