Spain: Almond Flour Cake – Tarta de Santiago

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published September 13th 2021

Original recipe The Bossy Kitchen.

Tarta de Santiago means an almond cake for St. James. Most are topped cakes with a cross of the Knights of Santiago of powdered sugar, but today we will just use powdered sugar for a topping. The Order of Santiago was the Spanish group of knighthood. Forming all the way back in the fifteen hundreds, and it has been popular ever since.  

It’s birthplace was the region, Galicia, yet the news traveled fast about how amazing it was, and soon after that all of the other regions in Spain decided to have their own version of St. James cake! 

Used as a holiday treat, and with almonds being very popular in Spain, it’s almost impossible to get any store bought almonds around Christmas time. With that, almond flour and the use of almond extract became the new go too. The traditional recipe does not include a drizzle of honey on top, but I added it to the recipe because I truly recommend the extra little sweetness on top! 

The production for this cake was truly painless! I even had a blast. When mixing in the eggs with the almond flour, I could already see the batter starting to expand and absorb air. With the air starting to mix in, I wanted to make sure I didn’t over mix the batter. Thankfully I didn’t, but I will say that once you finish baking the cake and you pull it out of the pan, it does somewhat deflate. This cake is very delicious, not in any way a “birthday cake”. More of a cake after lunch, maybe with tea. 

Ingredients: 

2 ⅔ cups of blanched almond flour

1 ¼ cups of granulated sugar 

5 large eggs 

Zest of 1 lemon

4 drops of almond extract  

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Powder sugar for dusting the cake 

Shaved almonds for the top of the cake

Honey for the top of the cake

Butter to butter the pan 

Steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 fahrenheit. Line an 8 inch round cake tin with parchment on the bottom and rub the sides with a little butter.
  2. Next crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Whisk the two together until well combined and the batter starts to become lighter in color. 
  3. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon, almond flavor, and almond flour, then mix until combined, but don’t overmix and get all of the air out of the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if it’s ready (if it comes out clean).
  5. When it’s ready, remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  6. Lastly, dust it with powdered sugar, shaved almonds, and a drizzle of honey, if you please.

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