Sweets not your thing? This cake, a specialty of northern Italy, is almost savory, flavored with rosemary and pine nuts, and gets just a touch of sweetness from plumped raisins, with no added sugar. Chestnut flour tends to clump together, so for the best texture don't skip the sifting step. This recipe is part of Brooke Siem's Grandmother Project. Learn more about this recipe and other recipes Siem learned to make in the article How Cooking Connected One Chef with Grandmothers Across the World.

EatingWell Magazine, May 2021


Credit: Penny De Los Santos

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tilt and turn to coat the pan. Shake out the excess.

  • Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup warm water. Let plump for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, sift chestnut flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 cups water and 1/4 cup oil. (The batter will be thick yet pourable, like melted peanut butter.) Drain the raisins and stir them into the batter, along with 2 tablespoons pine nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with rosemary and the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts and gently press them into the batter. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.

  • Bake the cake until it is firm and the surface is crackly, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack until cool enough to slice. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Made from dried chestnuts, this gluten-free flour (find it online) has a delightful toasted-chestnut aroma. Since it has a tendency to compact and clump together, it's important to sift the chestnut flour after measuring. Also note: like whole-wheat flour, it spoils easily, so store it in the freezer.

To make ahead

Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice
194 calories; fat 9g; sodium 212mg; carbohydrates 28g; dietary fiber 2g; protein 2g; sugars 12g; saturated fat 1g; vitamin a iu 11IU; potassium 67mg.