French Cinnamon Chestnut Chocolate Cake Recipe

Gluten free chocolate cake on kitchen table
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. RUSS ROHDE / Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

Dense, rich, and luxurious are a few terms that come to mind when describing this French cinnamon, chestnut, chocolate cake recipe.  The cake is perfect for those avoiding gluten, and the ingredients make it so smooth and luxuriously creamy. Made with  chestnut puree, bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, this recipe makes a silky loaf cake, or gateau, that melts in your mouth.

Cook's note: This flourless chocolate cake recipe is very similar to a chocolate truffle in both flavor and texture; use a premium chocolate for the best results.

If you want to jazz the cake up even further, then cherries make a wonderful addition either fresh or from a Kirsch-filled jar. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons whole milk
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chantilly cream

How to Make It

How to make ​a flourless chestnut chocolate cake:

In a large saucepan, stir together the egg yolk, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon until it turns light yellow and slightly foamy. In a separate small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk to a simmer.

Once the milk is just beginning to bubble, add half of the milk, whisking constantly, to the egg-sugar mixture. Add the remainder of the hot milk to the tempered eggs, continue stirring, and cook over low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon.

Place the chopped chocolate into a double boiler set over 2 inches of simmering water. Pour the milk-egg mixture over the chocolate, stirring constantly, until it is melted and the mixture is completely smooth.

Add the butter, unsweetened chestnut puree, and vanilla extract to the hot chocolate milk mixture and continue cooking and stirring until the butter is completely melted, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter into a very lightly greased 9-inch loaf pan and refrigerate the chestnut chocolate fondant for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

To unmold the cake, place the bottom of the pan into a large pan of hot water for 30 seconds. Loosen the edges of the cake with a butter knife or an offset spatula, and invert it onto a chilled serving platter. Cut the cake into crosswise slices and serve it cold, garnished with Chantilly cream.

This cinnamon chestnut chocolate cake recipe, or gateau au chocolat fondant, makes 6 to 8 generous servings.

Serve this cake with cafe au lait for a lovely after dinner treat.