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Chocolate Nut Spice Cake

passover chocolate nut cake

This is an exceptionally moist, really different kind of Passover cake. It takes a little work, but it’s worth it. You will need a 9-inch springform pan, a baking sheet, a box grater, and a food processor. I use a hand-held beater for the egg whites, but of course you can use a stand mixer. The cake can be made one or more days in advance.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10-12 ServingsServings


  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 3/4 cups walnuts or pecans or mixed (measured in pieces or halves)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • Dash salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided into 3/4 cup, 1/4 cup, and 1/4 cup
  • 2 McIntosh or Cortland apples
  • 6 extra large eggs, separated (yolks in a large bowl, whites in another large bowl)

For glaze:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons strong coffee (1 ½ teaspoons espresso powder diluted in 4 tablespoons boiling water)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Set an ungreased 9-inch springform on a baking sheet.

With flat steel blade in processor, grind chocolate. Transfer to a bowl. Grind nuts; add to chocolate. Add spices, salt, and ¼ cup of sugar into chocolate-nut mixture. Cut apples in half and core. Grate on the large holes of a box grater, and immediately add grated apples to egg yolks, so apples don’t discolor.

Add ¾ cup sugar to apple-egg yolk mixture. Stir in chocolate-nut mixture. Blend well and set aside.
Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar. Beat until very stiff.
Fold one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate-nut mixture to lighten it. Now fold in the rest of the egg whites. Fold quickly but gently (45-60 seconds).
Pour batter into springform and bake 50-60 minutes. Check the cake at 50 minutes. If it is not done, you may tent the cake loosely with some foil if you don’t want it to brown anymore. (The top of the cake cracks when it is done, and the cake feels springy to the touch.)

Remove pan to a rack for cooling. Immediately upon removing from oven, take a stiff, thin-bladed knife and go around the interior of the springform to thoroughly separate the cake from the sides of the pan. This will prevent a hollow depression from forming as the cake cools and settles. Cool on rack, in pan, thoroughly (3-4 hours). Cover cake in pan with plastic and refrigerate until serving day.

To unmold on serving day, run a sharp knife around edge of cold cake. Unhinge and remove ring. (Cake remains on pan bottom.)

To prepare the glaze, melt chocolate and oil over a double boiler. Turn off heat. Beat in coffee to thin a bit.
Note: Chocolate looks weird when you add coffee, but just keep beating and it comes back! Pour over cake and allow to drip down the sides. The cake can be refrigerated to harden the chocolate glaze on top, but serve at room temperature.

Contributed by The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts featuring Lynn Kutner

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