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Bracha on Dessert

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Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Shevat 22, 5775
Question
Dear Rabbi, I was wondering if you could clarify when one would need to make a bracha on cake eaten for dessert. I understand there are different customs and it also depends on the type of cake and the reason for eating it, but I am not sure which opinion to follow. Thanks you for your help. Regards Ben
Answer
ב"ה Shalom Indeed the issue is complex since in the the concept of "Pat haba'ah bekisnin" has already three explanations in the shulchan Aruch and the question if the 3 explanations are 3 requirements or are they independent definitions (או"ח קסז:ח) This results with the question how do we then relate to eating a piece of cake at the end of a meal. Is it considered as bread and then exempt from a bracha or is not part of the meal and is mezonot.?. There are also different opinions among contemporary Rabbanim as what to do. Therefore, the best thing to do in order to avoid the dispute, is to say Birkat Hamazon and then eat the cake. If that is not possible there is another suggestion made by the Chayye Adam (43:9) and that is when say Hamotzi you should already have in mind any cake you may eat during the meal. (See also נשבט הלוי ח"ג י קיצור .שולחן ערוך מג:ו ) For an extensive discussion on the issue see also in Hebrew פניני הלכה, הרחבות ברכות pgs. 32-37. All the best
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