Castagnaccio Recipe (A Traditional Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake)

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If you prefer less sweet desserts, you have to try this Castagnaccio Recipe. The traditional Tuscan chestnut flour cake presents a deep, rich, and earthy flavor. It is traditionally served with ricotta, chestnut honey, or a glass of sweet wine. Buono!

A cooked castagnaccio cake with a slice cut out and just on the side of the board with a fork next to it and a purple napkin in the background. Text overlay says"Castagnaccio Recipe (Italian Chestnut Flour Cake Recipe)". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Castagnaccio Recipe

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions, to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.

Castagnaccio (locally also known as baldino, ghirighio or pattona) is a plain chestnut flour cake, typically found in the Tuscany, Liguria, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto regions of Italy, and in the French island of Corsica.


This traditional rustic Tuscan chestnut flour cake is usually served in the fall and winter months following the annual chestnut harvest. However, with chestnut flour available year-round, there is no reason not to enjoy this dessert.

Unlike typical cakes and desserts found elsewhere, it is low in sugar, in fact, classic versions of this recipe do not include any form of sugar or other sweetener. Instead, they rely on the addition of dried fruit and chestnut flour to impart a bit of sweetness.

You may find castagnaccio is a bit of an acquired taste if you prefer more sugary treats.

The recipe we are sharing has a little honey added to offset the stronger, earthy flavors.

As with many Italian dishes, there are regional variations, and if this is the type of dessert you enjoy, why not experiment with different dried fruits and nuts?

Ingredients for Castagnaccio – Chestnut Flour, Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Raisins, Rosemary

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.

It may not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, sugar, etc., as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Castagnaccio - Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake

More Recipes Using Walnuts

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is walnuts, so here are some more recipes using the same:

More Italian Dessert Recipes

Looking for more Italian desserts to make? Check these recipes out next:

Castagnaccio Cake with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Recipe Tips

  • For best results, sift the chestnut flour before using. If you don’t have a flour sifter, add chestnut flour to a small fine mesh strainer and gently shake over the mixing bowl to remove any clumps.

How Do I Make Castagnaccio Recipe?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Castagnaccio Recipe

Castagnaccio - Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you prefer less sweet desserts, you have to try this Castagnaccio Recipe.


  • ⅓ cup raisins, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cup chestnut flour, sifted
  • 1⅔ cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp honey*
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, divided


  1. Soak the raisins and rosemary leaves in a small bowl of lukewarm water. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and grease a 9”/22cm pie pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chestnut flour, water, honey, and olive oil with a fork. Continue stirring until a smooth batter forms. If the batter is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of water to thin slightly.
  4. Drain the raisins and rosemary leaves and pat dry. Add half of the raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts to the batter and stir to combine.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pie pan and spread with a spatula to form a smooth, uniform layer. Evenly distribute rosemary and remaining raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts on top of batter.

    Unbaked Castagnaccio in Pan
  6. Place pan in pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dried and starting to crack.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into thin slices and serving. Enjoy!

    Castagnaccio Recipe


*Honey is optional. Use more or less honey depending on the level of sweetness desired.

Tip: For best results, sift the chestnut flour before using it. If you don’t have a flour sifter, add chestnut flour to a small fine-mesh strainer and gently shake over the mixing bowl to remove any clumps.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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