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December 9, 2010

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

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.

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