Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chunk Muffin Recipe

This recipe started with a bran muffin. Some days I crave a bran muffin, its texture and chewiness, and dark, almost molasses-like insides. But I didn’t have any bran around and a bran muffin is impossible to find in Italy.

But I did have farina di castagne, chestnut flour (note: this is not chestnut puree). If you’ve never smelled chestnut flour before, it has an extremely nutty, earthy smell to it and I knew I couldn’t just use it in any recipe as a substitution instead of regular flour. I would have to invent one completely for it.

Since I still had some brown sugar left over from the Barbecue Baked Beans with Bacon, I knew its rich, dark flavor would complement the chestnut flour well. And since chestnut flour is gluten-free, I decided to add a secret ingredient to give the muffins some body and texture.

What was this secret ingredient? Farina di Cocco, coconut flour.

And it was a perfect choice. The shredded coconut complemented the nuttiness of the chestnut flour incredibly, giving the muffin some texture and chewiness that I was craving. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or even dessert.

These muffins were a huge hit, and of course adding dark chocolate chunks gave it a great flavor contrast and made it almost like a chestnut cake. If you have a block of chocolate, you can chunk it up yourself and add it right before cooking. I had a standard cookie batch size from a friend – 12 ounces, which translates to a big 340g of chocolate chunks.

Note: This photo was of a muffin from a mini-tart, and therefore quite low (all muffin top!) but the muffins came out nice and high in the regular cupcake liners.

Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chunk Muffin Recipe

Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chunk Muffin Recipe

If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can try unrefined cane sugar – the darker and the stickier, the better! Makes 10- 12 large muffins.

2 cups chestnut flour (200g)
3/4 – 1cup coconut flour/finely shredded coconut (60g)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 stick butter (125g), softened
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dark chocolate, chunked

1. Preheat oven to 190C / 375F. Mix, using a hand mixer, the dry ingredients (chestnut flour, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) together in a bowl except for the brown sugar.

2. In another bowl, soften the butter to room temperature or put it a few seconds in the microwave. Mix the softened butter with the brown sugar at high speed for a minute or two, then add the eggs and mix until creamy. Add the vanilla last and mix.

3. Add the chestnut flour mix slowly and mix in. Halfway through add the milk and then the rest of the dry mixture, until well distributed. Add the chocolate chunks and pour into cupcake liners or mini-tart pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 190 /375F for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

What would you use chestnut flour to make?

Chestnut Flour Chocolate Chunk Muffins ready for the Oven

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  1. dawn b says

    i just made these we are gfcf so they were perfect, i used coconut oil instead of butter and fermented rice milk instead of cows milk, i just bunged all the ingredients together in a bowl last night, left it on the kitchen counter and my son helped fill the cases this morning, my sons reaction after the first mouthful, ‘mummy, can we make these again’….nuff said. cheers

  2. says

    I just bought chestnut flour today without having any clue what I would do with it but now I do! This recipe looks really yummy. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Ruth says

    Thank you for this great recipe. I substituted everything . Sugar, eggs and milk. It would have been perfect if not for the fact that the chestnut flour was rancid. I will most certainly try it again soon.

  4. Halima says

    This recipe looks great. I make fantastic crepes with chestnut flour. Yummy with mushrooms or for a sweet treat try a little nutella. I’m going to try popovers next.

  5. Rebecca says

    These muffins are delicious. I love the earthy chestnut flavor in combination with the coconut and chocolate. They also have a nice light texture. My son can’t eat wheat or gluten so we are always on the lookout for gluten free recipes that the whole family can enjoy. This recipe definitely qualifies!

  6. Christine says

    Oh yum – the muffin looks so inviting! I like baking with uncommon flours, and it seems like chesnut flour has been popping up more around the blogosphere recently. Is it sold everywhere in Italy? I’ll be visiting Rome and Florence in a months time, and would love to bring some back home with me.

  7. jennifer says

    I am having trouble with the ingredient: coconut flour/finely shredded coconut. coconut flour is defatted coconut that is a byproduct of the coconut milk industry and is sold in bags as “coconut flour”, finely shredded coconut makes coconut “butter” when ground in the food processor. I think the second is what you are referring to in your recipe. Because, when you cook with regular coconut flour, you need 1/2 c flour to 6 eggs. and I don’t think you have that many eggs/oil in your recipe (that coconut flour soaks up a TON)
    But I can try to grind up some coconut flakes and see where to go from there. (because I just got some chestnut flour and your recipe looks SO SO SO GOOD!)

  8. Carly says

    Thanks for this! I’m gluten free and also get an upset stomach from a lot of the alien foods commonly used in gluten free baking (xanthan gum?!), so it’s really exciting to be able to make tasty food that’s made entirely from REAL food! These muffins are the perfect combo of good texture, flavor, and digestibility (a lot of gluten free flours are also very hard on the stomach). I agree with the previous comment that finely shredded whole coconut meat is surely what’s needed for this recipe. That’s what I used and the batter was already very thick – using defatted coconut flour would have made it too dry to use. To those who don’t have access to chestnut flour locally, I buy lots of specialty flours including chestnut from a website called iherb. Thanks again for this recipe. Yummm!

  9. Jess says

    Just to chime in with a few commenters above: I made these using actual coconut flour and the batter was waaaay too dry. Real coconut flour soaks up way too much liquid. I believe shredded coconut is what’s required here. I will try this recipe again, as the flavour was delicious and only the texture was a problem.

  10. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Jess – yes, it’s definitely shredded coconut as the post indicates. It’s called farina di cocco in Italy.

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