Vanilla-Citrus Sponge Cake (for Passover)
Passover is approaching, as is the scramble to come up with a dessert to bring to the Seder you’ve been invited to. Preferably a dessert that is not the flourless chocolate cake that you made last year. Try this recipe. This is a cross between a true sponge cake, a classic French genoise, and a chiffon cake with the essence of citrus. It is fantastic.
This is not my recipe, it is from Marcy Goldman’s cookbook: A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. I have only adapted it slightly. This is an incredibly easy cake to make and a real keeper, not just for all my Jewish friends looking for something to make on Passover, but for everyone, at any time of year, who wants a light fluffy vanilla-citrus sponge cake. I serve mine with simple sugared strawberries to compliment the lemon zest and fresh vanilla bean.
Vanilla-Citrus Sponge Cake
- 8 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup matzo cake meal
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Kosher for Passover coconut oil or unsalted Passover margarine, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds only
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 10-inch springform pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- The eggs must be at room temperature, not cold. Very important, using a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid, heat the bowl by filling it with very hot water. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, sift together the cake meal, potato starch, and 1/4 tsp salt.
- In another small bowl mix the lemon juice and melted coconut oil (or margarine if using). Set aside.
- Empty and dry the kitchen mixer bowl you have been warming. Add the eggs, sugar, seeds of the vanilla bean, 1/4 tsp. salt and lemon zest. Using the whisk attachment, beat on low to incorporate. Once mixed well, increase the speed to high and beat for 12 minutes. The batter should become voluminous.
- With the mixer on very low, add the potato starch and matzo cake meal mixture, mix minimally, taking care not to deflate the mixture too much (some deflation is impossible to avoid).
- With the mixer off, gently fold in the lemon juice and melted coconut oil.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently even the cake surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is set in the center or until it seems just firm when lightly touched. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
- When completely cool, dust generously with confectioners' sugar. Slice with a serrated knife and serve with fresh strawberries, sprinkled with sugar and a dash of orange juice. Note, that this cake is best served the day you make it.