Margarita's International Recipes


Torta de Santiago

St. James' Cake

Torta de Santiago or, as is known in Spanish, Tarta de Santiago, is one of the best known Galician delicacies. It's sold at bakeries throughout the region. This simple, if expensive, cake might date to the 16the century, but only became popular in the 19th. It received it's current name in 1924, when a Galician bakery decided to decorate these almond cakes with the Cross of St. James.

The recipe for this cake is pretty straight forward, though there are some variations. Some recipes have you toast the ground almonds to enhance their flavor. Some have you include half a shot of your favorite liqueur. This one is just quick and easy.

The cake turned out amazing flavor wise. It was just delicious and I couldn't stop eating it. But I had problems unmolding it, even though I heavily buttered the pan, and it broke a bit. Most recipes recommend that you use a tart pan with a removable bottom, but I didn't have one so I used my regular tart pan. The cake also turned out a little bit too soft, next time I think I'd add an extra egg and cook it for 30 to 35 minutes.

You can decorate the cake however you want. If you want to use the cross of St. James, there are plenty of stencils online. Just print them, cut them out, then place the cross in the center of the cake and sprinkle powdered sugar around it. Be careful when taking the stencil out. Of course, you can use whatever stencil you want. Tarta de Santiago "

Torta de Santiago


  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • grated peel of lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 or 5 large eggs
  • powdered sugar


Prehet oven to 350F. Grease a tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom.

In a small bowl, mix the ground almonds with the cinnamon and lemon peel. Pour the sugar into a larger bowl and carefully whisk in the eggs, one at a time, being careful to not whisk too much. Gradually and gently whisk in the almond mixture. Once it's all incorporated, pour onto prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is dry.

Let cool. Carefully unmold. Decorate with powdered sugar and a stencil, if desired.

Adapted from a recipe at Lolita la pastelera.

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