Recipe: Almond Short Torte (Bolo de Amêndoa)

Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger

Almond torte with mango and berries on top. 

A torte is similar to a cake, but it’s usually made without wheat flour; uses eggs and ground nuts for structure; and is flatter, moister, and denser than its cake cousin. With origins as far back as the 1500s, tortes are a great option for anyone, especially those who have gluten or wheat intolerance. This particular recipe is a variation on a Portuguese Almond Torte (Bolo de Amêndoa).

This Short Torte is perfect for a smaller family or a casual gathering. It ends up standing about 1-inch tall and is deliciously moist. I love the warmth of the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, but you can substitute ground spices to suit your preference. You can also top it with fresh fruit, cream, or other toasted nuts.

Torte Ingredients

  • 170 g (~1 ¾ cups) almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 125 g (~½ cup) granulated sugar, divided
  • 85 g (~6 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients

  • 15 g (~2 tbsp) powdered sugar
  • 10 g (~2 tbsp) sliced and toasted almonds
  • assorted berries, shaped fruit, and/or chocolate shavings (optional)

Making the Torte 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray the edges of one round springform pan (9 inches) with baking spray; line the bottom with baking parchment. Spray the parchment with baking spray as well. Note: you can also bake in a 9-inch ceramic tart pan, though you would just leave the torte in the pan to cool and serve the torte from the pan.
  2. Whisk together almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and half the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. 
  3. With a pastry cutter or an electric hand mixer on medium low speed, add the softened butter to the almond mixture. Mix well to combine. It will start to come together and look like a thick dough.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and remaining granulated sugar on medium high until very light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. Add the almond mixture to the egg yolks mixture and mix well until combined. It should be pretty thick at this point.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  7. Add one-third of the stiff egg whites to the almond mixture, and stir it into the mixture to help slacken the dough a bit. Then, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
  8. Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until the torte is golden brown, the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the center is firm enough to spring back when gently touched.
  9. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. The torte will be delicate, so take extra care removing the cake from the springform pan and transferring it to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. It may sink a little as it cools.

Topping the Torte

Once the torte is cooled, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and decorate with toasted almonds. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Almond torte



Bolo de Amêndoa also makes an appearance in my book, Contar Numa Cozinha Portuguesa / Counting in a Portuguese Kitchen. Learn more here.

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