Food & Drink

Matzo magic: Recipes that celebrate a Passover staple

These three sweet treats are built with a Jewish staple: matzo.
These three sweet treats are built with a Jewish staple: matzo. Family Fun Magazine via TNS

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy matzo, a Passover staple.

We’ve built three sweet treats around the unleavened bread.

Invite your kids into the kitchen to help prepare a meal and learn about the traditions of Passover, which begins Monday at sundown.

Amy Kritzer founded the blog What Jew Wanna Eat, and she is the author of “Sweet Noshings” and the owner of

Passover recipes(3)
Stack and chill mazto chocolate-banana layer cake for a surprisingly elegant dessert. Alexandra Grablewski Family Fun Magazine via TNS

Matzo chocolate-banana layer cake

Let the kids assemble — and eat! — this so-easy, no-bake dessert.

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (Make sure it’s kosher for Passover, if you’re observing the holiday.)
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 3 pieces matzo
  • 3-4 large bananas, sliced
  • 2 ounces chopped pecans

1. First, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip cream with a hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until you have stiff peaks, being careful not to over-mix.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave in 30-second increments until melted. Cool slightly.

3. Have the kids place one piece of matzo on a large plate or platter and spread with a layer of chocolate. Top with a layer of bananas and spread with half the whipped cream. Top with another piece of matzo, a layer of chocolate, a layer of bananas, and the remaining whipped cream. Top with one more piece of matzo, a layer of chocolate, and a sprinkle of pecans.

4. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. (You can make it up to 6 hours ahead.)

Nutritional analysis per serving: 443 calories, 29 grams fat, 50 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 17 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 54 percent of calories from fat.

Passover recipes(2)
Traditional matzo brei is topped with berries and caramel in this version. Alexandra Grablewski Family Fun Magazine via TNS

Matzo brei with berries and caramel

Makes 2 large or 4 small pancakes

This scrambled-egg-and-matzo concoction is a traditional Passover breakfast, but we’ve sweetened it up for any time of day.

For the caramel:

  •  1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For the matzo brei:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  •  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 pieces matzo, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries
  • A few sprigs mint

1. Make the caramel: Melt the sugar on medium-low heat in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, stirring continuously until light brown. Add the butter and stir in to melt. The mixture will bubble a little. Add the cream, raise heat to medium high, and bring to a boil for 30 to 60 seconds. Set aside to cool. The caramel will thicken as it cools.

2. Make the matzo brei: In a large bowl, help the kids whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Place the matzo in a colander and run it under warm water for 15 seconds to soften. Drain well and fold into the egg mixture.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Spoon half of mixture to form one large pancake or two smaller pancakes. Cook one side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Then flip and cook the other side for 2 more minutes or until done. Repeat with remaining butter and mixture.

4. Have the kids top the matzo with Greek yogurt, berries, mint and caramel sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per pancake, based on 2: 1,121 calories, 64 grams fat, 117 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 581 milligrams cholesterol, 698 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 51 percent of calories from fat.

Passover recipes
Matzo crunch bites are easy to assemble and coat with shredded coconut, cocoa powder, powdered sugar or finely chopped almonds. Alexandra Grablewski Family Fun Magazine via TNS

Matzo crunch bites

Matzo balls aren’t just for soup. Kids will get a kick out of rolling and dipping the dough.

Makes about 20

  • 1 cup dates, pits removed
  •  1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pieces matzo
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, cocoa powder, powdered sugar or finely chopped almonds (for coating)

1. In a food processor, process the dates until pureed.

2. Add almond butter and salt. Blend.

3. Break matzo into pieces, add to food processor, and pulse just until combined. The dough should still be a little chunky.

4. Have kids roll dough into balls and then dip them in the coating of their choice.

5. Chill 1 hour; serve. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator up to three days.

Nutritional analysis per bite: 80 calories, 4 grams fat, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, no cholesterol, 15 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 42 percent of calories from fat.