Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Catholic Recipe: Glowing Menorah Cake


  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable fat
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk (or if you want the cake to be pareve, orange juice)


Serves: 15

Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty:  ★★☆☆

Cost:  ★☆☆☆

For Ages: 15+

Origin: Israel


Feasts (2)

Jewish people around the world celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. During preparations for rededicating the Temple following the defeat of the Syrians by the Maccabee brothers and their followers 2,000 years ago, it was discovered that all but one day's supply of holy oil for lighting the Perpetual Light had been defiled. Nevertheless, this small supply of sanctified oil sufficed for the eight days needed to purify more. The lighting of the eight candle Chanukah lamp commemorates this miracle.

The Chanukah lamp used during this holiday differs from the Menorah, the symbol of the TempIe and thus of Judaism, in that it bears 8 (or 9) instead of the seven lights of the Menorah. The eight lights represent the eight days it took for Judah Maccabee and his followers to prepare a new supply of sanctified oil. Source: Billie Ann Lopez

Recipe source: "The Jewish Festival Cookbook" by Fannie Engle and Gertrude Blair


1. Mix and sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, three times.

2. Cream the fat and add sugar gradually; blend thoroughly.

3. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla and beat until puffing with air.

4. Add the flour mix and the liquid alternately, about one third at a time, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Beat until smooth after each addition.

5. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the mixture.

6. Take a 13" by 9" by 2" pan; grease it, line it with paper, and grease it again. Put batter in pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until evenly brown, slightly shrunk away from the pan, and until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.

7. Turn it out, strip off the paper, and cool cake right side up.

8. When it's totally cold, frost over the top with white icing. With icing that has been tinted a golden yellow, outline a menorah on the frosted cake with a pastry tube or tooth pick. Make eight slight elevations or cups with the frosting to serve as candle holders. Insert eight candles in the cups and light at serving time.