Balkan The Balkan Cookbook

Romanian Chestnut Cake

From Inge Kramarz’s The Balkan Cookbook (1972), this beyond decadent chestnut cake from Romania is a sumptuous Eastern-European dessert that will transport you straight to Bucharest.


6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup ground walnuts or hazelnuts
2 tbsp jam

2 cans of chestnut puree
1 cup unsalted butter
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks


  1. Beat egg whites until stiff and then fold in sugar and cocoa. Add nuts and jam.
  2. Pour into a greased springform cake pan and bake in over at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove and let cool, then cut in half horizontally.
  4. To make filling: mix together chestnut puree and butter with a hand mixer until frothy.
  5. Make a syrup by boiling sugar, cocoa, and water. Let cool slightly.
  6. To this syrup add vanilla and beaten egg yolks and then combine with chestnut puree.
  7. Spread half the chestnut mixture on bottom half of cake. Place top half of cake and then spread the rest of the chestnut puree on top. Decorate as desired and chill overnight before cutting.