Holiday Recipe: Gluten-Free Almond Cake from Andalucia, Spain.

Via on Dec 9, 2010

Tartes de Almendres de Andalucia

Looking for a simple cake for the holidays or something to please a no-gluten glutton?

This recipe comes from the kitchens of culinary trio Kim Schiffer, Ashley Mulligan and myself, perfected during the last program that we led together, in southern Spain.

(Be sure to check it out for next year!)


The Alpujarras Mountains of Southern Spain


The Spanish city of Grenada

This almond cake rocks my socks. It’s delicious and quite easy…as long as you have almonds on hand or happen to have a place nearby to buy almond flour. Bob’s Red Mill offers a nice almond flour (though it’s not cheap—about $13.99 for a 1 lb bag). But, almonds are also not cheap and take a while to blanch, skin and grind. Depends on the day, right? Cheaper than champagne.

This cake is also rich in protein and not too sweet—which makes it equally fulfilling as a breakfast treat, especially when served with marmalade and a dollop of yogurt.


The cake, garnished with wild plum marmalade, dried figs steeped in Grand Marnier and red wine, then stuffed and rolled in chocolate and pistachio nuts.

> Butter for the pan
> Flour for the pan
> 2 cups of ground blanched almonds
> 1 cup of sugar
> 7 eggs
> 1/2 t cinnamon
> Zest of one orange or lemon
> Use confectioner’s sugar for dusting or use jam or orange marmalade.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and dust a 9 inch springform pan and shake off excess. Grind the almonds to a powder (or use pre-ground), set aside. Beat eggs and sugar together until thick and light in color. A standing mixer is best. Add cinnamon and zest. Add the almond flour and mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a rack. Undo the sides and present the cake dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with marmalade and a dollop of cream or yogurt.

Find more Mediterranean-influenced holiday recipes, including a Moroccan Pineapple Upside Down Turned Around Cake and Tuscan Turkey Stuffed with Sausage, Prunes and Chestnut on my blog.

About Peggy Markel

Sign up for Peggy's monthly newsletter, to receive stories, videos, recipes and updates in your inbox. Join the PMCA community on facebook for photos and stories from the road. Since 1992, Peggy Markel has traversed the Mediterranean and North Africa, from Elban fishing villages and Moroccan markets to the homes of Tuscan artisans and chefs, furthering her own exploration of culture and cuisine. On these journeys, she saw an opportunity to design and direct her own brand of culinary tours in which enjoyment of the present place and moment plays a pivotal role. "When we speak of Slow Travel, we mean that particular experience of letting yourself merge with your surroundings: the pace, customs, mores and style of where you find yourself. It’s really about our willingness to let the world in, and see ourselves a part of it.” For more information about Peggy's trips and classes: peggymarkel.com For more writing and recipes by Peggy: peggymarkel.blogspot.com Or, follow Peggy on Twitter

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12 Responses to “Holiday Recipe: Gluten-Free Almond Cake from Andalucia, Spain.”

  1. AngelaRaines says:

    Ooh, looks great! Can't wait to try it, thanks Peggy! And thanks for those beautiful images of Spain, too.

  2. Ann Gregory says:

    Peggy this looks amazing and after talking with you I can't wait to make it…thanks for always sharing your wonderful journeys, flavors and tastes with us…Merry Christmas…Amore Ann

  3. Peggy Markel says:

    I hope you like it as much as I do!

  4. JinpaG says:

    Beautiful photos, Peggy … love them, and seeing slices of Andalucía through your eyes. Brings me back …. The recipe you include is a little different than the way I wrote it in my journal, when Ashley gave us the recipe, so I am eager to try your version and see whether it comes out with different texture, or what. Looking forward to making it again … and again!
    Besos, Gabrielle

  5. Peggy Markel says:

    Gabrielle, we still must compare. Tea party to tea party.

  6. Hi, Peggy.

    Great to see these pictures of Andalusia. I lived among scenes like this for a year right out of college to study flamenco guitar with the gypsy masters. Here's some ultra-appropriate music to go with this food and article: http://padreehijo.bandcamp.com/

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

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