Castagnaccio (Chestnut Cake)

Valentina Harris's intriguing chestnut cake is made with chestnut flour, and olive oil, and can be enjoyed as a savoury snack or sweet treat
By Valentina Harris
Castagnaccio (Chestnut Cake)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 g chestnut flour
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 litres cold water
  • 2 tbsp leaves rosemary, or fennel seeds
  • 75 g sultanas, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained and dried
  • 50 g pine kernels


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. Thoroughly grease a baking tin with 2 tablespoons olive oil. The size and depth of the baking tin will depend upon whether or not you like your Castagnaccio being deep and thick, or thinner and less stodgy. This is a personal preference, bearing in mind the Castagnaccio will not rise as it bakes.

3. Mix the chestnut flour and sugar together and add about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Beating constantly, gradually pour in the cold water to make a thickish, lump-free batter.

4. Pour the batter into the tin and level the surface. Sprinkle with the rosemary leaves or fennel, the sultanas and the pine nuts

5. Bake for about 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on how moist you'd like the cake to be.

6. Serve at room temperature or warm, spread with a tangy cheese such as stracchino, or sweet, fresh ricotta.

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