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Pear and Chestnut Cake

Looking for a Mediterranean Diet type dessert? This recipe ticks all of the boxes. Whole grains, nuts, yoghurt, fruit, extra virgin olive is all in there. This cake is devine! This recipe is adapted from The French Market Cookbook. It uses chestnut flour which gives it a nutty, slightly earthy flavour. Chestnuts are tree nuts and contain phytochemicals called phenolics that act as antioxidants as well as having anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The flour is also rich in fibre helping to lower the GI of this dish. You will not be able to stop at just one piece, as this cake is so moist with an irresistible crispy topping. 


80 ml light olive oil

200 grams panela sugar (evaporated cane juice, I used Macro brand)

2 large eggs

1 cup plain all natural yoghurt

2/3 cup chestnut flour

1 cup plus 1 tbsp wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

600 grams pears (about 4 large pears), peeled, cored and diced

2 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 175 C. Line the bottom of a 25 cm cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides

In a medium bowl, beat together the panela sugar and the eggs. Add the yoghurt and oil and beat until combined.

In a second bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps.

Fold the flour mixture and diced pears into the yoghurt mixture until no trace of flour remains. The batter will be thick. Avoid over stirring. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and level the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the cake evenly. Bake until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for 1 hour and then transfer onto a rack. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt on top. 

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