Grandma's Passover Brownies

Author & Photographer: Claire Schultz

Passover means matzah, the bland, cracker-like unleavened bread that haunted my childhood. It also means the near-total avoidance of traditional baked goods and a complete reimagining of how to cook when you can’t use any leavening. It can get pretty grim out there, especially for someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, like me. It’s a time for creativity and experimentation, often with disastrous, brutally dry and coarse results.


Enter the Passover brownie. This is my grandmother’s recipe, immortalized in my preschool’s home-printed PTA cookbook, and it is the only thing my mom and I ever considered bringing to a seder. It’s a scientific marvel: four eggs and cake meal (basically finely pulverized matzah) work in place of flour or leavening, and the end result is dense, fudgy, and like no other brownie I’ve ever eaten. The original recipe is accompanied by my mother’s note: “Unlike most Passover desserts, these are actually so good, you’ll want to eat them year round!” It’s a bit corny, and I’m not sure I want to splurge on cake meal regularly, but it’s not wrong.

Servings: 16 brownies
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes



  • 7 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

  • ½ cup butter or margarine

  • 4 eggs

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 - 1 ⅓ cup sugar

  • 1 cup cake meal

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Whisk together the chocolate and butter on the stove over low heat until melted and well-combined, and let cool.

3. With a mixer, beat the eggs and salt together until thick, and then gradually beat in the sugar.

4. Blend in the chocolate mixture, then add the cake meal and beat until well blended.

5. Stir in the chopped nuts or chocolate chips, if you’re using them.

6. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish, and spread in the batter.

7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, and cut into squares while the brownies are still hot.

Melanie WangComment