Chestnut cake, or Ardéchois, is a light and moist cake. Made with chestnut spread and a few other pantry ingredients, this is an amazing treat to enjoy with your coffee or tea. Make this recipe this Fall if you are a chestnut lover as it will not disappoint.
Where Is It From?
Although, there are a few different versions around the world: Japanese, Hungarian or Italian, this one is a French version and I have been baking it for about at least 20 years*.
*Oh, I started baking young… Just in case you started crunching numbers to guess my age. Don't!
The French Chestnut Cake is originally from France and is also called Ardéchois. The name comes from the region it originates from l'Ardéche in Southern France.
It uses chestnut spread, ou crème de marron, which translates in chestnut cream in French, there is no cream in it, just pureed chestnuts. Also, it calls for regular all-purpose flour and no chestnut flour.
🔪 How To Bake A Chestnut Cake
The steps to obtain this soft cake are quite simple and if you wish to involve the kids in the kitchen, this is a great recipe to do it.
Gather your ingredients:
- Chestnut spread
- Baking powder
- Sugar (optional)
Note: As a European, I find that the sweetness from the chestnut spread is sufficient, if you prefer the sweetness to be more present, go ahead and put some sugar in it.
- First, pre-heat your oven.
- Then, melt the butter.
- In a bowl, pour the melted butter, the eggs (whole, no need to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites), chestnut spread, and the milk. Stir well until smooth.
- Then, add the baking powder and progressively, the flour to the batter.
- Lastly, grease an oven-proof mold, pour the batter in it, and it is now cooking time: 30 minutes in the oven or until your knife comes out dry when you insert it in the middle of the cake.
Now, enjoy warm or allow to cool completely.
📋 Different Ways To Serve It & Variations
- My favourite way is simple with some icing sugar dust on top.
- Chestnut cream cake style: add some chestnut spread on top of your cake.
- Whipping cream: you can't go wrong by serving some whipping cream with a slice of cake
- Ice cream or some icing if you wish
Extra airy: if you are looking for a cake lighter than air, only put the egg yolks in the bowl with the other wet ingredients. And, in another bowl, beat the egg whites to a soft peak. Then, once you have added the flour to the wet ingredient bowl, you can fold in the beaten egg whites.
Chocolate: You can melt half a cup of chocolate chips with your butter and you will have a chocolate chestnut cake.
💭 FAQ For The Recipe
I would say 4-5 days in an air-tight container at room temperature. Truth be told, I never had to store it that long!
I might not have seen it in every single supermarket I go to but it is quite common in the aisle of jams and chocolate spread. Alternatively, you can purchase it on Amazon, I like the Clement Faugier but the Bonne Maman is also a great option.
In Toronto, Canada, I have seen it in Metro, some Superstore or Loblaw, and Adonis.
Yes, I always use store-bought purée but you can make your own. I have not tried this recipe myself, but the Spruce Eats is a safe bet: Chestnut purée recipe.
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🥧 More Delicious Fall Recipes
📖 Chestnut cake
- Portions: 1 cake of 9 x 9
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup chestnut spread
- 20 cl milk ¾ of a cup or 7oz
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 385F.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (20 seconds increments).
- In a large bowl, pour the wet ingredients: eggs, melted butter, chestnut spread and milk (and sugar if you choose to add some). Mix well until smooth.
- Add progressively the flour and the baking powder, mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter in an oven mold,previously greased if necessary.
- Bake for 30 minutes or when the tip of your knife comes out dry when you pick your cake in the middle.
- if you like sweeter cake, you can add granulated sugar.
- Store in an air-tight container for a 3-4 days.
- Use store-bought chestnut purée or homemade.