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Best Orange Passover Sponge Cake

This Orange Passover Sponge Cake recipe is one of those rare Passover desserts that I’d eat any time of year. Citrusy, bright, and flour-free, it is also the perfect dessert for your Seder table.

low angle shot of the orange sponge cake with a slice removed. It is topped with whipped cream, blueberries, and orange slices.

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This easy kosher for Passover sponge cake recipe is light, airy, and flavorful. It contains just a few basic ingredients, and it is even gluten free!

The classic Passover sponge cake is sadly missunderstood. Sure it can be flabby and uninteresting. But a well-made sponge cake is delicious, delicate, fluffy, and moist all at the same time.

Almond flour and potato starch make a sturdy but still tender base. A splash of orange juice brightens up the flavor. I love to top this Passover sponge cake with strawberries, blueberries, or other fresh fruit and a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream.

Low angle shot of a slice of the sponge cake on a white plate with the whole cake (missing a slice) in the background.

What is the difference between sponge cake and normal cake?

A “normal” cake is contains butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda.

A sponge cake is contains oil, sugar, flour (or, as in this case, a starch like potato starch), whipped eggs, and sometimes a chemical leavening ingredient, as well.

I use kosher-for-Passover baking powder in my sponge cake. You might wonder how baking powder, a leavening agent, can be kosher for Passover. As with everything, there are differing opinions on this, but foods that are leavened by fermentation (yeast) are chametz. Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent and is therefore not prohibited. Think about it: You can use whipped egg whites as a leavener, too. I use Gefen baking powder, which is cornstarch-free (unlike some other brands that use cornstarch as a carrier) and kosher for Passover.

The whipped eggs keep the cake moist and provide structure. The end result is a sponge-like texture.

FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF INGREDIENTS WITH QUANTITIES AND DETAILED PREPARATION AND COOKING INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD THAT APPEARS AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, CHECK OUT THE USEFUL INFORMATION I’VE INCLUDED IN THE POST BEFORE THE RECIPE CARD.

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make this passover sponge cake.

What ingredients do you need to make this Passover orange cake?

The ingredients for this basic sponge cake are quite simple. Here is everything you need:

How do you make it?

Making this basic sponge cake is simple. Here are the key steps:

  1. Preheat the oven and grease the pan.
  2. Mix the eggs with sugar, milk, orange juice, andoil, potato starch, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake.

What makes this a kosher for Passover sponge cake?

Just about any basic sponge cake is free of wheat flour. I make this particular Passover sponge cake with potato starch and almond flour. Both almonds and potato starch are generally widely accepted as “kosher for Passover.”

I like to use Gefen potato starch.

I love the almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill.

Is there a substitute for potato starch?

If you are making this for Passover and plan to share it with others, you’ll obviously want to stick to ingredients that are kosher for Passover. Potato starch is always safe in this regard. But it’s not the only starch that will work in this cake.

Tapioca starch is another option that will work with the recipe. Many people consider tapioca flour or tapioca starch to be kosher for Passover, but you won’t likely find any with a “kosher for Passover” label.

Cornstarch is a suitable substitute for potato starch, but corn is more controversial since many Jews do not consider corn kosher for Passover. If you’re not making this cake for Passover, however, cornstarch will work just fine as a substitute.

Low angle shot of the whole cake minus one slice. The cake as whipped cream, blueberries, and orange slices on top.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Orange Sponge Cake

Low angle shot of the orange sponge cake with a slice removed.

This simple orange sponge cake is light, moist, and full of citrus flavor. It's perfect for Passover, but delicious any time of year.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • Oil for preparing the pan
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup oil (use any neutral-flavored oil)
  • 2 cups potato starch (see note for substitutions)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon orange zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray or brush the inside of a 9-inch round baking pan with oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar and eggs. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is foamy and well combined. While mixing on medium-low speed, gradually add the milk, orange juice, and oil, mixing until they are all incorporated.
  3. Whisk the almond flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt, and orange zest into the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into
    the center comes out clean.

Notes

You can substitute cornstarch or tapioca starch for the potato starch (just be careful with substitutions if making for Passover.)

Nutrition Information

Yield

10

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 379Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 75mgSodium 260mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 4gSugar 18gProtein 8g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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Jewish Recipes

Jewish recipes are the heart of every Jewish holiday celebration. There’s a special dish (or five!) for every occasion, from the high holidays to Shabbat dinners! Here are my favorite Jewish recipes for the holidays or any day.

By on February 28th, 2021

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

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