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Portuguese Almond Torte ~ Bolo de Amêndoa

A floral plate with a slice of Portuguese almond torte, dusted with icing sugar, with a dollop of whipped cream and shreds of lemon zest.
This Portuguese almond torte, known as Bolo de Amêndoa, is made with almonds, lemon zest, and cinnamon to create a rich, flourless, dense, and gluten-free torte that's a Portuguese favorite.
David Leite

Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr 15 mins
Dessert
Portuguese
10 to 12 servings
438 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter plus more for the pan, at room temperature
  • Gluten-free 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 

Prep the oven and pan

  • 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.

Prepare the almonds

  • Buzz the almonds and 1/4 cup 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.

Mix the wet ingredients

  • 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 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.

Whip the egg whites and make the batter

  • 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.

Bake and cool the cake

  • Bake until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Place on a rack and let rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan. (Be extra careful removing the cake from the pan if you didn't dust the pan with flour. A little extra care is all it should take to keep the cake intact.) Let the cake cool completely before serving. The center of the cake will collapse a little as it cools. That is as it should be.