Chestnut Cake - Castagnaccio
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An interpretation of the traditional Tuscan Castagnaccio inspired by Gina De Palma
Serves: 10 servings
  • Olive oil for greasing the pan
  • 2⅓ cups of chestnut flour
  • 2 Tbs. 00 or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown or muscavado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup chestnut honey
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup lightly toasted walnut pieces
  • ½ cup golden raisins soaked in Vin Santo overnight
  • ½ cup candied orange rind chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chestnut honey
  • ¼ cup vin santo
  • Strip of orange rind
  • 2 strips of candied orange rind or fresh rosemary for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º and oil a 9 inch springform pan with olive oil.
  2. Sift the chestnut flour into a large bowl, then add the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, spices, and sugar and sift the dry ingredients together. Once sifted integrate well using a wire whisk - make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  3. Place the walnuts, raisins, candied orange pieces, and cranberries together in a small bowl.
  4. Combine the oil, eggs, honey and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk together well. Add the wet ingredients to the well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually begin to incorporate them together using a large spatula. The mixture will be quite dense and you may want to use your hands to incorporate everything evenly.
  5. Add the dried fruit and walnuts to the batter, mixing with your hands to evenly distribute. Turn the prepared batter into the prepared springform pan, pressing it out gently being sure that it fills the pan evenly. Scatter the pine nuts over the batter, lightly pressing them into the top of the cake.
  6. Place the springform pan into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning to 180º mid way. The cake is done when the sides have slightly pulled away from the pan.
  7. While the cake is baking combine the honey, Vin Santo and strips of orange rind in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, then set aside.
  8. Remove the cake to a cooling rack and immediately brush the top of the cake with the honey mixture. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan. Once the cake has cooled completely, transfer it to a serving plate and garnish with either some candied orange rind or sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Recipe by LaBellaSorella at