Things have been hustling and bustling around here, both Jeremy and I have been working a lot the past couple months to build up our savings for the homestead construction loan, but thankfully things will be slowing down a bit in the next couple weeks just in time for the holidays, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. It’s felt so good to have those slower moments to focus on knitting, cooking up a comforting dinner, and creating traditions together as a family. Last weekend we went and got our Christmas tree with my brother and my 3 year-old nephew and it was just the best—I remember how much I loved going to Christmas tree farms as a kid, and it was so fun to watch him experience that in all its hot cocoa-y wonder. And in the spirit of the festive season, I’m sharing this very tasty brown butter Chestnut Cake with a floral and comforting lemon honey syrup.

Chestnut Cake with Lemon Honey SyrupBecause I know that roasting and peeling chestnuts is a bit tedious, I have an option in the recipe below for you to use canned chestnut spread (such as the Clement Faugier brand) if you’d prefer that to making your own chestnut spread. If you have a few hours to spare and want to throw on a fun podcast and get into the wintery groove, then feel free to make your own from scratch as indicated in the recipe further into the post. And if you do decide to make your own chestnut spread for the chestnut cake, I recommend roasting a few extra to whip together this simple + delicious roast chestnut treat. Because chestnuts are very starchy, they can make baked goods a bit dense, so to add some lightness and airiness, you whip the egg whites with the sugar until they’ve got soft peaks, and then fold that into the cake batter at the end. It helps keep the cake from becoming too dense, and gives more air pockets within the chestnut cake for the syrup to soak into later on.

Chestnut Cake with Lemon Honey SyrupThis isn’t a simple recipe by any means, but if you want to make something special for the holidays and are okay with spending several hours in the kitchen, then I’d highly recommend it. Also, I used this mini bundt pan mold for these cakes. It makes about 9 mini bundts, or you can use a 6 to 8-cup capacity bundt pan if you just want to make one big normal bundt cake. (And these lovely gold plates are from Fodory, in case you were wondering). Wishing you all the most wonderful beginning to the holiday season, and I’ll be back again soon with another baked good next week!

Chestnut Dessert

Brown Butter Chestnut Cake with Honey Lemon Syrup

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword chestnut
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 people


Roast Chestnut Spread (can use ready made canned chestnut spread instead)

  • 24 roasted chestnuts peeled
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Honey Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • zest from 1 organic lemon peeled using a vegetable peeler leaving behind white pith and only using the yellow
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Brown Butter Chestnut Cake

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups chestnut spread can buy it canned, or make it homemade below
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios optional garnish


Roast Chestnut Spread

  1. For this portion of the recipe, you can use canned Chestnut Spread such as the Clement Faugier brand, or you can make it from scratch as follows.
  2. (Please note that the chestnuts should be roasted and peeled, you can follow the directions for that here: ) Puree all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Place in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator if not using immediately. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Lemon Honey Syrup

  1. Bring all ingredients except the lemon juice to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in lemon juice, remove from heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Brown Butter Chestnut Cake

  1. First, we'll brown the butter. Melt the butter in a small stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly until melted. Continue cooking the butter until it turns golden and smells toasty. Immediately remove it from heat, transfer to a heat proof bowl (glass or metal), and set it aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the dry ingredients (except the sugar) in a bowl and set it aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the sugar at medium high speed until soft peaks form, set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mixing at low speed, add the egg yolks to the chestnut spread, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the brown butter and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Then alternate between adding the milk and flour mixture in 4 increments, mixing at low speed *just* until combined. Fold in the whipped egg white mixture until incorporated.
  5. I used the NordicWare Heritage Bundtlette pan that has a 4 cup capacity for 6 mini-bundts, and this recipe made 9 mini bundts. So you could use a 6 to 8-cup capacity bundt pan for one single bundt cake, or you could use the Bundtlette pan and clean it between uses.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the mini bundt pan sprayed with cooking oil and sprinkled with almond flour, filling the bundts about 4/5ths full.
  7. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the mini bundt comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes (if you're making one single large bundt cake, the cooking time will be longer).
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before flipping onto a wire rack and unmolding the mini bundt cakes.
  9. Place unmolded cakes in large casserole dish lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the syrup, allow them to soak in the syrup for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool + drain on a rick rack with a cookie sheet under it to catch the syrup drippings. Garnish with the chopped pistachios and serve.

Chestnut Cake with Lemon Honey Syrup Velvet Gift Wrapping Chestnut Dessert Chestnut DessertChestnut Dessert Chestnut Dessert

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