Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Catholic Recipe: Almond Torte from Santiago de la Compostela


  • 1 pound ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioner’s sugar


Yield: 1-10 inch cake

Prep Time:  1 1/2 hours

Difficulty:  ★★☆☆

Cost:  ★★★☆

For Ages: 11+

Origin: Spain


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Also Called: Torta de Almendras de Santiago

This recipe is from My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel. Using a bag of ground almond meal the tart shouldn’t be too time-consuming. Almonds don’t grow in this area of Spain, so it is a puzzlement that this cake is made with them. Mendel speculates that it originally might have been made from chestnuts.

The torte is usually decorated with a pattern of the Cross of St. James or the cockle shell, both symbols of St. James.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

Spread the almonds in a baking pan and toast them in the oven, stirring often. Remove from oven when light colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Give time to cool.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat, one at a time. Gradually stir in the flour, the almond meal and lemon zest.

Pour mixture into the greased pan and bake about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean and the center when lightly pressed bounces back.

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Poke the surface of the torte with a skewer and drizzle with lemon juice over the top. Add the pattern of the cross and dust the surface with confectioner’s sugar.

Recipe Source: My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel, William Morrow Cookbooks, 2002