Chestnut and chocolate layer cake

Serve up James Martins stunning layered almond sponge with chestnut filling, rum syrup and chocolate icing for afternoon tea
By James Martin
Chestnut and chocolate layer cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the cake

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 300 g butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 340 g ground almonds

For the chestnut filling

  • 150 g sweet chestnut purée
  • 300 ml double cream, whipped

For the icing

  • 100 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 25 ml water
  • 250 ml dark chocolate, melted
  • 50 g cocoa powder, sifted

For the rum sugar syrup

  • 50 ml sugar syrup, (see cook's tips)
  • 25 ml rum

To decorate

  • 6 candied chestnuts, chopped

Tips and Suggestions

To make a simple sugar syrup, mix 3 parts water to 1 part sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.


1. For the cake: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Using an electric stand mixer if you have one, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a spotlessly clean bowl until the eggs start to firm up. Add some of the sugar and beat until the mixture is firm.

2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and the rest of the sugar and a pinch of salt, then add the eggs one at the time.

3. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour and ground almonds to the mixture, making sure not to knock the air out. Fold in the whisked egg whites.

4. Pour into two greased and lined 20cm cake tins, bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Leave to cool.

5. For the chestnut filling: whisk together the sweet chestnut puree and cream in a bowl. Place in the fridge to set.

6. For the rum sugar syrup: in a separate bowl, mix together the sugar syrup and rum.

7. To assemble the cake, slice it lengthways into 4 layers and brush each of them with rum sugar syrup. Sandwich together each layer with the chestnut cream.

8. For the icing: warm the icing sugar and water over a low heat and add the chocolate and cocoa powder. Continue to stir the mixture over a low heat until melted together.

9. Place onto a cake stand and pour over the chocolate icing to cover the cake. Sprinkle with candied chestnuts.

Rate This Recipe