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2000s Recipes + Menus

Wine Cake with Macerated Strawberries

  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:2 hr (includes cooling)
April 2006
Concord-grape wine—a traditional part of the Passover feast—gives this delightful spongecake a fruity, almost floral note.

For cake

  • 1/2 cup matzo cake meal
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup medium-dry Concord-grape wine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest (see Tips)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

For strawberries

  • 2 lb strawberries (2 qt.), trimmed and quartered (6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup medium-dry Concord-grape wine
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar

Make cake:

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F.
  • Whisk together matzo cake meal, potato starch, and salt in a bowl. Stir together wine and lemon juice in another bowl or a glass measure.
  • Beat yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth, then add zest. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating, and beat until mixture is very thick and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • With mixer at low speed, add half of matzo cake meal mixture to yolks, then all of wine mixture. Add remaining matzo meal mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one fourth of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
  • Pour batter into ungreased tube pan and rap pan firmly three times on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.
  • Bake spongecake until top is golden and springs back when it is pressed gently, 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately turn pan upside down on a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour. Run a knife around inner and outer edges of cake to loosen, then remove from pan.

Macerate strawberries:

  • While cake cools, gently stir together strawberries, wine, and sugar until sugar is dissolved, then let stand at least 30 minutes.
  • Dust cake with Passover confectioners sugar and serve with strawberries.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Cake can be made 1 day ahead, cooled and removed from pan, then kept, covered with foil, at room temperature.
  • If you can't find matzo cake meal, finely grind regular matzo meal in a blender or coffee/spice grinder.