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Really Easy Mandel Bread

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Really Easy Mandel Bread (Mandelbrot) is a simple to make Ashkenazi Jewish cookie treat, similar to biscotti. Delicious and dairy free.

4 slices of Dairy Free Mandel Bread with chocolate chips served on a white plate with a glass of milk.

Mandelbrot is the name in Yiddish and while it is translated to “almond bread” (mandel = almond, brot = 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 dense and crunchier (as shown in the photo above).

How they turn out depends on your dough. The thicker it is, the more dense and dry your mandel bread will be.

However you make your mandelbrot, however, you won’t find a simpler recipe to Really Easy Mandel Bread.

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.

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

That’s like leaving out chocolate chips from chocolate chip cookies.

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

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…!).

4 slices of Dairy Free Mandel Bread on a white plate with a cup in the background on a white wood table

Baking Pantry Essentials

I never know when someone in my family is going to want a dessert at home, to bring to a friend’s house or need for an event, so 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 stand mixer, which I use mostly for dough and, sometimes whipping
  • a hand mixer (for things that aren’t dough and I don’t want to mix manually)
  • a small scale
  • different sizes and shapes of baking pans, including loaf pans
  • mixing bowls (or just large bowls – I have plastic, glass, and metal)
  • cookie sheets 
  • pie dishes
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cups
  • whisks
  • rubber spatulas (really good for when you don’t want to leave anything in the bowl)
  • rolling pins
  • a baking mat for rolling out dough
  • baking strips
  • a good supply of baking (or parchment) paper (also round for layer cakes)

I can certainly get by without a lot of the above, but it makes baking so much simpler when I just have whatever I need at my fingertips.

In addition to the equipment, there are the baking ingredients that I try to keep in the house at all times: 

  • flour
  • white granulated sugar
  • brown sugar (light/dark – I usually keep dark)
  • confectioners sugar(powdered sugar)
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda 
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • baking chocolate
  • chocolate chips
  • instant dry yeast
  • vanilla and/or vanilla sugar
  • cooking oil/cooking spray
  • margarine or butter
  • eggs
  • honey
  • instant coffee
  • various extracts (real or imitation)

I also make sure that I have the following on hand to be able to make a variety of fillings, frostings, and toppings:

  • whipping cream
  • powdered pudding mix
  • powdered sugar
  • a good chocolate spread

Then, there is the following to make last-minute quick desserts:

  • packaged pie dough or ready-made pie crusts
  • puff pastry dough

Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to keep fun toppings, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, and the oh-so-important container of sprinkles.

Interested in other really easy dairy free cookie recipe? Try: Really Easy Sugar Cookies – just ready-made pie dough and sugar!

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

Easy Dairy Free Mandel Bread

4 slices of Dairy Free Mandel Bread with chocolate chips served on a white plate with a glass of milk.

Delicious and easy to make dairy free almond bread (Mandelbrot in yiddish).

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


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1 extra cup for just-in-case)
  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons 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. Add the oil. If you want firm mandel bread, slowly add more oil until the dough reaches a more Play-Doh like consistency. Otherwise, they will be soft. (See notes)
    4. If you are making using chocolate chips and/or almond slices, mix them in.
    5. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, shape 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, so they will need room not to stick together) .
    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.


* the overall texture of the dough may be not be as smooth as that of play doh

Note: If you want large soft Mandel bread, do not add extra flour beyond the 3 cups, but place a loaf in the center of the baking sheet alone and let it spread to the sides. The raw loaf with approximately double in width, so take that into consideration.

Remove from the oven when it is slightly firm and just very slightly brown on top. Let cool and then slice to your desired width.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g

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