Tarta de Santiago
A traditional Galician recipe for this delicious almond cake with a shortcrust pastry base.
- Interesting Facts
As a dessert that originated in Galicia, the Tarta de Santiago is one of Spanish cuisine’s most iconic delights.
There are several theories as to the origin of this cake. The first dates back to 1577, when a similar cake called Torta Real was produced. Its ingredients were very similar to the cake we know and love today: ground almonds, sugar and eggs.
But the second and most historically recorded theory is from 1838. It appears in Luis Bartolomé de Leybar's Book of Confectionery, which made reference to almond sponge cakes. Another reference can be found in a book published in 1893, The confectioner and the pastry chef: a very useful book for housekeepers, innkeepers and confectioners by Eduardo Merín, in which the recipe for an almond cake decorated with a thin layer of ground sugar is described.
But the final version of the Tarta de Santiago, the one we know today, appeared in 1924 when José Mora Soto wanted to distinguish it from the other traditional desserts by adorning the cake with its characteristic cross.
The almond cake shot to fame thanks to the pilgrimage to Santiago, where millions of visitors turned the Tarta de Santiago into an emblematic and traditional product of Galicia.
In 2006, the Tarta de Santiago was registered as a Protected Geographical Indication.
La Menorquina offers its customers a traditional Tarta de Santiago that is created from almond cake with a shortcrust pastry base and decorated with icing sugar in the shape of the Cross of Santiago.