An easy, elegant Passover Seder dessert.

By Katherine Martinelli
Katherine Martinelli

Passover is a beautiful and meaningful holiday, but it can pose certain challenges when it comes to preparing a special meal for the occasion. No leavened bread is consumed in order to remind us that when the Jews escaped slavery in Egypt they didn't have time to let their bread rise. So instead of challah, we eat matzo (large flat crackers that are made in 18 minutes or less) and recipes must not include flour. As a result, traditional Passover desserts are often cloying coconut macaroons or heavy brownies made with matzo meal instead of flour.

I'll show you how to make an easy chocolate torte that proves that you don't need to sacrifice anything to serve an outstanding dessert at your Passover feast. Instead of flour, the recipe calls for ground almonds or almond meal, and the result is divine. It is chocolatey enough for the biggest chocoholic, and yet somehow not too sweet (I'm not a huge chocolate person but I love this recipe). As many reviewers point out, this is a dessert that would be welcome any time of year and gets big results with just a few ingredients (which you likely have in your pantry).

My kids loved helping me make this torte and have requested that it make a regular appearance at the end of our Passover Seder. I'm looking forward to starting this new tradition with them.

Katherine Martinelli

Get the recipe for Passover Chocolate Torte

Tips and Variations

Butter vs. margarine. The recipe calls for margarine to keep it pareve (which means neutral in kosher cooking — i.e. it can be served with meat or dairy). But if that's not a concern you can use unsalted butter as I did, which works great.

Go nuts. The original recipe calls for ground almonds, but some reviewers who didn't grind their almonds finely enough didn't love the texture. For foolproof results, use store-bought almond flour, which will save you time and work perfectly.

Keep baking. Some reviewers mentioned that they were sure the cake was done before the allotted time and so took it out early, only to cut into it and realize it was underdone. So even if you think the torte looks done halfway through, just cover it with foil and carry on. (As a note, I forgot to cover mine with foil and it was fine.)

To flip or not to flip. Though the recipe says to invert the cake for serving, I actually preferred the cracked, textured top over the cakey looking bottom so chose not to flip it over. Take your pick.

Chocolate, simplified. If you don't feel like chopping 8 ounces of chocolate, do as I did and use chocolate chips instead. Also, rather than melt the chocolate on the stovetop, you can also do it in the microwave. Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat 45 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it's smooth. More: See how to melt chocolate three easy ways.

Toppings. Although the cake is divine on its own, if you want to dress it up (or cover up any cracks), you can sprinkle confectioners sugar over and top with fresh berries. Or, do as a few reviewers suggested and top it with decadent Satiny Chocolate Glaze.

Cool it. As tempting as it is to dive right into this cake, for best results follow the directions and allow it to cool before cutting. To get a super clean cut (and to get a head start on your holiday preparations) refrigerate it overnight (some reviewers even preferred the taste after the cake chilled).

More Passover Dessert Recipes to Try

If you're looking for some other solid Passover dessert recipes to try, then check out these well-reviewed options.

Passover Chocolate Mandelbrot

Sort of like Jewish biscotti, Mandelbrot is delicious year-round. But this recipe makes the cookie kosher for Passover by using matzo cake meal in place of flour. According to Swigdor, "This tastes so much better than the store bought versions I grew up with. Very excited to have a new Passover staple."

Coconut Macaroons II

Not to be confused with brightly colored French macarons, coconut macaroons — which are traditional for Passover — are made with just a few ingredients and no flour substitutes. Even folks like Rebecca Novakovich Gray who are coconut averse rave about these macaroons: "I've been using this recipe for years," she says. "I must say that I can't stand coconut…but I LOVE these cookies!" Be sure to read through the reviews to get some extra pointers to make this recipe flawless.

Passover Sponge Cake

Light and airy sponge cakes are another classic way to end a Passover meal. This one, made with matzo cake meal and potato starch, has a pleasant citrus flavor from orange zest and juice. As SUSAN1961 comments, "This is the first sponge cake that I have made that has actually come out perfect! Great directions easy to follow easy to make. Wonderful taste. Best sponge cake I've ever had."

Coconut Flour Chocolate Brownies

This isn't specifically a Passover recipe, but since it uses coconut flour and no chametz it fits the bill — and is even gluten and dairy free as well. Reviewers rave about how easy these are to make and how well they turn out. Pcorathers says, "These brownies are delicious! I loved the slight coconut taste."

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