Almond tarta di Santiago

Gluten-free post-workout dessert

This fantastic almond cake comes from Santiago di Compostella, the capital of Spain, Galicia. It is named after the patron saint of Spain, St. James and is traditionally made with just almonds, sugar and eggs. Sometimes it has a sweet pastry case, but my version is without pastry. It is not only more virtuous as it contains absolutely no butter, but it is moist and light, gluten-free and a great natural energy food.

Almond tarta di Santiago

Also the almonds in this cake provide good, cholesterol-reducing monounsaturated fats and also contain significant amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E, plus magnesium and potassium. Yes, they are basically good for you. It is also an incredibly quick cake to make and good enough to serve up as a desert with a dollop of cream or some fruit.


1. Turn the oven on to 180˚C and grease the cake tin.

2. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage with an electric whisk — they will become white and will form little 'droopy' peaks.

3. Put the egg yolks, lemon zest and sugar into a separate bowl and whisk until pale and creamy.

4. Stir in the almonds and the sherry.

5. Fold in the egg whites, a little at a time, and then pour the mixture into the cake tin.

6. Cook in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, until golden. If you poke a skewer into the middle of the cake, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin, on a wire rack.

7. Decorate with icing sugar.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs medium or sweet sherry
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Vital Statistics

Serves: 6-8. Use a 23cm spring form cake tin or flan dish
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Relatively easy
Good for: Good energy food, a great treat for after exercise or for a nutritious dessert. Gluten-free

Calories (kcal): 447.1
Protein (g): 14
Carbs (g): 40.7
Fat (g): 25.2
Fiber (g): 2.9

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