Passover Honey Cake

This Passover honey cake is one that Leah’s Grandma Yetta made for the first and second seders. And it’s so simple — honey, ginger, cinnamon and, surprisingly, coffee give it its depth of flavor.

passover honey cake edited
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Passover Honey Cake

Because it’s for Passover, this cake has to be unleavened. Therefore, it uses matzo cake meal and potato starch instead of flour and cornstarch. Cornstarch is not kosher for Passover.

Matzo cake meal

Matzo cake meal is finely ground-up matzo. We thought we could find it at our local grocery store. We were wrong.

What we could find was matzo meal — just without the cake part in there. So I ground up some legit matzo to add to it. Our food processor is on the fritz so I used an old fashioned mortar and pestle. This time around I worked with store-bought matzo. If I’d had my food processor, I would have used my homemade matzo instead.

I found out after the fact from Leah’s cousin Dorrie — the keeper of family recipes — that putting the matzo meal in a food processor would have given it the cake-like consistency we needed. Oh, well. Next time we’ll be sure to get the food processor working..

Still, I know I’ll never get it as fine as the commercial mill would. It doesn’t affect the taste, but the cake is a bit more coarse. If you are using a coarse meal, add two tablespoons more since a coarser meal measures differently than the finer meal.

Flatter cake than I would have liked

Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

In fact, the last time we made this, it felt like all of the ingredients sunk to the bottom of the pan. It ended up quite flat. Dorrie says that’s not how it’s supposed to look. So, at first I thought that not putting the matzo meal in the food processor to make it more like a cake flour was my mistake. Nest time I will spend more time whipping the egg whites to add some more fluff to the batter.

Also, Dorrie told me, make sure you use large eggs, not extra large eggs in the recipe. That’s simply too much egg.

If you don’t want to deal with matzoh meal and need a fast, dessert to bring to a non-kosher Passover seder, I love the idea of this no-bake cheesecake. Again, it might not be kosher but it is definitely perfect for a dairy meal.

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passover honey cake uncut

Passover Honey Cake

Enjoy Grandma Yetta's sweet delight.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 1 cake


  • 4 large eggs, separated.
  • 1 cup dark honey.
  • ¾ cups sugar.
  • ¾ cup strong black coffee.
  • ¾ cup matzo cake meal. If you use coarser meal, add two tablespoons.
  • ¾ cup potato starch, sifted
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  • Separate eggs and beat the whites until stiff, set aside.
  • Beat egg yolks and sugar until their color is lemon yellow.
  • Add honey and coffee to the egg yolk mix and blend thoroughly.
  • Blend in matzo cake meal and potato starch with cinnamon and ginger.
  • Blend in the walnuts and orange zest (if using).
  • When the mixture is well blended, fold in the egg whites. Fold just enough to incorporate the egg white, but make sure the egg white is fully blended to avoid cooked eggs in your cake.
  • Pour into a nonstick or parchment lined loaf pan.
  • Place in a preheated 300℉ oven. Bake for about an hour. The finished cake should pass the toothpick test.


Please note that nutrient values, if included with the recipe, are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability/substitution and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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