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You don’t have to travel all the way to enjoy Santiago’s cake

Santiago cake

There is no pastry shop along the famous route that doesn't serve the Torta de Santiago, a truly amazing almond-based dessert.

As is easy to guess from the name, the Santiago cake is typical of Spanish cuisine , more precisely of Galicia. In fact, there is no pastry shop along the famous path that doesn't have one on display in the window, but has it always been like this? It's difficult to say because the Santiago cake and its history are lost in the meanders of time. In all likelihood it is the Tarta Real , already known in the early 16th century, and prepared with eggs, sugar and almonds. At the time, however, almonds were the prerogative of a few and therefore even the dessert was in a certain way "exclusive".

Today, the cake is distinguished by the decoration in the shape of a cross of Santiago, symbol of an ancient military monastic order from the 12th century. What remains unchanged over the years, however, are the ingredients and, consequently, its being naturally gluten-free . Let's find out together how to prepare it!

Santiago cake
Santiago cake

How to prepare the Santiago cake with the original recipe

  1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and a pinch of salt and whip everything with an electric whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the almond flour (if you can't find it, blend an equal quantity of peeled almonds with a couple of spoons of sugar taken from the total) and the chopped almonds (also in this case you can prepare it by coarsely blending the almonds or chopping them with a knife).
  3. Flavor with the grated orange and lemon zest and cinnamon then mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 26cm diameter pan . To keep the dessert glute free, use starch or corn starch or plain baking paper instead of flour.
  5. Cook in a static oven at 170°C for 35-40 minutes , testing with a toothpick before taking out of the oven: if inserted in the center of the cake it must come out completely dry.
  6. Once cold, print a stencil with the cross of Santiago, cut it out and decorate with icing sugar . Obviously creating the design is optional, but it will give the cake its distinctive look.

Santiago cake with Bimby

To prepare the almond flour , blend the 200 g of almonds with two tablespoons of sugar taken from the total for 15 sec. at speed 5. For the chopped almonds , blend 50 g of almonds for 7 sec. at speed 5. Then transfer everything to a plate and continue as per the recipe.

  1. Break the eggs into the bowl, add the sugar and mix for 2 minutes. at speed 4.
  2. Add the flour and chopped almonds , the grated orange and lemon zest, the cinnamon and salt and mix the ingredients for 20 seconds. speed 3.
  3. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 26cm baking pan or lined with baking paper.
  4. Cook at 170°C for 35-40 minutes, testing with a toothpick before removing from the oven.
  5. Once cold decorate with icing sugar .

Santiago cake with shortcrust pastry

As with all traditional recipes, even in this case there are different variations. The Santiago cake with shortcrust pastry is prepared like the recipe we have proposed, which is the most widespread and the one that obtained the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) designation in 2011 to which, however , a base of shortcrust pastry or pasta is added. brisé and the dough prepared with almond flour is transformed into a sort of filling.

You can follow our shortcrust pastry recipe to prepare this variant and then cook everything at 170°C for 45 minutes.


The Santiago cake can be kept outside the refrigerator, under a cake container, for up to a week . Freezing is not recommended.

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