Recipe for Passover walnut-wine cake

Passover wine cake
Passover wine cake(Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe)

Makes one 10-inch cake

Framingham resident Janice Gould sent a Passover wine cake to The Recipe Box Project (, a collection of readers’ dishes. Her confection uses a combination of cake meal (finely ground matzo) and potato starch.Gould, who grew up in Mattapan, writes that her mother, Ethel Berger, who married in 1939 and learned to cook from a kindly neighbor, made walnut-wine cake at Passover. “My dad and I loved this dessert,” she writes.

1cup Passover cake meal
½cup potato starch
½teaspoon ground cinnamon
8extra-large eggs, separated, at room
cups sugar
1teaspoon lemon juice
1cup walnuts, finely chopped
½cup red Passover wine

1. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a 10-inch tube pan (do not grease).


2. In a bowl, whisk together the cake meal, potato starch, and cinnamon.

3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites for about 2 minutes, or until they are foamy. Add the lemon juice. Increase the speed to medium-high. Gradually add ½ cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat about 45 seconds. Continue beating for 30 seconds longer, until they form soft peaks. Remove the whites from the mixer bowl.

4. Without rinsing the mixer bowl, add the egg yolks. Beat well for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating about 2 more minutes, or until the eggs are thick and light colored.

5. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, gradually blend in the wine. When it is incorporated, gradually add the cake meal mixture just until combined.

6. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and use a large metal spoon to fold in ⅓ of the egg whites. Repeat two more times until no white patches show in the batter. Fold in the nuts.

7. Bake the cake on the lower shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Turn the cake upside down onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.


8. Slide a knife between the cake and the pan to release it around the edges and the center tube. Turn out onto a cake plate and serve with fresh berries. Janice Gould. Adapted from Ethel Berger