Almond Cake (Tarta de Santiago)

The cinnamon alternative

The cinnamon variation (see below)

½ pound (250g) almond meal

6 large eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups superfine sugar

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 lemon

4 drops almond extract

Confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) for dusting


With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).

Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.




•Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the egg yolk and almond mixture.

•Majorca has a similar almond cake called gató d’Ametla, which is flavored with the grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sometimes a few drops of vanilla extract.

•In Navarre, the cake is covered with apricot jam.

Tarta de Santiago (with fig)

Tarta de Santiago (with fig)

The Food of Spain

June 2011

by Claudia Roden

2 thoughts on “Almond Cake (Tarta de Santiago)”

  1. This looks delicious Ardy! I have Roden’s Food of Spain but for some strange reason have never cooked from it. My most used book is her Middle Eastern Food. A few weeks ago I posted a similar cake made with hazelnuts. The recipe was passed on to me by a Calabrian friend. Who need wheat!!


    • Thank you Ladyredspecs! I hope you do make the almond cake, it is delicious. I made the alternative version with cinnamon and added some good vanilla. Everyone I shared it with loved it… gluten free or not!


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