Torta De Cielo (Almond Sponge Cake)

Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins

This delicious cake is from Diana Kennedy's "The Cuisines of Mexico" -- a really great book. Here the cake is flavored with almond. Sometimes the 'cake of heaven' is flavored with anise. Remember, the almonds need a good 6 hours to soak, before you can begin to make the cake.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pour hot water over the almonds to cover and let them soak at least six hours; skin them.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Butter a 9" springform pan generously; cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom; lay it in the bottom, press, and turn so that the parchment is buttered on both sides; lightly flour the pan.
  4. Chop the nuts roughly, then grind them a little at a time; to qoute Ms. Kennedy, "they should be neither too coarse not too fine.".
  5. Beat the egg whites until fluffy; add the salt and continue beating until they are stiff.
  6. Add the yolks one by one and continue beating until incorporated.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients together and, beating at low speed, gradually add them to the egg mixture.
  8. Add the brandy and almond extract, mix well and pour into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours in the middle of the oven.
  10. Let the cake get cold before removing it from the pan.
  11. This moist, textured cake keeps almost indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place--preferably not the refrigerator.


Most Helpful

I made this cake a bit different. It is a little bit blanching or soaking of almonds 1 cup unsalted butter room temp 1 1/4 cup skin on whole raw almonds food processed to "meal" texture" 1 1/4 cups sugar 3 lightly beaten eggs 1 tsp EACH almond and vanilla extract 9 tbsp all purpose flour pinch of sea salt or salt Oven 350 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pan beat butter and sugar until smooth, beat in eggs , almonds, and extracts until well blended, stir in flour and salt just until incorporated, spoon into pan and smooth surface, bake 40 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely on wire rack. Invert, sprinkle w/ conf sugar and toasted almond slivers.

meresparky_409948641 March 04, 2010

I saved some time and made this cake using bought coarsly ground almonds, I also used 3 tablespoons of dark rum in place of the brandy, I think I could have even increased the rum slightly and next time I will do that, this is a wonderful cake recipe, thanks for sharing Kate!...Kitten

Kittencal@recipezazz November 04, 2007

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