two coast kitchen

food, photos, and fantastic adventures

Bessie’s Passover Sponge Cake


Bessie's Passover Sponge Cake
Every year, my mom’s side of the family gets together for a big Passover seder. On average, there are 50 family members that attend, and it turns into a big holiday/family reunion. We all pitch in and spend Friday and Saturday making different dishes for the seder. A while back, the family put together a cookbook of all the family recipes, including photos that date back to the 1920’s, and illustrations by my cousin Mark.
Wolsk Family Cookbook
Bessie is standing on the far right. This cover photo was from 1922. Bessie stands with her two brothers and her parents. Bessie was the matriarch of the family by the time I was old enough to remember Passovers. She was an amazing lady, and is always dearly missed during our family seders.
sponge cake
The past three or four years, I have taken over the task of baking the sponge cake. We still use Bessie’s exact recipe for it has never failed us and is the perfect ending to our seder. The recipe is simple to put together and a delicious kosher treat for your seder, during passover week, and really, anytime. You just have to get your hands on two unique ingredients: matzoh meal and potato starch, and you are good to go!
sponge cake pans
You can find really long loaf pans (even longer than the pan on the left) to bake this as one loaf. Or divide it into two pans. Remember to cut parchment paper so it lays flat on the bottom as seen above.
Separate your eggs.
sponge cake
Egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar. Whisk well.
sponge cake
Sift in matzoh meal and potato starch. Whisk to combine.
Beat eggs in stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) with whisk attachment to stiff peaks.
sponge cake
Stiff peaks!
sponge cake
Fold in egg whites gently.
Batter ready to go!
I forgot to take photos after it baked while it was still in loaf form, but I do have photos of the final product. And really that’s the reason we are all here.

If you are doing any traveling for your seder you can bake the sponge cake ahead of time, wrap it up in plastic wrap, and will still stay fresh for your meal a few days later.

Bessie’s Passover Sponge Cake

Makes one extra long loaf pan or two regular loaf pans

12 eggs
1 cup matzoh meal
1/4 cut potato starch
2 cups sugar
rind and juice of one lemon

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Trace the bottom of loaf pan(s) on parchment paper and cut out so the piece of parchment paper fits exactly on the bottom of the loaf pan.

Separate egg yolks and whites, putting the yolks into a large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, and rind to egg yolks and mix well.

Sift cake meal and potato starch into yolk mixture, mix until combined.

Beat egg whites with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter gently, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.

Pour batter into loaf pans. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes then cool on a cooling rack until completely cool. If not eating that day, wrap well in plastic wrap.

Best served with strawberries and whipped cream.

Wolsk family cookbook


6 thoughts on “Bessie’s Passover Sponge Cake

  1. That’s so cute that they put together a cookbook!! I would love to do that one day!! That cake looks delicious as well!

  2. Happy Easter!:)

  3. Helpful info. Fortunate me I discovered your site by chance, and I am surprised why this twist of fate did not took
    place in advance! I bookmarked it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s