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The alternative way to bake on Passover

Chocolate Idiot CakeLast year we told you all about quinoa and amaranth, grain-like seeds which are kosher for Passover and perfect for salads, warm breakfast cereals, or even as a base for ladling a warm tagine or stew.

But this year we thought we’d home in on the real hardship: baking. After all, for dinner there’s always roast chicken and mashed potatoes on standby. But baking without flour? Now that’s hard!

Before we get to our alternative Passover baking ingredients, here’s a tip that may seem obvious to some, but unheard of by others – gluten free baking. We found one blog, Elana’s Pantry, that’s packed with amazing goodies (think cupcakes, cookies, pies) that are nearly all chametz and kitniyot free. And the upshot is that these are healthier, lower carb recipes, so it’s truly a win-win.

Below are some workarounds for Passover baking. And make sure to check out Marcy Goldman’s tips for stocking up the Passover pantry.

Almond Flour: The base, along with coconut flour, for many gluten free recipes. And you’re getting loads of protein too! Try these Ginger Cookies or Vanilla Raspberry Torte from Elana’s Pantry.

Chestnut Flour*: Commonly used in Tuscany for a local specialty called “Castagnaccio”, chestnuts have a unique meaty yet sweet flavor, which means their flour is perfect for baking. Some recipes to try are a Lemon Chestnut Cake with Creme Fraiche and Mario Batali’s Chestnut Crepes with Ricotta.

Tapioca* (Starch) or Cassava Flour*: We have to admit we haven’t had much luck with this ingredient. Typically in recipes it’s mixed with rice flour, which means it’s off limits for non-kitniyot eaters. If you know of any Passover “safe” recipes using tapioca, do let us know!

Vanilla Beans: Don’t like the flavor of imitation extract? Simply buy whole vanilla pods and scrape out the moist seeds.

Flourless Recipes: For those who aren’t interested in messing around with substitutes, simply skip the flour altogether. There’s our favorite – David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Idiot Cake (pictured above). Four ingredients. Moist, dense, chocolatey perfection. And this year we’re also trying Heidi Swanson’s Chocolate Puddle Cookies. Again, six simple ingredients. No mussin’, no fussin’.

Puddings, creams and custards also fall into this category, perfect for serving with warm roasted fruit or poached pears.

Do you have any secret Passover ingredients? Do share!

*Note: some rabbis consider these items kitniyot.

9 thoughts on “The alternative way to bake on Passover

  1. Durelvy

    I was looking at purchasing an extra box of potato starch this Passover to use for gluten-free baking for friends, but so far I’ve not found a single brand that will state it’s Kosher for Passover. (BTW, the Gefen noodles are based on potato starch and state explicitly non-Gebrokst, but that only means that they’re made consistent with a tradition that does not believe in eating products made from matzoh that has been broken, not that it wasn’t produced in the same facility as matzoh/wheat products. OTOH, I’m not sure that Gefen produces matzoh or matzoh-based products in the first place.)

  2. Flavius

    There definitely are Kosher for Passover (KP) potato starches. There is also a co. that makes matzah-like crackers from poatto starch that is KP. Depending on how observant you are though, matzah made from potatoes is not something you can say the hamotzi over, you need something from one of the 6 grains. I make my own matzah from GF oats! It’s a lot cheaper than buying the imported GF matzah at $30/lb. Grind the oats in a coffee mill, sift out the bran, and mix it with just enough water so that it holds together and can be rolled as thinly as possible. Poke some holes and bake!

  3. Sandra

    I made my own vanilla essence by breaking a vanilla bean into two or three pieces, putting them into a small glass jar and adding brandy. In this way, I created a more natural vanilla essence than the imitaton vanilla essences at the supermarket. I looked at the ingredients of the artificial stuff and saw that it was alcohol based. Brandy works well as the alcohol base.

  4. Nano

    I use beaten eggs with about a teaspoon each of water and potato starch which is beaten together well with a fork or whisk to get the lumps out. When pan fried in coconut oil it comes out stretchy like a crepe or blintz wrapper. It tastes good with raspberry jam.

  5. Nano

    My daughter and I made lemon bars with a cookie like base of Vitamix ground raw almonds, coconut sugar, a couple of tablespoons of gluten free flour and coconut oil. For the top we used the juice of three big lemons and a lime, coconut sugar and three eggs. It came out great! We topped it with sifted powdered sugar. I just realized I can make them for Passover if I can find Passover coconut sugar and coconut flour to use instead of the gluten free flour.

  6. Nano

    I found information about Passover coconut products on this site, specifics follow:

    Misc. Passover Product Information

    This list was prepared by Arlene Mathes-Scharf
    The source of the information is listed with the information.
    This information is for Passover 2015.
    These products without certification should be purchased before Passover.
    (list updated March 27, 2015).

    Are the following products usable for Passover without Passover certification?


    Coconut Oil- Spectrum Organic Virgin/Crude Coconut Oil (unrefined) -yes (plain OU)
    Coconut Flour
    Coconut Secrets (Star-K) usable for Passover

    Coconut, shredded: Sweetened or flavored requires Passover certification.
    If it is not sweetened or flavored, and contains no other ingredients, it is acceptable without Passover certification.(cRc)
    Coconut Secret aminos, sap, sugar plain Star-K acceptable for Passover

  7. Rocky Mountain Jew

    These ideas and recipes sound awesome. We might test the lemon bars as it gets closer to the holiday.


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