The apple pie that I commonly eat has primarily visible apples (you can see the slices) and there is a very thin layer of pie crust on the bottom. Clearly, the apples are the majority. Since the apples are majority, should I say "Ha'etz" or still say mezonot because it's considered "cake"?

The cheesecake, similarly, has no dough in the batter. It's farmer cheese, eggs, vanilla extract and sugar mixed and placed on a very thin crust. The cheese mix is the majority ingredient. Should I say "shehakol" or say "mezonot" because it's considered "cake"?

I'm implying the rules of ikkar (main food) vs. "tafel" ("supplement). Usually, the rules is that you make the bracha on the "ikar", which is frequently the majority ingredient. Is there a different definition of "ikar" regarding the above-mentioned foods?

  • 1
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/53353/759
    – Double AA
    Mar 21, 2017 at 19:36
  • See SA OC 204, 12:
    – kouty
    Mar 21, 2017 at 19:48
  • Don't we say that if there's Mezonos in something it's automatically considered the ikar?
    – DonielF
    Mar 21, 2017 at 20:03
  • @DonielF Not necessarily. See the answers below - esp. kouty's answer which mentions the "binder". Frequently flour is added to gravy to thicken it, but we don't say mezonot on it. Potato kugel also tends to get flour and, I've seen flour used to thicken chulent (a shandah!) Chulent would prob. get mezonot, anyway b/c of the barley majority. But potato kugel does not.
    – DanF
    Mar 21, 2017 at 22:34
  • I also eat apple pie and cheesecake. Very good.
    – Jonathan
    Feb 1, 2020 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


The OU Brachot page has an interesting answer. I have copied the part regarding the apple pie, but the answer for the cheese cake has similar rules:

As with all cakes, the dough is considered the primary ingredient and only Mezonot is necessary (Mishnah Berurah 212:1), even if there is less dough than apple, and even if the cake is eaten mainly because of the apple. To say an Al Hamichya one must eat a k'zayit of cake within a kdei achilat pras (2-9 minutes). Otherwise, one says a Borei Nefashot. On the other hand, if there is merely a thin strip of dough, which is intended just to help you handle all the apple, the dough becomes subordinate to the apple and only Ha-aytz need be said.

In brief, it depends how thick the dough is. Additionally, in viewing the Mishnah Berurah (it is partially in the paragraph following the one referenced (par. 2)) it says that if you eat the apples and the crust separately, you are clearly indicating that you have no preference of one item over the other and there is no ikar and tafel scenario. In such cases, each gets its own blessing.


The OP regards mezonot/not mezonot, Ykar/Tafel.

See SA OC 204, 12:

וכל דבר שמערבין אותו לדבק או כדי ליתן ריח או כדי לצבוע התבשיל הרי זה טפילה אבל אם עירב כדי ליתן טעם בתערובות הרי הוא עיקר לפיכך מיני דבש שמבשלים אותם ונותנים בהם חלב חטה כדי לדבק ועושים מהם מיני מתיקה אינו מברך בורא מיני מזונות מפני שהדבש הוא העיקר.‏

If one of the ingredients of a mixture with a great amount of honey is a product of wheat, as wheat starch, to paste, not for the taste, the blessing is not mezonot, but shehakol, because the main ingredient is honey.

202, 2:

אבל אם לא נתן הדגן בתבשיל אלא לדבקו ולהקפותו בטל בתבשיל:‏

If on of the 5 cereals species is present in the food, but to paste it only, there are anulled by the food regarding the blessing.

In your case, cheese cake, may be that it is the case in some cakes. in apple pie obviously not. So Apple Pie is Mezonot and Cheese Cake is often Shehakol.

  • "In your case, cheese cake, may be " - You've mentioned a good supplemental point. According to this, even if flour was added to the cheese cake batter, it is not to make it a cake but to bind it - which would be the "paste" rule.
    – DanF
    Mar 21, 2017 at 22:29
  • @DanF I think that there is borderline cases
    – kouty
    Mar 21, 2017 at 23:35

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