Vegan and Gluten-Free Holiday Chestnut Cake

I started creating with this recipe because I love chestnuts. I snack on them like pieces of fruit or nuts. A couple weeks back, I visited the new Eataly in Boston and saw a cake mix for Italian chestnut cake and thought, I need to make a vegan version!

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But after looking at a couple recipes for castagnaccio, I was convinced that the cake would be quite dense as it was made from mashed chestnuts and olive oil. I researched a couple more cakes and found a Viennese chestnut cake and basically combined the two. The result is one of my most favorite cakes I've made.

This cake is softer and denser towards the middle, but cakey and crumbly towards the outside. The almond flour that was put in keeps the chestnuts from having too dense an effect on the cake. We do work with aquafaba again, which I had reduced by about one-third before I started beating it. This also keeps the cake light. It's also not too sweet. I added enough sugar to bring out the flavor of the chestnuts. The little pinch of cardamom at the end helped elevate the somewhat earthy flavor that can be chestnuts. The result is once again amazing flavor and an amazing cake.

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Chestnut Cake (V + GF)

  • 10 ounces or 2 cups roasted chestnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 8 tablespoons aquafaba, reduced
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • healthy pinch of cardamom


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a pot over medium high heat, bring chestnuts and almond milk to a boil. Turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chestnuts are softened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once the chestnuts are cool, drain reserving 1-2 tablespoons of the almond milk. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer on high, beat the reduced aquafaba with half of the sugar until stiff peaks. Set mixture aside in a separate bowl.
  5. In the same mixer on medium speed, add in the chestnuts and coconut milk and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add in the Earth Balance, vanilla, ground almonds, baking powder and cardamom. Mix until smooth.
  7. Take 1/3 of the aquafaba mixture and gently fold it into the batter. Fold in the rest of the aquafaba.
  8. Pour batter onto a greased pan with parchment. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake is golden brown.
  9. Cool before serving.

Copyright © 2021 - Christina Ng