Tortas de Alcázar recipe, sponge cakes from Ciudad Real that captivated royalty

It is said that Tortas de Alcázar were created around 1546 in the convent of Santa Clara, in the La Mancha town of Alcázar de San Juan. It was in that year when a group of nuns moved from Toledo to Ciudad Real to establish this new monastery. And it was there that these delicious sponge cakes were born, different but similar to the La Concepción sponge cakes from Toledo.

Tortas de Alcázar are already a very widespread and well-known sweet in our country and even became part of the regular provisions of the royal family when they were discovered by Isabella II. It is a round, flat, dry sponge cake, perfect for dipping. Ideal for those sweet-toothed lovers of traditional sweets eager for new discoveries.

Tortas de Alcázar

Tortas de Alcázar

Ingredients for the Tortas de Alcázar

  • 4 eggs
  • 50g of cornflour
  • 50g of flour
  • 100g of sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 160g of icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp of water

How to make the Tortas de Alcázar

  1. To begin with, prepare squares of parchment paper to bake the tortas de Alcázar individually. They are presented with the paper so that they are better preserved. Then you remove the paper and enjoy this delicious sponge cake. The squares should have a minimum size of 15×15 cm, although this will also depend on how you want the sponge cakes.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip them separately. First, beat the egg whites until stiff with a pinch of salt and set aside. Finally, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they double in volume. Add the lemon zest and the sifted flour to the egg yolks. Mix everything well with the whisk until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Finally, add the egg whites and mix with a spatula, taking care not to reduce the volume of the mixture. Once it is finished, put it in a piping bag and you can start preparing the sponge cakes.
  4. In each of the previously prepared squares, draw a spiral with the piping bag to obtain discs of dough that occupy almost all the baking paper but do not reach the edges.
  5. Bake at 180°C for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Even so, they should not brown too much, it is preferable to leave them white so that their traditional texture and flavour does not change. Make an ordinary icing with the icing sugar and water, as if you were decorating a sponge cake or some berlinas. Take the tortas out of the oven and brush them with the icing, leave to cool and enjoy!

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