Sweet Saturday: Almond cake (pasta de almendra)

This dish is probably my most successful one so far this month! This cake is delicious – very dense, but with a wonderfully subtle citrus flavor and the perfect touch of sweetness. My only note (as I say in the video) is not to test it with a toothpick, as the top of the cake forms a hard crust that will not rebound back into shape like traditional, spongy cakes do. I’ll definitely be making this one again! Here’s the recipe, from The Vintage Mixer:

Spanish Almond Cake


  • 1/2 pound (1 3/4 cups) whole almonds, preferably blanched
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 drops almond extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Finely grind the almonds in a food processor.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
  3. With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).
  4. Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.
  5. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.

5 thoughts on “Sweet Saturday: Almond cake (pasta de almendra)

  1. Thank you! The cake was fantastic – it’s not as sweet as most cakes nowadays, which allows for the other flavors to really come through. Great recipe! 😀

  2. Pingback: Spain masterpost | Travel Fare

  3. Pingback: 'Holy' Toledo! Cookies and a Spanish Time Capsule | HDYTI

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