December 21, 2018 / Food

Tarta de santiago

Hi friends, 

a few days ago my friends and I arranged a Spanish dinner; from the appetizers to the dessert, everything has to be “Spanish”. 

One of my friend decided to bring the Jamón, the famous Iberian ham; another made the Sangria, the alcoholic Spanish drink with wine, spices and fruit; another one cooked the Paella, a typical Spanish meal made by rice, saffron, seafood or meat; and I couldn’t have made anything than the dessert! 

Initially I was scared of finding nothing that has to do with the Spanish cuisine. I’ve never heard talking about a special Spanish dessert. My savior, as always, has been Google. I’ve just typed “typical Spanish desserts” and the first outcome showed me not just one but about 14 recipes of Spanish desserts. I was relieved. Once I’ve started searching among all these recipes, they all seem far from our traditional ones, since they have ingredients like corn flour, quince, raisins or marzipan. 

Suddenly, a seeming sponge cake astonished me. 

The cake’s name is “Tarta de Santiago” because this cake was offered to the pilgrims which were about to take the famous “Camino de Santiago”. On the top of the cake, in fact, it is usual to draw a cross, the typical cross of the monastic- military order of Santiago de Compostela. 

This cake drew my attention because looking at its ingredients (eggs, sugar, minced almond), it reminded me of our Neapolitan “Caprese”! 

There is only a variation in its recipe from the original Caprese one: instead of dark chocolate, the Spanish recipe provides two spoons of cinnamon and the peel of a half lemon. Furthermore, another good news is that Tarta is a gluten free cake. 

Once I’ve got the perfect recipe, I soon started making it. I wrapped the cake and brought it to my friend’s house. I told them the whole story and they really enjoyed the cake. 

So, what are you waiting for? Wouldn’t like to taste it? Let’s make it. I assure you that the making of it is easy and quick. I just want to remind you that a perfect outcome of the “Tarta” depends on the egg whites that need to be whipped up, absorbing as much air as possible in order to make the dough particularly soft and spumy. 

Below the recipe. Don’t forget to let me know what you think about it! 


 Almonds 1 . cups 

 Sugar . cup 

 Eggs 4 

 Powdered Cinnamon 2 teaspoons 

 Lemon (peel) 1/2 

 Powdered sugar q.s. 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks with half of the sugar until combined in a soft and spumy mixture. 

Add the minced almonds, the cinnamon and the peel of half lemon. Mix it to obtain an uniform dough. 

In a large bowl, whip the egg whites up with the rest of the sugar. Once they’re well combined, incorporate them with the dough made before with movement from the top to the bottom. 

Cover a 22 cm pan with a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes. 

Let cool completely. 

Decorate it with powdered sugar. In order to have a perfect shape of the Santiago’s cross, you can draw the cross on a paper, cut it and then put on the top of the cake. After you’ve poured the powdered sugar, if you remove the paper cross you can see the perfect shape of it on the top of the cake. 

Instead of almonds, if you prefer, you can also use hazelnuts. 

The only thing to do now is taste it, so… Enjoy it! 

Rosa De Falco