Chestnut flour cake

This simple throw-it-all-in-the-bowl cake has the softest crumb because it uses 100% chestnut flour and therefore no gluten development occurs, and also the recipe doesn’t develop the eggs with the sugar as it does with the chestnut flour Madeleines method.  Both of these factors creates a texture which barely holds itself.  As I have mentioned in the Madeleine recipe, please make certain the chestnut flour is grounded to a super-soft quality, the finest quality used for chestnut pasta making.  There should be no hard gritty bits in the flour.

There is no doubt having tried both ways that using butter will give a beautiful flavour to the overall cake but if you can’t use  dairy, substitute it with dairy-free margarine.  I’ve increased the amount of the dairy-free margarine to allow for the lower fat content.  The cupcakes below are made using dairy-free (soya-free too) margarine.


Making the chestnut flour cakes

Sieve the chestnut flour into a large bowl, don’t skip this as the flour tends to clump and compress together.  Add all the other ingredients together and whisk them until you have a smooth soft batter.   Divid the mixture into cupcake cases or into a lined baking tin.  There is no need to grease the sides of the tin but line the bottom with baking paper, it gives the cake a layer of protection.

chestnut cakes 1

Some of the cupcakes on the second day loosen themselves from the sides of the cases – makes me wonder if it has to do with the natural fat content of the flour?


For the cake I mixed some milk chocolate, dark chocolate a little milk and butter to make a chocolate covering that wasn’t bitter.

chestnut flour cake 4

Do not skip the small amount of dark chocolate even if you only love milk chocolate because it does not quite work well enough using milk chocolate only.  If you want the chocolate icing sweeter add icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) to sweeten it, in which case you may have to add a tablespoon more of milk for the right consistency.

Chestnut flour cake
Pre-heat oven temperature to 160˚C fan. Makes 1x 20cm (8in) tin or about 10 cupcakes.
  • 125g / 1cup -1tbsp chestnut flour
  • 110g / ¾cup -1tbsp sugar, white or brown or muscovado
  • 90g / 7 tbsp salted butter, room temperature soft or 125g dairy-free margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 7g / 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 30-45g / 2-3 tablespoon milk or dairy-free milk
  1. Sieve the flour. Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl using an electric whisk them for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is blended and soft. Put the cake batter into the prepare tin or cupcake cases and bake in the pre-heated oven.
  2. For the cupcakes will take 10-12mins and the cake 18-20mins. Put a cocktail stick in the middle and it should come out clean.


chestnut flour cake 5

I have made enough chocolate icing to cover the cake in a layer twice as thick as I show in my top photo.  I was in a bit of hurry.


Chocolate Icing
  • 45g / 3 tablespoons milk
  • 150g milk chocolate (at least 30% cocoa solids)
  • 75g plain chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
  • 25g butter (salted or slightly salted)
  1. Add all of the ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for 30seconds at a time until the chocolate is warm enough to stir into a smooth mixture. Do not over-heat the chocolate or it will be ruined, always try to slightly under-heat it.
  2. Once you have smooth icing pour half over the cake and using a palette knife spread it all over the cake. Wait 30mins to set slightly. Warm the rest of the icing for 30secs in the microwave and pour over the cake again.