9-Layer No-Bake Matzo Cake

by Kathy Strahs on March 24, 2013 · 22 comments

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I couldn’t resist – a recipe like this begs to be tried, don’t you think? This 9-Layer No-Bake Matzo Cake is only half as tall as it was supposed to be. The original recipe, from the back of a box of Manischewitz matzo, called for a whopping 18 layers of chocolate covered matzo, sandwiched with almond-laced whipped cream, espresso-spiked chocolate mousse and crunchy chopped almonds.

18-Layer No-Bake Matzo S'mores Cake recipe on the Manischewitz Matzo box

Look at that. It’s quite the behemoth – about 12 inches tall, extrapolating from how high my short stack reached. The recipe called it a “S’more Cake”, but with the absence of both graham crackers and marshmallows, that seems like a bit of a stretch.  Whatever you want to call it, it would be quite the conversation piece at a Passover seder, to say the least! And, fortunately, much of the conversation would also center around how surprisingly tasty it is. A challenge to serve, yes (easiest to serve it a layer at a time), but it’s actually kind of delicious.

Matzo Cake Assembly

This is a no-bake cake, so most of your time will be spent in preparing and assembling the layers. As I mentioned before, there are some complex flavors going on in this otherwise simple dish. The dark chocolate is combined with espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor. And there’s almond extract mixed in with the whipped cream to keep things even more interesting for your taste buds.

Spread chocolate all over the matzo

I found the easiest way to spread the chocolate on all of the sheets of matzo was to just pour a bit onto the center and then spread it around with an offset knife. I actually ended up assembling each layer separately, topping the chocolate-covered matzo with either whipped cream or chocolate mousse and then chopped almonds, and then stacking the layers on top of each other.

Assembling the layers

The recipe was very simple and straightforward – BUT – I did still manage to mess up one step. The recipe says to mix 1/2 cup of the melted chocolate in with the whipped cream, to create a mousse-like mixture. Well, my eyes must have skimmed past the word “cup” and I mixed in half of all the chocolate – which was well more than 1/2 cup. All in all, it wasn’t a big deal – my mousse was a bit thicker than it probably should have been, and I wound up with 9 layers rather than 18. Believe me, it was plenty. But I hope at least one of you will build the full tower and report back!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison @ Ingredients, inc. March 25, 2013 at 5:00 AM

great idea!!!


Brian @ A Thought For Food March 25, 2013 at 5:19 AM

Oh wow… I never would have thought to make the recipe from the back of the box, but it looks freakin amazing!


Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 25, 2013 at 7:11 AM

What a cool idea Kathy! It looks so easy and delicious!
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective´s last blog post ..Fluffy Banana Cream Pie


Cookbook Queen March 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Cookbook Queen´s last blog post ..Easter Bunny Cupcakes


Amy March 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

That is epic.
Amy´s last blog post ..Sugar Cookie Bark


Melissa March 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I just read through this recipe and I think it would be a lot better if its made into individual cakes. matzo can be difficult to work with when trying to ‘cut’ into this cake. Its very crumbly leaving a huge mess and the flavors to seperate from their layers. Id suggest cutting the matzo into evenly cut squares and then assembling the different layers. Each individual square would be much smaller but composed of all the flavor components. This should rid the problem of the mess, waste, and most importantly the complex elements of this cake.


Kathy Strahs March 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

That’s definitely one good approach. I didn’t attempt to cut it at all, just lifted off layer by layer.


Melissa March 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM

The only problem with lifting it layer by layer is that not each layer has all the flavors. You lose huge components of this cake that way.


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 26, 2013 at 9:04 PM

What a fun idea and super impressive too!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post ..Ginger, Turmeric Spiced Spring Carrot Soup Recipe


Patsy March 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Thanks, for posting this! I must have missed this recipe somehow, but am marking it to try next year for Passover!
Patsy´s last blog post ..Family Recipe ~ Charoset for Passover


Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence March 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Wow, that is one giant tower of chocolatey goodness. Yum!!
Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence´s last blog post ..Paleo Recipes: Week of March 18


Karla April 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Is the whipped cream supposed to soften the matzo, like in a graham cracker ice box cake?


Kathy Strahs April 9, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Hi Karla – No, it doesn’t soften the matzo. The matzo is covered with chocolate and remains crisp.


beth April 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM

This looks great but how in the world would you cut it? Wouldn’t it just be a crumbly gooey mess and impossible to actually serve to guests?


Kathy Strahs April 16, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Hi Beth — I lifted it off layer by layer. 🙂


beth April 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Whoops… guess I should have actually read the post! I see you served it layer by layer. Does still look like it would be messy, but certainly does look delish!


beth April 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM

And we were typing at the same time. 😉


Joyce March 29, 2015 at 9:54 PM

I’m going to make this but soften the matzah with some grape juice before covering it with the chocolate. I’m also going to add some margarine to the chocolate so it doesn’t harden all the way. That should make it easier to cut and eat.


Nadia April 24, 2016 at 1:08 PM

If you briefly soak each matzo layer they’ll get soft enough to cut through but will still retain their structure. Fill a rimmed baking sheet with Manischewitz, add one matzo when it comes time to add the whipped cream and nuts to each layer, and by the time that’s done (~30 seconds), remove the matzo with tongs, shake it out gently, then stack it. Repeat for each layer. Works beautifully and everyone was very impressed!


Andy Gild April 1, 2017 at 6:45 PM

This looks amazing and I want to make it for my sons 18th which falls on 1st night Pesach! May I ask what you soaked the matzo in? I assume you soaked it after the chocky was spread, so just in a very small amount of…? Thanks


Marina April 8, 2020 at 12:30 PM

How long do you bake it for and how high of a temperature???


Kathy Strahs April 8, 2020 at 12:38 PM

It is a no-bake cake.


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