Seder Chocolate (Matzah) Cake

Seder Chocolate Cake

This is our annual Seder dessert, based on Passover Matzo-Layer Cake, from Josephine Levy Bacon’s Jewish Cooking from Around the World (1986).

Sometime back there was a flurry of excitement over revelation by the Royal Baker of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite chocolate cake, a refrigerator cake known as Chocolate Biscuit Cake. I was as interested as the next person in learning about this vaunted chocolate cake and made it at home for my family. Only later, I realised that the recipe is very similar to our own familiar Seder Chocolate Cake, which I am sharing here. Who knew?


1/4 cup sugar

4 oz bakers chocolate

2 T cocoa

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coffee (cooled) (may substitute water)

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup Halva, crumbled or cut into small pieces

1/2 cup Seder Wine (sweet)

2 Tablespoons potato starch

2 Tablespoons water

6 Square Matzot

Extra (1 ounce) halva for decoration

Optional: fresh berries

A slice of cake


1. Stir together over low heat the sugar, chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, coffee, and continue stirring until it comes to a boil.

2. Add vegan butter, halva and wine and stir until it again comes to a boil, then remove the pot from the burner.

3. Mix potato starch and water, and stir into the pot.

4. Return the pot to the burner over low heat, stirring approximately 8 – 10 minutes until it thickens and remove the pot from the burner and allow to cool.

5. To assemble the cake, place the first Matzah on the cake platter and spread an even layer of the chocolate mixture over the Matzah, and repeat in turn for all 6 Matzot, ending with a layer of chocolate.

6. Decorate the cake with remaining halva.

7. Chill opportunity several hours or overnight before serving.

8. Optional: In addition to the halva, it is nice to decorate the cake with fresh raspberries, strawberries or blueberries before serving.

Published by skfinston

Born February 21, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan; enjoying 2nd Middle Age in Zichron Yaakov, Israel. After a misspent youth in the US Foreign Service (postings in London, Tel Aviv and Manila), I moved to the Semi-private Sector, working for a leading trade association in Washington DC before launching my own company Finston Consulting in 2005. Over the last 15+ years I have worked with innovative companies ranging from Fortune-100 to start up, as well as NGOs, and governments, including service as a cleared advisor (Secret level) to the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative (IPR, Tariff/Trade Facilitation). As a graduate of the University of Michigan, my degrees include a Bachelors of Science (Philosophy, High Honors), Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy. After law school I clerked at the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit before joining the U.S. Foreign Service (TSI-CodeWord Clearance). I am a member of the Illinois and US Supreme Court Bar.

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