Portuguese Almond Torte | Bolo de Amêndoa

Almond Torte Recipe

Because this almond torte is made without flour, it’s exceptionally moist and dense—just the way the Portuguese adore it. I like to sprinkle it with a bit of confectioners’ sugar or, if I’m feeling truly decadent, I spoon on some preserves and whipped cream.–David Leite

LC Flourless To A Fault Note

Flourless this cake can be, although just be extra careful removing it if you don’t dust the pan with flour. A little extra care is all it should take to keep the cake intact—and the recipe from being flourless to a flop, er, fault.

Almond Torte Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan, at room temperature
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the pan (optional)
  • 3 cups blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites

Directions

  • 1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and crank the heat to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Coat the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
  • 2. Buzz the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a food processor until the consistency of fine cornmeal. Really lean on that button to make sure the almonds are as finely chopped as possible. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  • 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer in a big bowl, beat 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the yolks on medium-high until very light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the zest, salt, and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Whirl in the almond mixture and vanilla.
  • 4. In an impeccably clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy then slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until the whites form soft, luscious peaks. Plop a spatulaful into the almond mixture and stir to lighten. Carefully fold in the remainder of the whites until no streaks show. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  • 5. Bake until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before serving. The middle will collapse a bit; that is as it should be.
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Ellen Fuss

Feb 10, 2009

I selected this torte for a Passover dessert and lined the pan with a sprinkling of matzah cake meal instead of flour. The result was a moist, delicious almond torte unlike any of our usual Passover desserts. It’s quite rich so a small portion is all one needs to be satisfied. The torte came together easily. I actually made two of them and froze one after it had completely cooled and found that it did not significantly change the taste or texture of the torte. The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow and the timing is perfect as written. The sides begin to pull away when the torte is done and the house begins to smell wonderful. The cake does sink a bit in the middle during cooling, but no matter. Include this recipe in your menu when you need a flourless dessert or when you just want to make something delicious.

Comments
Comments
  1. blima says:

    Off to the kitchen with this recipe, will post about it later, one thing I have to leave out is the cinnamon, hope it wont make a huge difference. As always David, your recipes make me drool just reading them. Can you imagine the mess I am when tasting. :))

  2. blima says:

    Fabulous! This cake is also perfect for Passover: no flour or levening agents. This one is a keeper, thanks. There is a typo. The recipe calls for “12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 cups).” It should be “1 1/2 sticks.”

    • David Leite says:

      Blima, is there a recipe you haven’t tried! Glad you like it. And thanks for the eagle eye. I’ve changed butter amount.

  3. Monty says:

    At first, I was quite skeptical about making this dish..especially when the batter was less than delectable. Do not fear! After baking it, the house permeated with lemon goodness, and I found the entire family gobbling up the confection. I recommend one makes sure to use a fairly large pan to bake this in to ensure that the cake gets fully done. For the adventuresome baker, it is worthwhile!

    • David Leite says:

      Monty, so glad you like the bolo. Yes, the cake needs to be baked in a 10-inch spring form pan. Anything smaller will cause the it to be too thick and not cook properly.

  4. Ro says:

    Amazing. Have made it three times and everybody loves it. Gets better after a few days if it lasts!

  5. Sandi Dayagi says:

    I plan to make this recipe for Passover this year. I have quite a bit of ground almond flour that I bought for other recipes. Is it possible to use this in this cake? If so, how much?

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Sandi, I’ve never made it with almond flour, which is finer and would chance the texture of the cake. So to avoid any last-minute surprises, my advice is to grind your almonds.

  6. I made this for Passover last year and it was a huge hit.

    Kind regards,

    Michelle

  7. Sweet*Heidi says:

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! This is gluten free if you omit the flour for dusting! I made it, it turned out so perfectly, all golden and delicious. MMMMM I highly recommend the recipe!

  8. Sweet*Heidi says:

    I have to add, I used blanched almond flour instead of buzzing up the almonds and that worked perfectly.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Sweet*Heidi! Wondering how much almond flour you used in lieu of blending almonds with the sugar. Also, is almond flour and almond meal (ground almonds) are the same? Thanks!

  9. Jenna says:

    Baked as directed, I found the cake to be a little greasy. I cut the butter in half and used half granulated sugar and half powdered. Perfect!

  10. gabriela Altman says:

    David,

    I made this cake last year for Passover, as well, and everyone loved it. Do you think it would freeze well? I have so much work to do the few days before the Seder.

    Thanks,
    Gaby

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Gaby, I think it would freeze well, but make sure it completely cools to room temperature and then wrap it very, very well in plastic then foil.

  11. Maya says:

    Hello, this recipe looks like the one from the Portuguese cookbook that I used to possess. But, much healthier, as that recipe asked for seven eggs or so. But, would it be possible to tell me in grams the amount of GROUND almonds I would need to include? I live in Spain and am able to buy very nice ground almonds for baking.

    If you have this measurement at your convenient disposal, I would be very, very grateful for it.

    Thank you :D

    • David Leite says:

      Hello, Maya. So glad you like the recipe. Three cups of slivered almonds weigh 12 ounces, or 340 grams. Hope this helps!

  12. Christina says:

    If I wanted to halve the recipe, what size pan would you recommend? Could I substitute an 8-inch springform pan or should I use something smaller?

    Thanks!

  13. T. says:

    May I use a combination of unblanched and blanched almonds? Also, should they be toasted in the oven before I grind them?

    Thanks in advance!
    T.

    • David Leite says:

      T, you can bake with a combo of almonds; the only thing is the cake may be a bit darker depending on many unblanched almonds you use. And there’s no need to toast the almonds. It won’t hurt, but it certainly could add a layer of flavor–as long as you toast them lightly. If you do toast them, I’d suggest using only blanched nuts.

  14. regina goncalves says:

    This recipe is amazing. I have finally been able to master the “pudim” and am so glad that this almond cake came out perfect. It was so good that my boyfriend couldn’t wait for it to cool down before having a taste. It was so good that we ate the whole thing in three days. JUST THE TWO OF US! you cant just have one sliver, its impossible. So now I only bake it to take to someone else’s home, otherwise I would be morbidly obese. i have made two already and now making the third appearance for tomorrows Páscoa feast (Easter feast). This cake and my perfect “pudim” are going to be a huge hit. Thanks so much for the recipe. Keep them coming.

    • David Leite says:

      Muito obrigado for your comment! I’m thrilled you enjoy the cake and that it came out so well for you. I wish you and yours uma Feliz Páscoa.

  15. Ellen says:

    This cake looks great, but since it’s dairy, I can’t serve it at a Seder. However, for a dairy meal during Passover, it would be delicious. Also for breakfast, for a break from matza brei. If you want to serve it during Passover, line the pan with matza cake meal instead of flour and skip the confectioners’ sugar, which has cornstarch in it. You can make your own confectioners’ sugar by blending sugar, superfine if you have it, with matza cake meal in a blender or processor until it’s like powder.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Ellen, what wonderful advice! Thanks so much for chiming in with your suggestions.

  16. Rochelle Eissenstat says:

    I made this cake for Passover with the following changes:

    I used already ground blanched almonds: 300 grams equaled 3 cups.
    Instead of 1 1/4 c. sugar, I used 1 1/8 cups.
    I used 9 Tablespoons of coconut oil + 2 Tablespoons water to replace the butter.
    I left out the cinnamon b/c a family member is allergic to it.
    I used 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger. No lemon rind.

    In addition, not having great faith in my handling of egg whites, I added 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

    I put the batter into 2 long narrow loaf pans which are termed “English Cake” pans here in Israel [a quaint sign of one lasting cultural impression of the British Mandate over Israel]. I don’t have a 10-inch springform pan. I baked them at 325°F for about 1 hour or until the top surface was golden brown.
    The results: very moist, very strong almond flavor, a dense cake with mild grainy texture due to the almonds. The sweetness was good for me, I would not want it any sweeter. Next time I may reduce the sugar to only 1 cup total.

    Thanks! Obrigado!

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