You may have noticed that certified kosher for Passover cakes started appearing in stores as early as 6 weeks ago. That means that by the time they are served on the Passover holiday, they could well be over 2 months old. Don't worry, they're so laden with preservatives that they should be fine. But they're not exactly the same as freshly baked.
One other thing about the store-bought cakes: nearly all of them have a potato starch base. Consequently, take the blessing of shehakol rather than the mezonos that we usually say on cakes based on flour. For that reason, many shuls skip their usual kiddushes because they have no mezonos to set out. However, if you do not have the custom of avoiding gebrokts, that is a mixture of matzah and water, you can make your own mezonos cakes based on cake meal, which is finely ground matzah meal.
Here are two recipes to try:
Passover apple cake
1 c. sugar
1 c. cake meal
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff, glossy peaks
5 lg. apples, sliced
1/3 to 1/2 c. chopped nuts
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8 inch square pan. Combine first 5 ingredients, stir until well blended. Fold in beaten egg whites; gently, but thoroughly. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased baking pan. Arrange sliced apples on top. Carefully spoon remaining batter over apple slices. Stir nuts, sugar and cinnamon together. Spoon on top of cake. Bake 40 to 50 minutes.
Apricot squares (really, as good as anything chametz)
½ lb. softened margarine
2 egg yolks
2 c. cake meal (that’s extra finely ground matzah meal)
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla ot vanilla sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon rind (you could skip this in pinch)
1 lb. jar apricot preserves
½ to ½ c. lemon juice
½ c. chopped nuts (may be omitted according to taste)
Combine all dough ingredients. Spread ¾ of it in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Refrigerate remaining dough.
Spread filling over crust while hot. Put nuts on top, then crumble remaining dough to form a crumb topping. Bake again for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into squares when cool.
For more Passover recipes, including some nongegrokts ones, see http://kallahmagazine.weebly.com/whats-cooking.html