Ignacio (St. Ignatius Almond Cake)


July 31: Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Islander sometimes designs logotypes for various organizations. She finds the backgrounds of the logos quite interesting when clients explain what the letters and symbols mean to their organization. When she baked a Spanish almond cake, called Ignacio, for the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, she decided to decorate the top of it with a basic logo of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic order founded by St. Ignatius in 1534 (and recognized by Pope Paul III six years later). I, H and S are the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek—iota, eta and sigma. The cross symbol in the middle of the letters represents our Lord at the center of our lives. And the trinity of nails shows us how He suffered and died for us so that we may be saved. Islander had mistakenly thought that “IHS” was an acronym for “In His Service.” Nevertheless, the logo is an inspirational reminder of how we hope to use our blog to share not only recipes but the love of Christ with others.


(Adapted from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf)


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (for decorative topping)


Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff. Gradually add the sugar. Mix in the almond meal and the flour. Melt the butter and slightly cool before pouring it in the batter.  Mix well.


Pour the batter in an ungreased, 8-inch round cake pan. Smooth the batter with a spatula. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for an hour and a half. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick; if the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool completely before sprinkling powdered sugar on the top.


To decorate the top of the cake with a Jesuit design, print the logo and carefully cut out the pieces using an X-Acto knife. Position the logo pieces on top of the cake. Make sure the cake is still on a wire rack with a pan beneath it to catch the remaining powdered sugar.


Sprinkle powdered sugar on top using a sieve. Carefully remove the logo pieces from the top of the cake using tweezers. Present the cake on a platter or cake board. Slice into wedges and serve.