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Passover Cake

Ilse’s Passover Mocha Nut Cake or Simply Ilse’s Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 - 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1.5 hours
  • Yield: 8 - 12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Jewish


Passover mocha nut cake isn’t just for Passover. Alex and Zoe often requested it for their birthdays.  Try this delicious walnut cake with the best, to die for, mocha frosting ever!


  • 8 large eggs separated with the whites in your mixing bowl. Yolks in another.
  • 2 c finely ground walnuts
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 t almond extract
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c matzo meal

Mocha Frosting
(I do this recipe plus 50% more. You could also double it and then eat the rest with your fingers. Doubled is just a bit too much for this cake!)

  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 envelope Swiss Miss or hot cocoa mix
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 23T of coffee (from a cup of brewed coffee)


  • Whip egg whites until softly whipped and then add 1/2 c sugar slowly to make a very thick bowl of stiffly beaten egg whites.
  • Beat egg yolks with whisk until very thick and lemony. Stir in remaining 1/2 c of sugar.
  • Add nuts, vanilla and almond extracts, and matzo meal.
  • Fold in egg whites.
  • Using a spatula scrape into a parchment lined 9” springform pan. Bake at 375 anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Insert skewer to check for doneness. It should be clean or with very few crumbs clinging to it. You do not want it to over bake or it will become dry.
  • Cake will probably rise above pan. Cool on a rack. It will fall and actually look quite ugly. That is OK because now you get to make this most delicious frosting.

Mocha Frosting

  • Beat frosting ingredients well in a mixer.
  • When cake is cool, slice through middle horizontally and create 2 layers.
  • Spread the bottom layer with frosting.
  • Carefully replace top half and then frost the entire cake. This is a great birthday cake, not to mention a very special Passover cake. Apparently it is also a great cake to attract future husbands, too!


I use a 9” springform pan but Ilse used a 10”. I prefer it taller and I also think it stays more moist this way. Keep in mind this is my interpretation of what you see on the above paper.

Matzo meal is not gluten free though I believe many gluten free flours would work in place of matzo meal.