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Traditional Santiago Cake (Gluten-Free Spanish Almond Cake): A Must-Have for Almond Lovers

Traditional Santiago Cake (Gluten-Free Spanish Almond Cake): A Must-Have for Almond Lovers

Immerse yourself in the rich and aromatic world of Santiago Cake, a traditional Spanish almond cake that is deliciously simple to make and completely gluten-free. Originally from Galicia, this cake is made with finely ground almonds instead of flour, making it a great option for those avoiding gluten. Enhanced with the zest of fresh lemons and a hint of cinnamon, this cake is not only flavorful but also incredibly moist and tender, providing a delicious treat that almond lovers will love.

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Why you'll love it: Santiago cake is famous for its dense, rich texture and deep almond flavor, complemented by the refreshing zest of lemon and the warming spice of cinnamon. The simplicity of this cake lets the natural flavors of the almonds shine through, while the addition of powdered sugar on top adds a sweet, decorative touch. It's a versatile dessert that fits perfectly into any meal, from a festive celebration to a cozy family tea time.

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Perfect occasion: Given its elegant simplicity and rich flavor, Santiago cake is perfect for various occasions. It's a fantastic choice for holiday meals, especially at Christmas and Easter. It also makes a wonderful dessert for dinner parties or as a special treat to enjoy after a tapas meal. Its gluten-free nature makes it suitable for people with dietary restrictions, ensuring that everyone can enjoy its delicious taste.

Decorating Tips: The Santiago cake traditionally features the cross of Saint James sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can achieve this by placing a paper stencil of the cross on the cake and sprinkling it with powdered sugar, then carefully removing the stencil to reveal the design. For more spice, you can garnish with lemon zest or a few whole almonds placed around the edge of the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 190g almonds (or almond flour)
  • 180g caster sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  1. Prepare the dough:
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, powdered sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
    • If using whole almonds, grind them finely in a food processor. Gently fold the almond flour into the egg mixture, incorporating from the bottom up to keep the mixture fluffy. Add a pinch of cinnamon if you like.
  2. Bake the cake:
    • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F).
    • Pour the dough into a 22/24 cm diameter cake mold covered with baking paper.
    • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Finish and serve:
    • Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a serving plate.
    • Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar, possibly using a stencil for a traditional decoration.

Enjoy this exquisite Santiago Cake, a gluten-free delight that captures the essence of Spanish baking with its simple yet rich almond flavor enhanced by fresh lemon zest. This cake will definitely become a cherished recipe for everyone who tries it!

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