Modern Manna / The White House's Apricot Sponge Roll Cake for Passover

A delicious holiday recipe from Bill Yosses, The White House executive pastry chef

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses is going to serve this cake for the the Obamas’ Passover Seder.



12 oz dried apricots

2 cups hot water

Juice of one orange

6 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup apricot juice

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp cardamom

½ cup Matzo cake meal

¼ cup potato starch

1/8 tsp salt

¾ cup ground hazelnuts roasted lightly

Powdered sugar, for sprinkling



1. Combine apricots and water  boil and soak overnight, grease  17” x 12” jelly roll pan

Puree this mixture into an apricot puree.

2. Beat egg whites, salt, and  sugar,  when fully developed into a meringue add ground  ginger and  cardamom, beat until it forms frothy ribbons.

 3. Fold in matzo meal and potato starch. 

4. Pour into a second jelly roll pan covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

5. Remove cake from oven, transfer onto a cooling rack and cool, covered.

6.  Spread the apricot puree over the top of the cake  sprinkle ground hazelnuts and roll the cake up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Joan Nathan and White House pastry chef Bill Yosses at a demonstration and discussion on Passover food. Photo: Vered Guttman

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