Chestnut Caramel Pound Cake

Chestnut Caramel Pound Cake

Rich with caramel flavor, aroma and color, this moist and dense pound cake is accented with chestnuts. The nuttiness and perfume of the winter nut perfectly complements the deep caramel flavor. Here we use chestnuts in three forms — sweetened cream, flour and chestnut pieces — to blissfully savor their buttery sweet, yet savory flavor. Enjoyed solo or with whipped cream, this cake is definitely worthy of the finest festive spread for both Thanksgiving and the Yuletide season.

Serves 12


For the caramel sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the pound cake:
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
caramel sauce (from above)
1/2 cup (150 grams) sweetened chestnut puree
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup chestnut flour, optional (can substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chestnuts (candied, fresh or canned), chopped (optional)


8×4 inch loaf pan
Electric handheld or stand mixer
Medium sized non-reactive metal saucepan
Non-stick baking spray
Rubber spatula


For the caramel sauce:
Wet the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan and stir to dissolve. Place the pan over medium heat. Cook without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, until the water evaporates and the sugar turns a deep amber color. In a separate pan or in the microwave, heat the cream. Remove the caramelized sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the warmed cream. It will spatter and boil up, so it is best to stand back when adding the cream. Place back on the heat and whisk to remove any remaining lumps of sugar. Quickly pour into a clean glass or metal bowl to cool. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the pound cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with non-stick baking spray. Sift the flours, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the caramel sauce and the sweetened chestnut purée, beating to combine. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix only until combined. Fold in the chopped chestnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and tap gently on the counter to even out and settle the ingredients. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.


Soak the chestnuts in brandy or cognac overnight for a subtle boost of flavor.
Recipe and photo by Monica Glass