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Castagnaccio Cake

Desserts | Gluten-Free RecipesChestnut Flour Recipes

Castagnaccio cake, traditional Italian cake, made with chestnut flour is one of the most simplest sweets to make. We are sure you will love this dense cake served with a dollop of fresh ricotta.

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Castagnaccio is one of the most popular Italian cakes made with chestnut flour which originates from mountainous areas of central Italy. During the winter time you will find this Italian treat in many cafés and pastry shops around Italy, but there is nothing more rewarding than making your own castagnaccio at home.


Our recipe brings you the most popular version of this cake, made with chestnut flour, water, pine nuts, raisins and fresh rosemary leaves. Some versions of recipes calls for walnuts and grated orange zest, which adds a citrus note and turns the castagnaccio into a sweet treat with a typical Christmas flavours.

Castagnaccio is dense cake and is best served with ricotta alongside a sweet wine like Vin Santo. We are sure that you will enjoy these delicious cake which is also a gluten free!


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Why you'll love castagnaccio

it's sugar-free and gluten-free cake

The chestnut flour has unique flavour and blending it into pie crust, cookies or sweet bakes adds nutty flavour and density. Also notice that there is no need for sugar in this recipe as chestnut flour has its own sweetness. Also castagnaccio is ideal for those on gluten-free diet, as chestnut flour is gluten-free flour.


More about chestnut flour

The chestnut flour is made from dried ground chestnuts and is ideal addition to the baked goods. This flour is light brown and has its own sweetness meaning that if added to the recipe you can reduce the amount of sugar or any other sweetener.

The chestnut flour has unique flavour and blending it into pie crust, cookies or sweet bakes adds nutty flavour and density. You can find chestnut flour in organic food stores or you can buy it online

Chestnut flour

how to make castagnaccio cake

Making castagnaccio is so easy once you get a quality chestnut flour from your organic food store.

making the batter

First sift the flour and place in the bowl together with a pinch of salt. Gradually pour the water, stirring with a hand whisk until you get a smooth batter - thicker than those for regular pancakes. Add few tablespoons of olive oil and whisk to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes.

baking castagnaccio

Pour the batter into 23x23 cm baking pan lined with baking paper. The batter shouldn't be higher than 1 cm. Sprinkle with pine nuts, raisins (previously soaked in the water), rosemary leaves and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes or until you see the little cracks on the top. Let it cool in the pan, then cut into squares and serve.

castagnaccio serving ideas

Castagnaccio keeps well for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature. We don't recommend keeping it in the fridge as this cake would become rubbery.

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Castagnaccio Cake

SERVES: 10 servings
COOKS IN: 40 minutes


  • 400g (4 1/2 cup) chestnut flour
  • 600ml (2 1/2 cups) water, cold
  • 50g (1/3 cup) pine nuts
  • 50g (1/3 cup) raisins
  • 1 - 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 60ml (4 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Soak the raisins in the warm water for about 15 minutes and then drain.

  2. Sift the chestnut flour in a medium bowl and add salt. Add the water gradually, stirring with hand whisk to avoid lumps. Depending on the chestnut flour quality you may need a little more or a little less water. The batter should be thicker than the one for pancakes. 

  3. When smooth add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes.

  4. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F). Pour the batter into 23x23 cm square baking pan, lined with baking paper. It should be no more than 1 cm thick. Sprinkle with pine nuts, raisins, rosemary leaves and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the top.

  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see little cracks all over the top of the cake. Do not overbake or it will become too dry. Let cool in the pan then slice into squares and serve.

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