Passover Lemon Sponge Cake

By • March 29, 2012 4 Comments

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Author Notes: In my family every Passover my mother would bake her famous sponge cake. Throughout the year sponge cake can be made with flour, at Passover it cannot. My mother always made hers with potato starch (instead of flour), and she used extra large or even jumbo eggs to provide the leavening.

This is not an easy task, but somehow my mother’s cakes always stood tall and neither my sister nor I can remember her ever having one that deflated, a situation that has happened to most of us at one time or another.

Whereas some recipes for Passover sponge cakes call for matzo cake meal as well as potato starch, I prefer the amazingly light texture that results from a cake made with potato starch only.

The trick to making a good sponge cake is to beat as much air as possible into the separated eggs, folding them gently into the batter without overworking them and causing the whites to deflate.

Following in my mom’s footsteps I make this delicious Passover Lemon Sponge Cake every year. Some years it is higher than others, but it is always a sweet lemony and light finish to our Seder meal.

Note: This recipe also qualifies as a gluten free cake since there is no flour in it.
dinner at sheila's


Serves 10-12

  • 8 extra large or jumbo eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups extra fine sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup potato starch, sifted
  • dashes of salt
  1. Separate 7 of the eggs.
  2. Beat the 7 yolks and the one whole egg until frothy with an electric mixer.
  3. Gradually add the sifted sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest, beating constantly and thoroughly.
  4. Gradually add the sifted potato starch stirring constantly to ensure thorough blending.
  5. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff but not dry. Fold gently but thoroughly into the egg yolk mixture.
  6. Place in an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 55 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched gently with fingers near the center as well as the edges.
  7. Remove from oven and invert the pan over a bottle if your pan doesn't have little feet to stand on. Cool thoroughly before removing the cake carefully to your serving platter.
  8. If you like, offer some macerated fresh strawberries alongside when serving.

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