RECIPE: This lemon quinoa cake is perfect for Passover Seder

Lemon quinoa cake. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post, food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Lemon quinoa cake. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post, food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Published Apr 13, 2022


By Paula Shoyer

Everywhere I turn, someone is on a diet. My social media feeds are filled with before-and-after photos of successful dieters - and supermarket shots of 22.6kg of sugar to provide a visual of total weight lost – as well as celebrities promoting their favourite cleanses. And taking up prime real estate in my house is a huge box of meal replacements for my husband’s current diet, the curse of being married to a cookbook author.

It’s tough to diet during the holidays to begin with, and Passover lasts for eight full days. That’s over a week of matzoh in every permutation, as well as those heavy meat dishes, brownies and macaroons we look forward to every year, and the family gatherings where you sit and eat for hours.

The Seder is particularly challenging as there are so many courses: matzoh and charoset, eggs and salt water, gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup – all before a main course and buffet of desserts.

This cake is the cousin of the chocolate quinoa cake from ‘The Healthy Jewish Kitchen’ cookbook, made famous by Food52, and is also based on the lemon pound cake in Paula Shoyer’s ‘The Kosher Baker’ cookbook. Quinoa provides the “flour” that holds this cake together.

Lemon quinoa cake (Serves 12)


For the cake

3/4 cup dried quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

Cooking spray or 2 tbs canola oil, plus more as needed

1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tbs coconut flour, plus more as needed

2 tbs lemon zest, from 2 to 3 large lemons

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 to 3 large lemons

4 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or other vanilla for Passover)

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

For the glaze

1 cup vegan icing sugar

1 to 2 tbs fresh lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons


Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and cook the quinoa for 15 to 18 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Leave for 5 minutes off the stove top.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Use cooking spray or canola oil to generously grease a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tbs coconut flour, or more if needed, over the entire greased pan; then shake the pan to cover, and tap out any excess.

Place the quinoa in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Add the lemon zest and juice, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, sugar, almond flour, the 1/4 cup coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and process for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake (middle rack) for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes; then gently transfer it to a wire rack.

While the cake cools, make the glaze: Place the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Add 1tbs of lemon juice and whisk to incorporate. Add more juice, 1tsp at a time, until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle or pour the glaze over the warm cake; let cool then serve.

For kosher bakers, this book is nothing short of a revolution It offers a thoroughly modern approach to Jewish holiday baking that includes both contemporary and traditional recipes, more than 45 of which have been skillfully adapted for Passover. It retails for R375 on

Recipes by Paula Shoyer, known as ‘The Kosher Baker’, is the author of four cookbooks, including ‘The New Passover Menu’ and ‘The Healthy Jewish Kitchen’.

Click here to order her books from