Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Castagnaccio – Tuscan Flat Cake with Chestnut Flour

Castagnaccio comes from the Italian word castagna (chestnut) to indicate a traditional chestnut cake baked in Tuscany during Autumn. Pretty simple to make, both gluten-free and sugar-free, Castagnaccio has a smooth silky texture which will sweeten any rainy afternoon.

If you have plenty of chestnuts at hand, you can also try to make chestnut flour on your own: How to Make Your Own Chestnut Flour

Serves: 4-5 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time approx: 35 to 40 mins


Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Soak the raisins in lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes or until they are rehydrated, squeeze them to get rid of the excess water and dry them with a kitchen cloth. Roughly chop the walnuts and set them aside.

Sieve the chestnut flour and combine it with the salt in a large bowl. Add the water little by little, until the dough is smooth and homogeneous, but not too liquid.

Add walnuts, raisins and pine nuts, keeping some to garnish the top of the cake right before baking it. Pour half of the olive oil in the dough and mix it well.

Brush with oil the inside of a cake mould. The mould can be either round or rectangular in shape, but it should have a diameter or side of at least 30 cm and a border 2 cm tall. Pour in the dough and use a spatula to even out the surface. Sprinkle on top the walnuts, raisins and pine nuts that you kept aside, along with the rosemary leaves.

Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.

Bake about 30 to 35 minutes. You will know that the castagnaccio is ready when its surface will start cracking and the nuts on top will be of a nice, golden colour. Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool before serving it.

Tip: It’s important to cook Castagnaccio at a low temperature since it has to be soft and slightly damp inside and slightly crunchy on the outside.

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  1. Thanks for this recipe! I love trying recipes from different cuisines, and Italian cuisine is certainly one of the best!

    1. Ciao Sandra,
      yes, chestnut flour is both sugar-free and gluten-free, just perfect for anyone.
      Right, a great way to enjoy a cup of tea, I agree!

  2. I have never heard of anything like this before! I didn’t even know chestnut flour existed! But, it sounds delicoius!

    1. Reesa,
      I’m glad you’ve found out here the chestnut flour, it’s a very special product, gluten-free and perfect both sweet and savory recipes! 😀

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