Bolo de Amêndoa Recipe (Portuguese Almond Cake)

Makes 1 large cake
60 minutes


  • 250g of ground almonds
  • 170g of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp of plain flour, for dusting (use a gluten-free flour blend if required)
  • flaked almonds, for sprinkling
  • icing sugar, for dusting


Preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and grease a 10-inch cake tin with butter. Line the bottom of the tin with baking paper, then grease the paper with a little extra butter. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess
Place the butter and ground almonds into a food processor and pulse until combined
Whisk the egg yolks and 200g of the caster sugar together until light and fluffy (this will take around 5 minutes in a stand mixer; slightly longer for an electric or handheld whisk). Add the lemon zest, salt and cinnamon and mix until incorporated, then fold the almond and butter mixture into the egg yolks with a spatula. Set aside
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then whisk in the remaining 50g of sugar until the whites form glossy medium peaks. Add one-third of the egg whites into the almond mixture and stir to lighten, then fold in another third of the whites, keeping as much air in the whites as possible. Finally, add the remainder of the egg whites, incorporating gently until there are no streaks of white visible
Smooth the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake turns golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the tin
Transfer to a rack and leave to rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the tin. Leave to cool completely, then scatter with flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar before serving. The centre of the cake will collapse a little as it cools, but this is perfectly normal