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Passover Mandel Bread

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Passover Mandel Bread (Mandelbrot) is a is a simple to make, delicious, and dairy free. A great treat for the holiday.

Passover Mandel Bread on a white plate near a clear glass of milk on a white table

Passover Mandel Bread is a delicious snack or desert and is simple to make. Just mix the ingredients, place in the oven, slice, and you are done! While I don’t, some people may sprinkle with a little cinnamon as well.

Mandelbrot is the name in Yiddish and while it is translated to “almond bread” it is more like a cookie.

Mandelbrot is commonly made plain, with chocolate chips, and/or with sliced almonds. It can be made soft or more crunchy.

I always find it humorous when I see recipes for regular mandelbrot that don’t contain any almond flavoring or almonds. I mean, it IS called almond bread after all.

Note that the softer the dough, the more it will spread to the sides, so make sure to leave room in between the loaves.

Passover Mandel Bread is a great treat for the week of the holiday, especially when it can be difficult to find delicious treats to make. So enjoy!

If I can bake, anyone can

I am the type who hates paying more for something than I feel it’s worth and and loathe paying a lot for something I can bake at home.

So, paying a lot of money for a cake similar to one I can bake on my own just doesn’t work for me.

My problem was that I couldn’t really make a layer cake. I could make one in a 9″ x 13″ pan, but not one that could be used for a birthday or celebration.

For years, I tried, failed, and gave up. Then again, tried, failed and gave up.

It normally wasn’t the taste that was the problem, it was other things such as density or lopsidedness.

One day, I decided that no matter what, I would learn to make a decent looking cake (I wasn’t even aiming for good-looking, just decent).

One day, my daughter Elissa came into the kitchen during one of my “I will learn to do this” phases and stopped.

“You are NOT really measuring oil in the palm of your hand!”

I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I couldn’t be bothered to stop what I was doing to get the measuring spoons and I certainly know what a tablespoon of oil should look like…

“You can’t bake the way you cook,” she informed me (I often cook by “it looks right” or “it tastes right”, not by directions – which I often find people make unnecessarily complicated).

Finally, I decided OK, I am going to follow directions. I will measure properly and that will be it. So, I did.

The cake came out tasting really good, but it was really heavy.

I complained to Elissa.

“I followed the directions and even measured and look at it!”

We decided that she would try the recipe to see what was wrong (she is great at following exact measurements and was tired of my complaining).

I read the instructions to her (off a very highly reviewed recipe) and was very gratified when it came out heavy for her too. Ha!

She insisted we go over the instructions again and she also wanted to see the original recipe. I gladly showed her.

“You doubled the recipe,” she accused me. “Why?”

“Because I wanted a higher cake.”

“That is NOT considered following directions. The recipe is for two pans and you put double in each pan, so it couldn’t rise.”

Oh. I took back my “ha” and never did that again.

After a while, I finally gave in. Now, I follow directions, measure properly, and use the proper tools.

Not surprising, everything I bake comes out as it should (of course…as long as I don’t forget to remove from the oven…!).

Baking and dessert necessities for Passover

I like to make sure I can bake anything with very short notice.  To that end, I keep a variety of supplies and ingredients in the house that will allow me to do just that. 

I can’t tell you how many times I was glad to have whatever I needed within reach for the last minute visitor or for when one of my kids went to a friend or had a school event without much prior notice.

I have slowly collected things over the years as I needed them (or if I found a good sale) and like to keep more than one of the smaller items, in case I don’t want to wash dishes in the middle of baking.

My basic “equipment” includes:

  • a hand mixer (you probably don’t need a stand mixer for Passover)
  • a small scale
  • baking pans
  • mixing bowls (or just large bowls)
  • cookie sheets 
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cups
  • whisks
  • rubber spatulas (really good for when you don’t want to leave anything in the bowl)
  • baking (or parchment) paper

While you can certainly manage without the above (such as a whisk, where you can use a fork in a pinch), if you tend to do a lot of Passover baking, these are good to have around.

In addition to the equipment, there are several basic baking ingredients that are used regularly if you are going to want to bake and may be helpful to have at the beginning of the holiday.

Just make absolutely certain that they have a Kosher for Passover certification or don’t require one. When in doubt, ask an orthodox rabbi (there are also some orthodox organizations that post Passover information online).

Some of the items on this list, however, are not basic, but rather are only used for specific recipes. Regarding these, you might not want to invest in them in advance, but only if you need them.

Unless you have been making Passover at home and know which is which, you might want to plan ahead, at least until you get used to what your yearly baking needs are.

  • matzo cake meal
  • potato starch
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • salt
  • baking powder (leavens chemically, so it just needs to be certified Kosher for Passover)
  • baking soda (leavens chemically, so it just needs to be certified Kosher for Passover)
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • baking chocolate
  • chocolate chips
  • vanilla/vanilla sugar
  • oil
  • margarine or butter
  • eggs
  • extracts (real or imitation)
  • whipping cream (get non-dairy, for dairy free desserts)

Having other kosher for Passover spices in your pantry can also be helpful. Just make certain that everything is certified Kosher for Passover.

In addition, whipping cream, powdered pudding mix, and powdered sugar can allow you to be able to make a variety of fillings, frostings, and toppings.

Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to have toppings, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, and, if you can find them kosher for Passover, especially if you have kids, the oh-so-important container of sprinkles.

While some of these can easily be found in the average grocery store that carries kosher for Passover items for the holiday, stores that carry only kosher foods should have all or most of it.

I always save the leftover closed items for the following years, especially if they are not easy to find, and just pack them away in a suitable place.

Food on Passover

Torah observant Jews do not eat chametz (the fermented products of five grains: wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye).

In addition, Torah observant Ashkenazi Jews do not eat kitniyot (or kitniyos as pronunced in Ashkenazi Hebrew). These include: legumes, corn, rice, and similar that were deemed forbidden to eat by rabbis in the medieval period and are still not eaten today. Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews do not follow this tradition.

Many ovservant Ashkenazi Jews will not even eat the derivatives of these kitniyot, while others do (each family holds their own traditions regarding this).

Then, there are Ashkenazim who don’t eat “gebrochts”.

Gebrochts means “broken” in Yiddish – and in this case refers to matza that has absorbed liquid. Not eating gebrochts is observed by many in the Hasidic Jewish community and Ashkenazim who have taken on this tradition where they basically don’t mix anything wet with matza.

So, things like matzo sandwhiches, fried matzo, and even matzo balls are a no-no for them.

There is a joke that sums it all up:

On Passover, we should remember people who have little to eat on this holiday. They are called Ashkenazim.

Over the years, I have learned to adapt “normal” food for passover so that my family won’t complain about boring, tasteless, or repetitive meals.

I find that having good food and variety makes the week of Passover a very pleasant experience and I hope this recipe will help make yours just that!

Yield: 2 - 3 dozen pieces depending on width of slices

Passover Mandel Bread

Passover Mandel Bread on a white plate near a clear glass of milk on a white table

Delicious and easy to make dairy free almond bread (Mandelbrot in yiddish), kosher for Passover.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups matzo cake meal
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch
  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder **
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract (or imitation almond extract)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, dairy free (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (optional)


    1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
    2. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.
    3. Slowly add the oil while mixing until you have a Play-Doh like consistency that is not sticky or only very slightly sticky* (you may not need to use all the oil). If you have added too much oil, slowly add flour from the spare cup until you reach the Play-Doh consistency.
    4. If you are making using chocolate chips and/or almond slices, mix them in.
    5. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, shape two loaves about 3 inches wide and leave equal room between the sides of the baking sheet and between the loaves (the loaves will spread while baking) .
    6. Place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350° F and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a light golden brown.
    7. Remove from oven and slice to desired width (usually around 3/4" wide) , either horizontally or diagnoally across the loaves.
    8. If you prefer more cakey mandel bread, leave to cool. Otherwise, place back in the oven and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes or until the loaves become more slightly golden brown.
    9. Remove from oven and let cool completely.


** While baking powder is a leavener, it does not leaven through fermentation but rather though chemical reaction, so it is kosher for passover and you can find it labelled as such.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g

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