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San Marcos cake. Traditional recipe that never goes out of style

San Marcos cake. Traditional recipe that never goes out of style

people icon For 10 euro icon € 1.9 /pers. calories icon 326 kcal/100g


  • For the cake: 4 eggs M (room temperature)
  • 140g sugar
  • 160 g of special pastry wheat flour
  • 5 g butter (soft or creamy)
  • For the syrup: 150 g of sugar
  • 150 g of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • For the filling and decoration of whipped cream: 600 g of whipping cream (very cold)
  • 120 g of icing sugar.
  • For the toasted yolk topping: 4 eggs
  • Sugar, the same weight as the eggs
  • 90 g of water
  • 15 g cornstarch
  • To decorate: slivered almonds (optional)

San Marcos Cake, the traditional cake that you can now make at home, a cake that never goes out of style.

The San Marcos Cake is a pastry classic that could not be missing from our recipe book. This popular sweet is an institution in our country’s pastries and can be found anywhere in the country, north, south, east or west.

In its most basic formula, St. Mark’s Cake is made up of two layers of Genoese sponge cake , a delicious light syrup , a sweetened whipped cream filling, and a pastry yolk topping . There are more sophisticated versions in which the number of layers increases from two to three and the filling layers alternate sweetened whipped cream and truffle. 

We have been eating and enjoying this popular cake for years and we can’t get enough of it. A dessert that is a delight that melts in your mouth. The spongy sponge cake soaked in syrup, the whipped cream and the pastry yolk combine perfectly and, for this reason, this cake has never gone out of style and we doubt that it will.

Although it is not a complicated recipe, we must warn you that there are four preparations that must be ready before being able to assemble the cake. That is why it is important to organize yourself before starting to prepare it. While the cake is baking, you can prepare the syrup and whip the cream , so we can get ahead of the work. And then, when the cake cools, we prepare the pastry yolk and everything is ready to finish the task. In just over an hour it is ready.

It is a perfect cake for a special occasion : birthday, anniversary, etc. With this recipe you won’t need to go out and buy it at the bakery, if you follow our steps carefully it will come out yes or yes. Enjoy it!

Preparation of the cake base sponge cake

  1. We heat the oven to 180ºC, top and bottom with traditional heat, and line the base and edges of an approximately 27×31 cm baking tray with parchment paper. We spread the base with melted butter.
  2. Using electric whisks, a food processor or manual whisks, beat the eggs together with the sugar until white, that is, until the color changes and the mixture becomes pale and has tripled in volume.
  3. We sift the flour and add it to the previous mixture, little by little. We stir gently each time, with enveloping movements from bottom to top so that the air incorporated with the mixture is not lost. We do not add more flour until we have incorporated all the previous one.
  4. We transfer the mixture to a pastry bag to make it easier to spread it, evenly and with equal thickness, throughout the tray. Cook at medium height for 10-12 minutes or until the surface looks lightly golden.
  5. Once the cake sheet is cooked, we unmold it and let it cool before cutting it in half. We reserve.

Preparation of the syrup and whipped cream for the filling and decoration

  1. To prepare the syrup , put all the ingredients (water, sugar and lemon) in a saucepan and heat until it comes to a boil. We lower the intensity of the heat and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. We reserve.
  2. And to prepare the whipped cream : In a deep, wide container, beat the cream with the help of electric whisks, a food processor or manual whisks.
  3. When it begins to gain body, add the icing sugar, in two or three batches, and continue beating until it is consistent. Be careful not to overdo it in the batter or the cream will cut. We reserve in the refrigerator.

Pastry yolk topping

  1. We weigh the eggs, without shell, and prepare the same amount of sugar.
  2. In a small saucepan, place the eggs and water, beat until well mixed. We also mix, separately, the sugar with the corn starch. We add the solids to the liquid and mix well cold with a whisk so that the corn starch is hydrated and no lumps form.
  3. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally so that the mixture does not stick to the base. When the mixture reaches 65º C and begins to thicken, beat vigorously with metal whisks so that a fine yolk remains.
  4. When it starts to boil, remove from the heat and let it cool. We reserve.

Assembly and final decoration of the San Marcos cake

  1. We place one of the halves of the cake sheet on a serving platter and brush with the syrup until it soaks in well. On top of the cake we spread a layer of chantilly cream , about half a centimeter thick. It’s okay if it comes out from the sides, because then we’re going to decorate the sides and they will be covered.
  2. We place the second sheet of cake on the layer of filling, aligning it well with the base. We repeat the application with the syrup, brushing with a brush until it is well moistened. We cover with a layer of pastry yolk and smooth it with a whalebone or the back of a long knife (ham knife, bread knife or similar). We go over the sides so that they are smooth.
  3. We fill a pastry bag with a star tip with the leftover chantilly cream and decorate the sides and edges of the surface to taste. Finally, we decorate to taste, spreading sliced ​​almonds around the surface, toasted or not, with cherries or whatever we like most and/or have on hand.
  4. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Follow this delicious recipe for Saint Mark’s Cake step by step in the album.

Tips for a delicious San Marcos Cake

  • We can add a little vanilla essence to the cake mixture and/or the whipped cream to give it an extra touch of flavor, although the classic recipe does not have it.
  • For the eggs to whiten quickly and increase in volume, it is important that they are at room temperature. If you have forgotten to take them out of the refrigerator, we can place the eggs and sugar in a container over a saucepan with water and place it over low heat. The steam will temper the mixture and make the task easier.
  • The syrup can be flavored with a little alcohol, such as rum or brandy.
  • In some bakeries the surface of the San Marcos Cake is toasted, but we have not done it on this occasion. To do this, you just have to sprinkle a little sugar on the surface and burn with a blowtorch until golden.
  • Likewise, the flaked almonds used for decoration can be toasted and allowed to cool before using. It will give a touch of color to the cake.

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