Geshmirta Matzah

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

Geshmirta is a Yiddish word that means to shmear or spread something on top of something else. This Passover treat – a milk-soaked matzah coated with lightly sweetened cream cheese and broiled to a light golden brown – is popular among the Jewish community in South Africa, especially in Capetown.

I originally wrote this recipe (which appears in my cookbook Entree to Judaism for Families) for a friend who asked me to help re-create a food memory from her childhood. She loved this version, and I hope you will, too!

Watch the video below to learn how to make the recipe or follow the instructions below.

3-4 sheets of matzah
8-oz. container of whipped cream cheese
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. sour cream, cream, or Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. sugar, mixed with ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F. 
  • Line a jellyroll pan with foil, dull side facing you.
  • Cover the entire bottom of the pan with a single layer of matzah. Set aside.
  • Mix the cream cheese, egg, vanilla, first 2 tablespoons of sugar, and sour cream or cream in a two-quart bowl with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Spread mixture evenly over the layer of matzah and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until mixture is slightly golden and matzah is crisp. 
  • Cut into squares and eat within an hour to preserve crispiness.
Additional Notes
  • Regular cream cheese may be used if it's room temperature, but children will find it easier to blend ingredients by hand if you use whipped cream cheese.
  • Using softened ingredients at room temperature often eliminates the need for an electric mixer, making this a toddler-friendly recipe.

How to Make Geshmirta Matzah