Tarta de Santiago (St. James cake)

Tarta de Santiago
Tarta de Santiago

Tarta de Santiago (St. James cake)

  By solypimiento      

August 19, 2015

5.0 0

A "Tarta de Santiago" (or St James cake) is a delicious regional cake original from Galicia, in the north-west of Spain. This medieval almond cake has a characteristic moist texture, obtained by using ground almonds instead of flour, which also makes it gluten free. The distinctive touch of citrus and cinnamon combines perfectly with the nuttiness of the almonds. It is what we call a very effective and simple recipe, as it uses only 5 ingredients, takes no more than 30 minutes to make and the result is guaranteed to impress all of those who try it. The top of the cake is traditionally decorated with the "Cruz de Santiago" (Cross of Saint James) and icing sugar.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • 10 mins

    20 mins

    30 mins

  • Yields: 1 cake (12 portions)


250 g - Raw almonds (preferably, but ground raw almonds can be used instead)

200 g - Sugar

250 g - Eggs (5 medium eggs or 4 large ones)

1 - Lemon zest

1/2 tsp - Cinnamon

2 tbsp - Icing sugar

20 g - Butter to grease the tart tin


Preheat the oven at 180ÂșC with the grill switched off and heat from top and bottom.

Place the raw almonds in a food processor and ground them. To provide our cake with the perfect texture, we want 70% of the almonds finely ground and the remaining 30% with a coarser grain. For this reason it is ideal that we ground the almonds ourselves, although feel free to use already-ground raw almonds instead if you do not have a food processor on hand. Tip: for an even grain, do not overload the food processor and grind the almonds in batches.

Place the two grains of ground almonds in a bowl together with the sugar and mix well with the help of a mixing spoon.

Add the eggs one by one to the bowl and mix together very gently and slowly with a whisker, without introducing air to the mixture.

Add the lemon zest and the cinnamon and mix well using a spatula.

Grease the bottom and walls of a tart tin with some butter. We recommend to use a tin with loose base for easier de-moulding. For this quantities, a 25 cm diameter is perfect to prepare a 2 cm thick Tarta de Santiago (this cake is meant to be thin, as it is fairly filling).

Pour the mixture into the tart tin and bake for 25 minutes. When the time is up, stick a knife in the middle of the cake and verify that it remains clean, otherwise bake for some more minutes and repeat the operation with the knife until it gets out clean.

Search for "St James Cross" on Google, print out your favourite and cut it with a pair of scissors to make a template.

De-mould the cake and transfer it to the serving plate. Position the paper template centred on the top of the cake and sieve icing sugar until covering the entire surface.

Remove the template carefully with some tweezers, serve and enjoy.


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