Passover Prep Series: Grandma’s Raspberry Squares

A little over a month ago, I decided to do something different for Passover this year. It’s quite simple, actually: I’d plan ahead and blog about Passover before the holiday. In past years I’ve shared a few recipes after the fact, but I doubt that’s very useful to anyone who plans to observe Passover. So this year, I welcome you to my first ever Passover Prep Series (and also probably the first time ever you’ll see me updating every day for two weeks straight!)

If you’re not Jewish (or even if you are, but don’t plan to keep Passover), please don’t leave! Most of the recipes I’m going to share over the next two weeks are not only for Passover and could be enjoyed any time of year.

I thought about what’s most difficult during these eight days when Jews are supposed to abstain from eating wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye. For some it might be the lavish Seder for 20 you’re hosting on the first or second night. Surely you have some traditional family favorites, but maybe you’re looking to branch out a little. So, I’ll share a couple ideas perfect for entertaining.

For others, the thought of one more Passover sponge cake is enough to send you running from the table before Elijah arrives. For you, I’ll share some of my favorite 100% delicious and 100% Passover-friendly sweets.

And for others, the most difficult part might be the whole week ahead, when all the leftovers are gone, and you need to think about what’s for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch.) When you’re suddenly under the pressure to come up with a week’s worth of meals with dietary restrictions you don’t always think about it, it’s easy to come up blank. The recipes I’ll share are not the kind you’d want to eat only on Passover. They are things I would eat any time, that just happen to work.

Ironically, I’m going to start with something that breaks one of the rules I just told you. The recipe I’m sharing today is, in fact, something I would only eat on Passover. I’m also breaking some general Cara’s Cravings rules: I’m starting with dessert, and it’s not even a healthy one. At all.

This is a dessert recipe involving matzoh meal. I think all of us have at least one bad memory of a brownie or cake doctored up with matzoh meal in place of flour, and it’s never something we really look forward to at the Seder. But my feelings about these Raspberry Squares are quite the opposite: they invoke memories of lively and loving family Seders, and are always something we all look forward to. You can bet that all of my aunts, uncles, brothers and cousins will be reaching for a second (or third) Raspberry Square as everything winds down and we’re heading out the door. My grandmother has been making these for as long as I can remember, and as long as my mother can remember too.

My Grandma’s Passover Raspberry Squares
Printable Recipe

1 cup sugar
1 cup matzoh meal
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 jar raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper.

Stir together sugar, matzoh meal, oil and eggs until thoroughly combined. Fold in the shredded coconut and chopped walnuts.

Spread half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spoon the raspberry jam over it, and spread evenly. Crumble the rest of the mixture over the raspberry jam, patting it down evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares.

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40 Responses to “Passover Prep Series: Grandma’s Raspberry Squares”

  1. 1

    lylfaceem — March 16, 2010 @ 12:08 pm Reply

    wondering if there is any substitute that you have tried for the sugar or have cut down on the quantity. Also have your tried substituting anything for part of the oil? They look very good … and of course we are always looking for tasty Passover foods. Thanks Cara.

    • 1.1

      Lisa — March 30, 2013 @ 12:47 am

      I just made a healthier version of these and am really enjoying them! I used only 1/2 cup of sugar (and to avoid refined white sugar I used succant, which is dehydrated cane juice, and date sugar) and it is definitely sweet enough for me. I used whole 1/2 cup wheat matzoh meal and 1/2 cup matzoh cake flour. I used 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter. I think coconut oil would work well too. You could use an all fruit (no added sugar) spread instead of the jelly if you want to further reduce the sugar. I happened to have some raspberry sauce which was made without any sugar. I didn’t have coconut so I just left it out. Hope this helps!

  2. 2

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — March 16, 2010 @ 1:07 pm Reply

    Your grandma has it going on creating these Raspberry squares! They sound fabulous. Thanks for sharing your family traditions with us. I love learning from you!!

  3. 3

    yumventures — March 16, 2010 @ 1:12 pm Reply

    Yum yum yum! I have yet to confess my huge obsession with fruit bars, and with raspberry as my favorite berry, these take the cake! The look amazing!! For those of us not of the Jewish faith, is Matzoh meal like flour? Ie could flour be subbed for the meal if Matzoh is not available! Great job…and I love having dessert first :)

  4. 4

    Cara — March 16, 2010 @ 1:13 pm Reply

    lylfaceem, to be honest this is one of those things that I eat so rarely (once a year to be exact!) that I make an exception to my normal healthy eating. It's a family favorite I just haven't changed up yet. But, I will admit they are very, very sweet so you probably could get away with cutting the sugar a bit. I'm sure apple sauce could stand in for most of the oil too, which would also add some sweetness and let you cut back on the sugar. Let me know if you try that!

  5. 5

    Cara — March 16, 2010 @ 1:14 pm Reply

    Sophie, yes, on Passover matzoh meal takes the place of flour in baking. I'm sure you could find many similar recipes for a raspberry bars, but I think the addition of walnuts and coconut sets these apart!

  6. 6

    Dawn — March 16, 2010 @ 1:16 pm Reply

    I love the raspberry bubbling up in the first photo. Sometimes you just gotta start with dessert and make it a good one. I say everything in moderation. (Although I really need to get on the moderation bandwagon myself with bathingsuit season coming up really quickly here in Florida).

  7. 7

    iEatDC — March 16, 2010 @ 1:17 pm Reply

    Where did the stuffed eggplants go? I wanted to share it with my readers for my Friday post where I write about delicious recipes/reviews I saw this week. Bummer city, dude.

  8. 8

    Beth — March 16, 2010 @ 1:28 pm Reply

    OMG thank you for doing this Pesach series! I just found out last night that I'm hosting seder and I drew a blank, trying to come up with a menu. These are pareve, so I can definitely include them for our dessert! I can't wait to see your other recipes.

  9. 9

    Elina — March 16, 2010 @ 1:32 pm Reply

    Thanks for doing this! I don't observe Passover anymore but my dad does and I would love to whip up some fun treats for him. This could be a good one to start with (although I wish it was healthier but still)! :)

  10. 10

    grace — March 16, 2010 @ 1:33 pm Reply

    i regularly enjoy something similar to this, although no matzoh meal is involved. i'm thrilled that one of my favorite treats can be adapted to become passover-friendly. the raspberry innards sure are pretty–great post, cara!

  11. 11

    kermiefrg — March 17, 2010 @ 12:26 am Reply

    These look amazing! I may have to try them this year! I honestly look forward to Passover food every year because it's so good… : )And I can vouch for you that Passover recipes are good even to people that aren't Jewish!

  12. 12

    Sweet and Savory — March 17, 2010 @ 9:23 pm Reply

    If you are looking for good chocolate cake or brownies, use potato starch, not matzah meal. I just pulled out some of my recipes but until I make them, I can't post. I need photos. If you want something chocolate, let me know and I will email it.Raspberry. what a treat to have on Passover. It looks delicious.

  13. 13

    Liz — March 18, 2010 @ 11:06 pm Reply

    Hm, this is a great idea! Never seen it for Passover before. I just made some strawberry jam, so maybe I'll try it with that.

  14. 14

    Nicole Chow - HealthyChow.com — April 2, 2010 @ 4:08 am Reply

    They look SO good! I can't believe they're made with matzoh meal! You are so creative with all these Passover recipes. Love the fact that there's raspberry jam in them, too :)

  15. 15

    Liz — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Hm, this is a great idea! Never seen it for Passover before. I just made some strawberry jam, so maybe I'll try it with that.

  16. 16

    Nicole Chow - HealthyChow.com — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    They look SO good! I can't believe they're made with matzoh meal! You are so creative with all these Passover recipes. Love the fact that there's raspberry jam in them, too :)

  17. 17

    Sweet and Savory — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    If you are looking for good chocolate cake or brownies, use potato starch, not matzah meal. I just pulled out some of my recipes but until I make them, I can't post. I need photos. If you want something chocolate, let me know and I will email it.Raspberry. what a treat to have on Passover. It looks delicious.

  18. 18

    kermiefrg — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    These look amazing! I may have to try them this year! I honestly look forward to Passover food every year because it's so good… : )And I can vouch for you that Passover recipes are good even to people that aren't Jewish!

  19. 19

    grace — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    i regularly enjoy something similar to this, although no matzoh meal is involved. i'm thrilled that one of my favorite treats can be adapted to become passover-friendly. the raspberry innards sure are pretty–great post, cara!

  20. 20

    Elina — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Thanks for doing this! I don't observe Passover anymore but my dad does and I would love to whip up some fun treats for him. This could be a good one to start with (although I wish it was healthier but still)! :)

  21. 21

    Beth — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    OMG thank you for doing this Pesach series! I just found out last night that I'm hosting seder and I drew a blank, trying to come up with a menu. These are pareve, so I can definitely include them for our dessert! I can't wait to see your other recipes.

  22. 22

    Beth — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    OMG thank you for doing this Pesach series! I just found out last night that I'm hosting seder and I drew a blank, trying to come up with a menu. These are pareve, so I can definitely include them for our dessert! I can't wait to see your other recipes.

  23. 23

    iEatDC — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Where did the stuffed eggplants go? I wanted to share it with my readers for my Friday post where I write about delicious recipes/reviews I saw this week. Bummer city, dude.

  24. 24

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    I love the raspberry bubbling up in the first photo. Sometimes you just gotta start with dessert and make it a good one. I say everything in moderation. (Although I really need to get on the moderation bandwagon myself with bathingsuit season coming up really quickly here in Florida).

  25. 25

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Sophie, yes, on Passover matzoh meal takes the place of flour in baking. I'm sure you could find many similar recipes for a raspberry bars, but I think the addition of walnuts and coconut sets these apart!

  26. 26

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    lylfaceem, to be honest this is one of those things that I eat so rarely (once a year to be exact!) that I make an exception to my normal healthy eating. It's a family favorite I just haven't changed up yet. But, I will admit they are very, very sweet so you probably could get away with cutting the sugar a bit. I'm sure apple sauce could stand in for most of the oil too, which would also add some sweetness and let you cut back on the sugar. Let me know if you try that!

  27. 27

    yumventures — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Yum yum yum! I have yet to confess my huge obsession with fruit bars, and with raspberry as my favorite berry, these take the cake! The look amazing!! For those of us not of the Jewish faith, is Matzoh meal like flour? Ie could flour be subbed for the meal if Matzoh is not available! Great job…and I love having dessert first :)

  28. 28

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Your grandma has it going on creating these Raspberry squares! They sound fabulous. Thanks for sharing your family traditions with us. I love learning from you!!

  29. 29

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    Your grandma has it going on creating these Raspberry squares! They sound fabulous. Thanks for sharing your family traditions with us. I love learning from you!!

  30. 30

    lylfaceem — March 28, 2011 @ 8:37 pm Reply

    wondering if there is any substitute that you have tried for the sugar or have cut down on the quantity. Also have your tried substituting anything for part of the oil? They look very good … and of course we are always looking for tasty Passover foods. Thanks Cara.

  31. 31

    Sweet and Savory — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    If you are looking for good chocolate cake or brownies, use potato starch, not matzah meal. I just pulled out some of my recipes but until I make them, I can't post. I need photos. If you want something chocolate, let me know and I will email it.Raspberry. what a treat to have on Passover. It looks delicious.

  32. 32

    grace — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    i regularly enjoy something similar to this, although no matzoh meal is involved. i'm thrilled that one of my favorite treats can be adapted to become passover-friendly. the raspberry innards sure are pretty–great post, cara!

  33. 33

    iEatDC — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    Where did the stuffed eggplants go? I wanted to share it with my readers for my Friday post where I write about delicious recipes/reviews I saw this week. Bummer city, dude.

  34. 34

    Cara — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    lylfaceem, to be honest this is one of those things that I eat so rarely (once a year to be exact!) that I make an exception to my normal healthy eating. It's a family favorite I just haven't changed up yet. But, I will admit they are very, very sweet so you probably could get away with cutting the sugar a bit. I'm sure apple sauce could stand in for most of the oil too, which would also add some sweetness and let you cut back on the sugar. Let me know if you try that!

  35. 35

    lylfaceem — March 29, 2011 @ 2:04 am Reply

    wondering if there is any substitute that you have tried for the sugar or have cut down on the quantity. Also have your tried substituting anything for part of the oil? They look very good … and of course we are always looking for tasty Passover foods. Thanks Cara.

  36. 36

    Miriam — April 3, 2012 @ 11:27 am Reply

    Going to be making these for Pesach this year – hope they’re as good as they look!

  37. 37

    Lisa — March 30, 2013 @ 12:54 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Great addition to the typical passover desserts! I made a healthier version that can substitute for snack bars and am really enjoying them. I posted it in a reply but thought i’d repeat it as general comment: I used only 1/2 cup of sugar (and to avoid refined white sugar I used succant, which is dehydrated cane juice, and date sugar) and it was definitely sweet enough. I used whole 1/2 cup wheat matzoh meal and 1/2 cup matzoh cake flour. I used 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter. I think coconut oil would work well too. You could use an all fruit (no added sugar) spread instead of the jelly if you want to further reduce the sugar. I happened to have some raspberry sauce which was made without any sugar. I didn’t have coconut so I just left it out.

  38. Pingback: 10 Irresistable Parve Passover Desserts - Etzly

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