Castagnaccio – Tuscan Chestnut Cake

Castagnaccio Toscano is a characteristic chestnut flat cake from the Tuscan region.

This cake is based on chestnut flour, with the addition of olive oil, pine nuts, walnuts, raisins and… rosemary!

Its taste is very unique (atypical for a cake) and it’s ideal for the ones who like desserts that are not too sweet.

In fact, it is sugar-free! Though, you can still add sugar if you can’t do without it (check the “note” section at the end of recipe). It is also gluten-free!

A hand holds a slice of castagnaccio (Italian chestnut cake). In the background, the remaining castagnaccio, some chestnuts and rosemary.


Castagnaccio doesn’t have a clear origin. In fact, due to the presence of chestnut trees in many of the Italian Northern regions, this cake had been a popular street-food in many areas of the Country.

Castagnaccio is even mentioned in a report of the 15th century by an Augustinian priest.

From 1800, Tuscans started exporting this cake to the Southern Italy market.

Legend says that the rosemary leaves of the castagnaccio are like a love potion: a guy that eats a piece given from the hands of a girl, will fall completely in love with her.

Tuscan Castagnaccio

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Traditional chestnut flat cake from Tuscany.


  • bowl
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • whisk
  • spatula
  • circular baking tray (32Ø)


  • 500 g chestnut flour (17.63 oz)
  • 700/750 g water (26.45 oz)
  • 80 g pine nuts (2.82 oz)
  • 80 g raisins (2.82 oz)
  • 80 g walnuts (2.82 oz)
  • 1 rosemary twig
  • extra virgin olive oil (1.41 oz)
  • salt
  • water for soaking


  • Soak the raisins in some water for 10 minutes.
  • Peel off the rosemary, then roughly cut the walnuts.
  • In the bowl, combine flour with water and mix with the whisk until there are no more lumps. You should reach a creamy and homogeneous consistency: depending on the chestnut flour you are using, you may need more or less water.
  • Add the chopped walnuts, the rosemary needles and the pine nuts to the bowl. Remember to leave a small part for the decoration on top.
    Now add the wrong-out raisins and 1 levelled tsp of salt. Mix with the spatula until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Oil the baking tray, then pour the mixture and level it.
    Garnish the surface with the dried fruit and the rosemary you put apart, then finish with some olive oil.
    Bake at 190°C (374°F), in pre-heated static oven for 30 minutes.
    Leave it to cool down completely before serving.


If you like, you can add 20g of sugar.
Storage: 5 days in a cake container or Tupperware.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: autumn, chestnut
Castagnaccio (Italian chestnut cake) on a cutting board. Some chestnuts and rosemary around it.

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