Selma Frishling’s Passover Nut Cake

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

When Selma Frishling, a retired school teacher, was growing up, Passover cake came around once a year, and Selma was ready. “My mother was very patient. I did whatever she’d let me do when she made this cake,” Frishling recalls. “We always ate it plain, without filling or frosting, accompanied by a cup of tea.”

Serves8 to 10

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, low-fat, peanut free


Taste and Texturenutty, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishcake


  • 12 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • Juice and grated zest of 3 lemons
  • ¾ cup matzoh meal
  • 4 cups ground walnuts (about 1 pound shelled nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 × 9-inch cake pan.

In a nonreactive large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and continue beating until thick and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Combine the matzoh meal, ground walnuts, and cinnamon. Fold them into the mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is golden and firm, 50 to 60 minutes.



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