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Passover Chocolate Cake

You’ll never need another Passover chocolate cake after trying this one!  If gluten free you need this cake. It is moist, light, fluffy, and has a perfect crumb.  I cannot say enough good things about it!

three slices of gluten Free Passover Chocolate Cake on white plates

There is nothing like finding the perfect recipe.  It’s pretty much a miracle to find the perfect Passover cake recipe.  

Well get ready to thank your lucky stars because this is the most moist, lightest, and fluffiest chocolate cake I’ve ever had.  

Seriously, it’s flavor is so good I feel guilty eating it on Passover!  

It feels like I’m eating a really good regular chocolate cake… I think it’s fair to describe “sinfully good!”  It is so good it feels wrong.  

I seriously felt like I wasn’t keeping Pesach by eating it.   

The best part?  Not only is it dairy free, but it is totally gluten free.  

So, if you have Celiac disease, you can make it year-round and no one will be the wiser that it doesn’t have one speck of flour in it.  

It doesn’t require any special ingredients except potato starch which is pretty cheap.

One of my favorite things about this cake is the top.  Just look at that thin flaky layer!

It gives the cake so much character and looks very pretty.  

Even better, it looks beautiful when dusted with powdered sugar.

Another tasty Passover chocolate dessert are my Passover chocolate crepes.

Can you use baking powder on Passover?

Absolutely! As long as the box is marked kosher for Passover with a “P” next to the kosher symbol.

I get this question a lot because of the fact that it is a leavener. The truth is though, while laws regarding Passover are complex, the focus is on wheat flour rather than the leavener itself.

In fact, the there wasn’t anything to leaven bread in ancient times except wild yeast.

So, the bread they were making was something of a sour dough bread. This is the reason it took so long to rise.

DRY VS LIQUID MEASURING CUP

Ever wonder why measuring spoons often come with a set of measuring cups?  I used to.  I didn’t see why we needed a set when we could have one large measuring cup.

After a quick search, I had my answer.  I discovered that the large measuring cup is used for liquids, whereas the set is used for dry ingredients.

As it turns out, if you try to measure dry ingredients with a liquid cup, the measurements get messed up. 

First, you pour the cocoa in, then you shake it around to get it level, and then you add more. 

By shaking it, you are causing the powder to settle, and when you add more, you end up using more than called for.

HOW TO MEASURE DRY INGREDIENTS

Using a dry measuring cup, scoop ingredients from the bag or spoon them into the cup. 

Next, level off the ingredient by removing the excess with an upside-down butter knife.

The one exception to this is brown sugar. 

Both light and dark brown sugar should be packed down and then any excess should be scraped off as well.

WHICH TYPE OF OIL TO USE

I use neutral oils.  However, if preferred, a stronger flavored, like coconut oil, can be used.

Understanding Sugar

Sugar may seem very basic if you’ve baked before, but I’ve been asked about it before, so I’m explaining.

There are many different types of sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, and demerara sugar.

When a recipe – any recipe, not just mine – says “sugar” without specifying anything else, it is regular white sugar.

White Sugar

White sugar (sometimes called granulated sugar, table sugar, or white granulated sugar) is made of either beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process.

It is the easiest to find and most commonly used.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it.

It is commonly used in chocolate chip cookie recipes, and it’s rare for a recipe that calls for brown sugar not to also call for white sugar as well.

When a recipe calls for “brown sugar” but doesn’t specify what type (light or dark), it is referring to light brown sugar.

In my recipes, you can use whatever type of brown sugar you have on hand whether it is dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, or demerara sugar – which is very common in Israel.

Just keep in mind that the flavor and color will be slightly different depending on what you choose to use.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is better known as “raw sugar”. But, despite this name, the sugar is not really “raw.”

Instead, it’s partially refined sugar that retains some of the original molasses.

The term “raw sugar” may also give off the impression that it is somehow healthier.

In reality, turbinado sugar is nutritionally similar to white sugar.

Demerara Sugar

Demerara sugar is very popular in Israel and is especially delicious in tea but is also used for baking.

Unlike white sugar, demerara sugar undergoes minimal processing and retains some vitamins and mineral.

However, it is still not much healthier than white sugar.

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar is not very common in the States. However, it is common in Israel and parts of Europe.

This is sugar that sat for an extended period of time with vanilla beans, giving it a vanilla flavor.

Caster Sugar

This type of sugar is common in the United Kingdom.

It has a finer grain than white (granulated) sugar and larger than powdered sugar.

Caster sugar is often called for in recipes for delicate baked goods like meringues, souffles, and sponge cakes.

You can use a 1:1 conversion rate between caster sugar and white (granulated) sugar.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar, sometimes known as confectioners’ sugar, is a sugar with a powdered texture.

This sugar is rarely, if ever, used for baking. Instead, it is used for dusting desserts and making frosting and icings.

In some countries, you can also find powdered vanilla sugar. It is made the exact same way regular vanilla sugar is made. However, the sugar used is powdered instead of granulated.

Vanilla Extract vs Vanilla sugar

In my recipes, I don’t specify what kind of vanilla to use.

The reason for this is that in the States, vanilla extract is exclusively used. Meanwhile in Israel, along with many European countries, vanilla sugar is common.

In most, if not all recipes, both vanilla extract and vanilla sugar can be used.

In recipes where vanilla sugar can be used instead of extract, you can replace them 1:1.

DO EGGS NEED TO BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

The short answer is “no”.  While a side-by-side comparison shows that baking with eggs at room temperature makes a better crumb, it’s not otherwise noticeable.

What are Eggs used for?

Eggs do three things in most recipes: they help bind the ingredients together, act as a mild leavening agent, and they add moisture.

EGG FREE OPTION

Eggs can be substituted with 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce per egg.  This means for recipes calling for 2 eggs, you’d need 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.

The reason applesauce makes a good binder is that it’s high in pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch in fruits and berries that acts as a thickening agent and stabilizer in food.

This happens when combined with sugar and acid (if the fruit or berry isn’t naturally acidic).

Just keep in mind that it may change the flavor slightly.

ARE EGGS DAIRY?

No, eggs are not dairy.  Dairy is milk and any food products made from milk, including cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. 

So, while eggs are an animal product, they are not dairy. In fact, eggs fall under the protein food group.

CAN I USE BAKING SODA INSTEAD?

I always recommend following a recipe as it is written. However, if you only have baking soda on hand, you can use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

BAKING POWDER VS BAKING SODA

I’ve had a number of comments asking me questions about baking soda and baking powder. 

I’ve also noticed that if the wrong one is used, things don’t come out as they should. 

Using baking soda instead of baking powder can give your recipe a terrible metallic taste, while using baking powder instead of baking soda leaves your baked goods looking flat.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it helps things rise.  It does this by creating carbon dioxide when it reacts to an acid, such as cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar. 

When the carbon dioxide is released, it causes the familiar texture and crumb in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods.

Baking soda works well with sourdough because sourdough is acidic.  When combined, it makes a lighter product with a less acidic taste, since baking soda is alkaline.

A good rule of thumb is to use around 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour.

BAKING POWDER

Baking powder is also a leavening agent and it’s a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch.

Most baking powder sold is double-acting. This means that the leavening occurs in two steps.

The first time it’s activated is when baking powder gets wet, which is why you cannot prepare some batters ahead of time to bake later.

The second time is when the baking powder is exposed to heat.  This happens when the batter is being baked or fried.

Since baking powder already contains an acid, it’s most often used when a recipe does not call for an additional acidic ingredient or too little of one.

A good rule of thumb is to use around 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of flour.

WHY SOME RECIPES CALL FOR BOTH

Some recipes call for both baking powder and baking soda when the carbon dioxide created from the acid and baking soda is not enough to leaven the volume of batter in the recipe.  

Too much baking soda gives a terrible metallic taste, so baking powder is added to give it more lift.

WHICH ONE IS STRONGER?

You may have already guessed the answer since baking soda is used to make baking powder, and you need more baking powder per cup of flour. But I’ll tell you anyway.

Baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder.  That’s why you will more often than not see recipes that only call for baking soda rather than recipes that only call for baking powder.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is good indefinitely past its best by date, although it can lose potency over time.  A rule of thumb is two years for an unopened package and six months for an opened package.   

However, to be honest, I’ve used very old baking soda with good results.

BAKING POWDER

Like baking soda, baking powder is good indefinitely past its best by date, and can lose its potency over time.  For both opened and unopened, it’s ideal to use it within nine months to a year.

While storing it, make sure to keep it in a dry place and away from humidity.

HOW TO TEST IF IT’S STILL GOOD

BAKING POWDER

To test baking powder, pour 3 tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and stir. If the baking powder is good to use, it should fizz a little.

BAKING SODA

To test baking soda, pour 3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and stir.  The mixture should rapidly bubble if the soda is fresh.

Why use coffee?

Coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor in baked goods. In fact, when I was making my chocolate muffins, their flavor tasted flat until I added coffee to the recipe.

There are two reasons for this: First, coffee helps enrich the chocolate flavor.  Second, the heat from the water helps bloom the cocoa. 

Do you taste the coffee?

No.  The coffee is just enough to really bring out the rich chocolate flavor but not enough to taste like mocha.

How to Make Black Coffee

Usually it is 1 teaspoon of instant coffee per cup of hot water.

Can Children have this since there is coffee in it?

All over the world children generally do not have coffee because it isn’t good for them.  Oddly, they are allowed to have soda drinks and energy drinks which is worse, but that is another topic.

In the case of this recipe, the small amount of coffee as part of a whole cake is not enough to be harmful. 

However, if you still would like to leave it out, you can simply use two cups of hot water instead.

Yield: 12 servings

Passover Chocolate Cake

three slices of gluten Free Passover Chocolate Cake on white plates

Gluten free and dairy free chocolate cake that is incredibly most, light, and fully!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ white sugar (395 grams)
  • ¾ cup potato starch (115 grams)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (50 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup oil (120 milliliters)
  • ½ cup black coffee or water (120 milliliters)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C.
  2. Whisk together sugar, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs, oil, and black coffee or water. Mix until well combined. It will seem very liquidy but it's fine.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to pour batter into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked through the middle.
  6. Remove and let cool completely before cutting.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 58gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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MaxS.

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Potato starch and cocoa powder only? No matzah meal or matzah cake meal?

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Right.

Simone

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

What is the quantity cocoa it says 1/2 but what?

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Wow thanks for the catch! I guess everyone else who made it measured in grams. I've corrected it to show that it was supposed to be 1/2 cup.

Tamara

Sunday 5th of April 2020

Does this freeze nicely?

ElissaBeth

Sunday 5th of April 2020

I don't see why it wouldn't but I've never tried it myself.

Pantea

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Can you use a springform pan for this? Will it release once it's cool?

ElissaBeth

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Spring-form pans really should only be used for cheese cake since it has a crust to help prevent leaking. Technically you can use a spring form pan but it will leak. What I like to do with these types of cake is to use a regular round pan, spray it with oil, and place parchment paper on the bottom (which I cut to size).

Monday 16th of March 2020

This is not for passover since it includes baking powder

ElissaBeth

Monday 16th of March 2020

I'm not sure where you got the idea that baking powder is not kosher for Passover since it absolutely is. All you have to do is make sure that the container is marked kosher for Passover.

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