Matzo brei? Coconut macaroons? Flourless cake? All these things sound like my favorite spring goodies specially made for Passover! Some are gluten-free friendly while others are not, but we’re here to help you navigate a gluten-free Passover.
Passover, also known as Pesach, is the week-long Jewish holiday that celebrates the liberation of the Israelites by God from Egypt – a story many know as Exodus. Personally, Passover is one of my favorite holidays: it’s a wonderful way to welcome spring while carrying old traditions that have been passed generation-to-generation. Passover is full of family time and, like most Jewish holidays, lots of delicious food.
Many fun traditions such as dipping eggs in salt water, drinking four glasses of wine and not eating bread fill the week of Passover. As the Jews escaped from Egypt, they didn’t have time to make bread for the long 40-year journey through Sinai (no one knew the journey would last that long); instead a flat, unleavened bread was quickly made. To remember their journey and the lack of bread, the tradition is to not eat anything leavened (the expansion or fermentation of dough) including bread, pasta, baked goods during this holiday. Creating alternative options has become a fun culinary challenge resulting in some delicious dishes.
However, not all passover dishes are gluten-free! In fact, matzo meal, the main flour substitute, made of ground-up matzo – the Kosher for Passover bread – is still made of flour and therefore contains gluten. Many dessert dishes are therefore made using matzo meal to help create dishes like flourless chocolate cake. Which are gluten-free?
- Matzo Ball Soup
-Not gluten-free, as stated matzo is made from flour. Gluten-free versions of matzo balls can be found from Manischewitz and Yehuda.
- Coconut Macaroons
-Typically gluten-free and made of coconut. Make sure to use your Nima and test yours to make sure no fillers were used in the baking process.
- Gefilte Fish
-Most gefilte fish are made with matzo meal. Make sure to check the ingredients and if unsure test with Nima. Kedem Gourmet has made gluten-free gefilte fish in the past.
- “Flourless” Cake
-Check the flour type. Nut-based flours, or ground up nuts, are popular and GF options during Passover and year-round.
Gluten-free Passover recipes
I’m here to help you out! Two of my favorite family recipes are gluten-free and positively mouth watering. In the mood for chocolate and some fluffy cream? Bake my gluten-free swiss roll. Want even more chocolate? Try my flourless (and gluten-free) chocolate cake. I hope everyone enjoys their spring as we welcome the beautiful weather, flowers and spring colors!
Gluten-free Passover swiss roll
This beautiful gluten-free cake with contrasting flavors and textures is wonderful for special occasions. Growing up, this was our family’s Passover birthday cake. Having my birthday typically fall on Passover, this was a special treat for me both growing up and today. Enjoy!
For the Dough
- 5 eggs
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups walnuts chopped fine and thin
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Filling
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Decoration
- 1 block of baker’s chocolate
- ½ cup walnuts (optional)
1. Create the batter
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the egg yolks while slowly adding in the sugar. Continue to whip until it reaches a thick consistency and bright yellow color, like a lemon.
- Continue to whip while adding the chopped walnuts and baking powder. The batter should be smooth without any lumps.
- Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are thick but not dry.
- The success of the cake is dependent on being careful in the folding process of the batter into the whipped egg whites! Transfer ¼ of the batter into the egg whites and carefully fold in; the mixer should be airy. Continue by folding in an additional ¼ cup of the egg yolks to the mixture at a time. The final mixture should be light and airy and not watery.
2. Bake the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a ~10’’ x 15 ‘’ pan with oil, place parchment paper on top, and spray again with oil.
- Carefully transfer the mixture onto the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. When ready, the cake should be light and springy to the touch and light brown in color.
- When transferring the cake out of the oven, prepare a kitchen towel with powdered sugar sprinkled on top; flip the cake onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper from the cake and roll the cake and the towel into a roll (like a swiss roll).
3. Fill the cake
- When the cake is fully cooled down, prepare the filling. Whip the heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
- Unroll the cake and spread half of the filling on top. Roll the cake with the filling into the swiss roll. Spread the remaining filling on top of the cake so it is completely covered.
4. Top the cake
- Shave the chocolate into shaving rolls and sprinkle all over the top of the cake for decoration. (Optional) top with additional whole walnuts.
- Keep the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve
5. Enjoy with some cafe au lait!
Gluten-free Flourless Passover Chocolate Cake
Being a huge chocolate fan, this cake is so rich and therefore the perfect bite – or multiple bites! Each bite you take will just melt in your mouth leaving you wanting more. Don’t want to eat it all at once? No worries – this cake easily freezes and can be cut up to serve at a later date. Enjoy!
- Melted butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 Tbsp. ground almonds plus extra for dusting
- 10 ½ oz dark chocolate pieces (min 70% cocoa)
- 10 oz caster sugar (or regular)
- 5 ½ oz unsalted butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- 5 large eggs
- Powdered sugar for dust/decor
- Raspberries and mint leaves for garnish
For Raspberry Sauce
- 2 cups or 10 oz raspberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
- 2-4 Tbsp. sugar
1. Prepare Pan
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter sides of high-sided 9’’ spring form tin then dust with ground almonds, shaking off excess.
- Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper
- Put chocolate, sugar, butter, and salt in a large heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of lightly simmering water. Melt mixture stirring throughout until melted and combined
- Whisk the eggs with the ground almonds. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture slowly until mixture thickens and is fully mixed
- Pour into the the cake tin
2. Bake 35-40 minutes
3. Finish Cake
- When cake is ready – should seem set but not over solidified, remove slides of tin and let cool on the base
- Prepare raspberry sauce by blending the raspberries with sugar, cooking over low heat until combined, and straining using fine-meshed sieve
- Once cake is cooked, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberry and mint leave.
Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Passover)!
– Sharon Morad, Nima product manager