Published by Hyperion
It is said that the origin of this cake is the pilgrimage town of Santiago, a city in northwest Spain that is famous for the road where millions walked in pilgrimage to the burial site of Saint James the apostle (Santiago). Traditionally, this cake is sprinkled with powdered sugar stenciled onto the cake in the shape of the Saint James cross. You can simply sift some powdered sugar over the top or over a doily. I love to serve slices of this cake with crème anglaise and a few raspberries, which provide a fresh note to the buttery almond cake.
Almond flour is sold in specialty stores and baking supply stores, or you can make your own. Start with blanched (peeled) almonds. Grind them, no more than 1½ cups at a time, in a food processor until powdery. Stop before the nuts become oily. Starting with chilled nuts helps avoid oiliness.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Mealdinner, snack, tea
Taste and Texturebuttery, light, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcake
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus more for the pans, softened
- 1 cup almond flour (see Note)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 round 8-inch pans preferably non-stick.
Stir the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the sugar and 8 tablespoons butter in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. The batter should be light yellow and foamy. Add the zest and vanilla and almond extracts.
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter with a rubber spatula one-third at a time. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely.
Dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
2005 Daisy Martinez