This Passover Apple Cake is loaded with lots of juicy apples drenched in cinnamon and sugar, and when it’s baking your house smells like a bakery straight out of heaven. The cake itself is thick and spongy, almost like the leavened version.
And by Passover standards, this cake is delish. In fact, it’s probably one of my most requested recipes, only because it’s really tough to get desserts right on this holiday.
Of all the holidays of any denomination that I cook for throughout the year, there is none more challenging than Passover. During Passover time, we cannot eat anything that rises. So that leaves out any bread products.
While there are lots of delicious dinner options that include meats, poultry, vegetables and potatoes, the Passover dessert category requires a bit of creativity. That’s where this Passover Apple Cake recipe comes in.
What is Passover?
Passover celebrates the emancipation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. As the story goes, the Israelites fled Egypt in such a hurry that they couldn’t wait for their bread to rise.
The history and symbolism of Passover requires Jews not to eat anything that is leavened. That means no bread, cake, cookies, etc. Instead, we eat matzo (or matzah), which is bread without any leavening agents.
Passover Apple Cake vs. Jewish Apple Cake
Both regular Jewish apple cake and Passover apple cake are made with apples, cinnamon, sugar and oil (no butter). They both consist of layers of cake and layers of apples. But regular Jewish apple cake is made with all purpose flour, while Passover apple cake with made with cake meal.
Cake meal is simply matzo meal that’s been ground super fine until it’s almost powdery. If you cannot locate cake meal at your grocery store, grab regular matzo meal and pulse it in a food processor until very fine.
Do not confuse this Passover cake with traditional Jewish Apple Cake or you’ll be disappointed. But I promise, this recipe for Passover Apple Cake is the closest you can get to regular Jewish Apple Cake while still playing by the Passover rules.
Ingredients for this Passover Apple Cake
I’ve stayed as true to the original recipe for our family’s Passover apple cake as possible here. I did make it a little better by adding brown sugar and extra cinnamon (shh, don’t tell).
Here is what you’ll need to make this easy apple cake recipe:
- Cake Meal. This is finely ground matzo meal. If you are unable to find cake meal, you’ve got 2 options: Either grind regular matzo meal in a food processor until it’s super fine, or try using potato starch instead. I have not tested this recipe using potato starch, but it is a widely accepted baking substitute during Passover.
- Apples. Go for a baking apple variety for this Passover Apple Cake, same as you would use in a pie or in traditional Jewish Apple Cake. My favorites are Macoun, Fuji and Gala.
- Vegetable Oil. Like most Jewish desserts, we’re using oil instead of butter to keep things kosher.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
How to make this apple cake recipe for Passover
The batter for this cake is going to be thick, so it’s easier to use a stand mixer than a handheld electric mixer. Just add all of the cake ingredients in the order outlined in the recipe card below. No extra bowls required.
First, toss your apple slices in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Then, we’ll create two layers of cake and apples. Start with the cake batter. It’ll be thick, so use a spoon or flexible spatula to spread it around the cake pan. Then layer half of the apples over the cake batter.
Repeat this step, finishing with the apples. Then, sprinkle lots of cinnamon sugar over the apples. The sugar will caramelize in the oven, making for a really pretty and delicious top of the cake.
What about using other types of baking pans?
Yes, you can certainly use other types of baking pans. For a 9×13 pan or springform pan, your bake time will reduce to about 50-55 minutes.
I have not tested this recipe in a bundt pan, but I would assume the bake time would be similar to what it is for an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
Always test doneness with a toothpick before you remove the cake from the oven.
How to Store this Passover Apple Cake
My mom was the queen of making Passover dinner a week in advance, so trust me when I say I’m a pro at food storage! This apple cake freezes beautifully, actually. Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and place them into either a freezer bag or airtight container.
This cake will last in the fridge for up to one week. Any longer, it should be frozen. Defrost it on the counter top at room temperature.
I promise you’ll be proud to serve this Passover Apple Cake at any seder. And when you make it, let me know! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Passover recipes, try these:
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Swirled Cream
- Easy Homemade Whipped Potatoes
- Broccoli & Cheddar Bake
The Absolute Best Apple Cake Recipe for Passover
- 6 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups matzo cake meal
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 medium sized apples peeled, cored and sliced thin
- 4 tsp. sugar + 2 tsp. cinnamon mixture
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed. Lower the speed and gradually add the sugars, oil and vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Add cake meal and blend well.
- In a separate bowl, toss the sliced apples in half of the the cinnamon sugar mixture. Reserve the other half for sprinkling the top of the cake.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Smooth, and arrange half of the apple slices over the batter in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining batter and apples. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the layer of apples.
- Bake for 90 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing into squares.