Cookbook cover for the holiday kosher baker


Paula Shoyer

Sterling Publishing
November 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1454907145

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ShoyerHeadshotA former practicing attorney, Paula Shoyer graduated from the Ritz Escoffier pastry program in Paris, and now teaches French and Jewish baking classes in the Washington, DC, area. Paula conducts large-scale baking demonstrations across the United States and Canada. She is the author of The Kosher Baker:Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy (Brandeis 2010) and is a contributing editor to several websites, including, as well as magazines such as Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller, Whisk, and Hadassah. Paula has appeared on Food Network’s Sweet Genius, is a frequent TV news guest, and edited the popular cookbooks Kosher by Design Entertains and Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen (both from Mesorah Publications, Ltd.). Paula lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children. Visit Paula at

It’s a new era for Jewish home bakers. Kosher baking ingredients have evolved and kosher food in general has become more gourmet. Now, pastry chef Paula Shoyer offers a thoroughly modern approach to Jewish holiday baking that includes both contemporary and traditional recipes, more than 45 of which have been skillfully tailored for Passover.

Shoyer has organized THE HOLIDAY KOSHER BAKER into sections for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (desserts to eat after Yom Kippur concludes), Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot. This arrangement will help you find elegant desserts for evening and Shabbat/holiday dinners, as well as the quick and easy recipes you’ll need as snacks for your family and for entertaining. Dozens of color photos show you precisely how to prepare the fancier desserts.

Along with new versions of sponge cakes, babkas, challahs, and rugelach, you’ll find a stunning Ombré Layer Cake, a chic Raspberry and Rose Macaron Cake, Green Tea Hamantaschen, Caramelized Mocha and Vanilla Bean Napoleons, and a Salted Caramel Banana Tart Tatin, an unusual (and tasty) take on upside-down apple cake. Recipes for low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free treats are also included—something for everyone in the Jewish community and beyond.

This is a must-have kosher baking cookbook for the holidays—and one that you’ll enjoy using throughout the year.

Babka Bites

Makes 46-48


Chocolate babka is my most popular dessert, and I have enjoyed teaching audiences of all ages all over the U.S. how to make it. Because it is also one of my most addictive recipes, I came up with a two-bite version so I can enjoy my beloved babka without overeating. In the end they came out so good that the risk of overeating has not been completely eliminated. Be careful not to overbake these bites or you will lose the soft interior.

1/4 cup (60ml) warm water
1/2 ounce (2 envelopes; 14g) dry yeast
1/4 cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
dash salt
4 tablespoons (57g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
1/4 cup (60ml) canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 egg white

1/2 cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips
To make the dough: Place warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add the 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg, and egg white.
Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1½ hours.
To make the filling:Place the margarine into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined.
Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place mini muffin papers into a 12-cup mini muffin pan.
Note: You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake: After the dough has risen, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9 x12-inch (23 x 30-cm) rectangle so that the 12-inch (30-cm) side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it.
Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way.
Cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm) slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Serve  warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.


Cranberry and Orange Spelt Scones

Makes 12-16

Cranberry and Orange Spelt Scones


If I could, I would eat a scone every day—and almost any flavor would do. Now that I have created these whole-grain scones, I can eat them more often. Spelt is an ancient grain mentioned in the Bible. It has fifty percent more protein than common wheat and a low glycemic index. People sensitive to wheat can often tolerate spelt because it has less gluten than regular wheat. In addition, spelt is a sustainable crop, so it benefits the environment as well.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (265g) spelt flour,divided
1/2 cup (100g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (from one large orange)
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter or frozen margarine
2 large eggs, separated
1/3cup (80ml) milk or soy milk
1 cup (110g) frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set it aside.

Place 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and mix for a few seconds. Add the orange zest and mix a few seconds to distribute. Cut the butter or margarine into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Process for 10 seconds.

In a small bowl, beat one of the eggs and add to the food processor. Add the milk or soy milk and process just until the dough comes together. Sprinkle one tablespoon spelt flour on your counter.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on top of the flour. Knead gently until the dough is soft, adding the remaining tablespoon flour if the dough remains sticky. Add the frozen cranberries by pressing them into the dough so they do not roll off your counter, which they will want to do. Knead the dough, making sure the cranberries are evenly distributed throughout.

Divide the dough in two and then roll each piece into a log,1 1/2  to 2 inches (4 to 5cm) thick and 8 inches (20cm) long. Take a sharp knife and cut the logs diagonally into wedges (triangles) making each cut in the opposite direction. Place the wedges 1 ½  inches (4cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg and use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the scones.

Sprinkle the tops with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

May be reheated to serve.


These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer. (Sterling Publishing; November 2013; $35.00/Hardcover; ISBN-13; 978-1454907145).

Contact: Blanca Oliviery
(646) 688-2548