Grandma Annie Schiff’s Passover Sponge Cake

Author: Jennifer Schiff Berg & Ivy Schiff Berchuck

This recipe for a lemon infused Passover sponge cake came from
Jennifer’s paternal grandmother and Ivy’s mother-in-law, Annie Schiff. Jennifer and Ivy remember Annie as being a talented and prolific cook who was heavily influenced by current cooking trends. Annie was incapable of cooking for less than an army-sized group of people. On Passover she would make this sponge cake many times over and deliver one to each family in her neighborhood. When she was little, Jenny used to stand next to Annie as she made the sponge cake and practice the ritual of folding the egg whites into a small bowl. Every year Jenny would hope that she would be given real egg whites to work with. Now that she’s a grown-up, Jenny uses real egg whites to make this cake.


9 eggs (separate 7 and keep 2 whole)
1 cups sugar for yolks
1/4 cup sugar for whites

1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup matzah meal

Juice and grated rind of half lemon
Grated rind from one orange
1/8 tsp salt in egg whites


  1. Beat 7 egg whites with salt until foamy. Then slowly add 1/4 cup  sugar.  Beat until you have stiff, but NOT dry peaks
  2. Beat egg yolks and two whole eggs with sugar until very thick then add lemon juice and grated rinds.
  3. Triple soft matzah meal and potato starch.
  4. Slowly add sifted dry ingredients to the beaten egg hold mixture. Blend carefully but do not over mix.
  5. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.  Pour into a tube pan with a removable bottom.
  6. Bake in a preheated 325 oven for an hour.  Cake is ready when a toothpick comes out dry.
  7. Invert pan on a rack to cool completely.
  8. Remove bottom and gently tap cake put of pan
  9. Serve with whipped cream, strawberries and dust with powdered sugar.
  10. שמח חג