Scrumptious Seder Apple Cake

Speaking of Passover, my contribution to the Seder meal this year was dessert. And considering the fact that my mother’s birthday was the day before, I must admit that I felt the pressure to deliver!

I did quite a bit of research into Seder-safe dessert options, and after hearing horror stories of matzo-meal cake disasters I was rather apprehensive about risking all on a cake made essentially out of cracker crumbs.

So I didn’t. Instead, I made two cakes. One was an apple cake (made with the feared matzo-meal!), and the other was an absolutely sinful flourless chocolate torte. (That one was in honor of my mother; chocolate is pretty much her favorite thing after my father. And yoga. Her favorite thing after Dad and yoga.)

Passover Apple Cake

Both were winners…and I have now been locked in as dessert-maker for all future seders. And matzo-meal isn’t as scary as it sounds! You can buy it in the store, or make your own by simply throwing some broken pieces of matzo bread in a food processor and pulsing until ground into fine crumbs (ie. about the size of breadcrumbs you’d use for fried chicken).

Passover Apple Cake

via The Sugarcoated Life

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups sugar (total)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon mace
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for baking dish
3/4 cup matzo cake meal
5 medium apples*, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

* I used Pink Lady, but any crisp, medium-tart apple will do. I wouldn’t recommend Granny Smith, unless you like your cakes sour. (You could try Crispin, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, for example.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center. Lightly spray an 8″ springform or square glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Mix together nuts, half of the sugar (3/4 cup), and spices in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat eggs on medium speed until well combined. Gradually beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar,  until mixture is thick and foamy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in oil and blend. With a spoon stir in matzo meal.
  4. Pour half of the batter into prepared cake pan. Layer half of the apples and sprinkle half of the nut-sugar mixture. Pour over remaining batter and top with remaining apples; press the apples down a bit so that you can see the batter rising up through the cracks. Sprinkle over the remaining nut-sugar mixture.
  5. Transfer cake to oven and bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the baking dish very slightly and topping begins to caramelize, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven and let stand for at least 1 hour before serving. (This is a good recipe to make a day or two beforehand, because the flavors of the spices strengthen with time.)
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