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Geshmirta Matzo


What a funny sounding name! Geshmirta Matzo. Funny sounding but oh so delicious! Geshmirta is actually a Yiddish word which means to shmear or spread something on top of something else. Yiddish was spoken by most Jews living in Eastern Europe and Western Russia; people who were Ashkenazic Jews. Many of these Jews immigrated to South Africa and this dish is very popular in Capetown. I first heard about it from a friend of mine but recently a URJ member wrote me to help her re-create a special food memory for her. I did. She loved it. Here’s the recipe!

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6-8 ServingsServings


  • 3-4 sheets of matzo
  • 8 ounce container of whipped cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream, cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Line a jellyroll pan with foil, dull side facing you. Fit the matzo to line the entire bottom of the pan.  Set aside.
  1. Using a rubber spatula, mix the cream cheese, egg, vanilla, first 2 tablespoons of sugar, and sour cream or cream in a 2 quart bowl until smooth and well combined.
  1. Spread mixture evenly over the matzos (if you have one, a small angled spatula would be perfect for younger children) and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
  1. Bake for 15-20 minutes until mixture is slightly golden and matzo is crisp.  Cut into squares and eat within an hour to preserve crispiness.

Tina’s Tidbits:

  • Regular cream cheese may be used if at room temperature.  Children will find it easier to blend ingredients by hand if using whipped.
  • Using softened ingredients at room temperature often eliminates the need for an electric mixer making the recipe toddler friendly.

Kitchen Conversations:

  • Do any adults in your family speak Yiddish?
  • Do you know any Yiddish words? I bet you do.
  • Have you ever heard the word Bagel, nosh, kvell, schlep, or tush?  They all come from Yiddish words! Bagel means ring, nosh means to snack, kvell means to be very proud, schlep means to carry or drag along, and tush comes from the word meaning “under” as in your tuchas or tush!

Recipe printed in the cookbook, Entree to Judaism for Families.