Banana Coffee Cake with Chestnut Flour


Easy banana and coffee cake recipe with an added French touch using chestnut flour.
Low in sugar, it’s a healthy banana bread for breakfast or teatime. Can’t find chestnut flour – it’s delicious using buckwheat flour too.

banana chestnut coffee cake

That’s the first full-on week back at school conquered. Hearing the groans to early clockwork mornings is waning so I guess that means we’re gradually adjusting to routine. I put it down to bananas and this Banana Coffee Cake.

Brought up calling bananas “brain food”, I stocked up on them last weekend for a quick, healthy energy boost to slice on our favourite breakfast maple granola. Except Julie refused the bananas. Lucie explained that Julie loves this banana cake so much for breakfast that she deliberately leaves them to ripen so there’s an urgent excuse to make this!

Recipes with Chestnut Flour

I discovered this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima and loved her ingenious addition of coffee powder to banana bread, to give it an Italian touch. I don’t normally have sweet cake for breakfast but in Corsica, my mother-in-law often makes a chestnut cake using chestnut flour. As farine de chataigne is a pretty strong-flavoured flour, we normally mix it with plain flour. If you can’t find chestnut flour, use buckwheat flour – we love the flavours of this too.

So this recipe has gradually adapted to our tastes. I also gradually reduced the sugar – until it was over half the original quantity! – to accommodate the rustic chestnut flavour and give it our Corsican touch.

More recipes using chestnut flour:

Banana coffee chestnut cake recipe

Banana Coffee Cake

To make this gluten-free, then omit the plain flour and use 170g chestnut flour. To make muffins, pour the mixture into a greased 1×12 muffin tin (or silicone brochette moulds, so no greasing necessary) and bake for 20 minutes at 200°C (gas mark 6).

Love banana cake? Then try this chocolate banana marble cake.

banana coffee cake with chestnut flour gluten free reduced sugar recipe
5 from 2 votes

Banana Coffee Cake (with Chestnut Flour)

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Cooling time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course : Breakfast, teatime
Cuisine : French, Italian, British
Keyword : banana bread,


Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Nigellissima, as I loved her ingenious Italian addition of coffee powder to banana bread. However, I've reduced the sugar by well over half the original recipe's quantity, adding chestnut flour to add that rustic Corsican touch! If you can't find chestnut flour, use buckwheat for a delicious alternative.


  • 3 medium bananas very ripe
  • 100 ml (3.5 floz) neutral-tasting oil grape seed/sunflower oil
  • pinch salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50 g (2oz) brown cane sugar
  • 100 g (3.5oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3oz) chestnut flour (or buckwheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25 g (1oz) / 1oz chopped walnuts optional
  • 4 tsps instant espresso powder


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/340°F (gas mark 3). Lightly oil a 450g/1LB loaf tin or no need to oil if using a silicone loaf mould.
  • Mash the bananas to a purée, add the salt and beat in the oil.  Beat in the eggs, one by one, followed by the soft brown sugar.
  • Sift the chestnut flour and gradually beat it into the mixture, adding the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, coffee powder and walnuts (if using).
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until slightly coming away at the sides and bunglingly risen. A cake tester should come out clean.
  • Leave the cake in the tin for about 20 minutes, then turn out on to a wire tray to cool.


For a gluten-free banana bread, then omit the plain flour and use 170g chestnut flour. To make muffins, pour the mixture into a greased 1x12 muffin tin (or silicone brochette moulds, so no greasing necessary) and bake for 20 minutes at 200°C (gas mark 6).
Leave the cake or muffins overnight as they'll taste even better in the morning. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The muffins/cake also freeze well for up to 3 months; just defrost the night before.

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From the kitchen

7 responses to “Banana Coffee Cake with Chestnut Flour”

  1. 5 stars
    Just made these, my husband was impress. I can’t wait for our twin grandsons to enjoy them on Thursday, for you American Thanksgiving!
    They were perfect!

    • So lovely to hear that you’ll be enjoying this with your grandsons this week. Have a most wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving – thank you for stopping by to say hello. Enjoy the recipes!

  2. Julie is one smart cookie! I have a freezer full of ripe bananas and your banana cake looks like one terrific way to use them up 🙂

    • Bananas in the freezer? Now that’s a great tip Liz. Next time I won’t feel “obliged” to make something with them straight away!

  3. This cake sounds and looks lovely, so I can understand the bananas being left to over-ripen! Julie is a smart girl! I think it’s going to take me a while to get used to being able to cook/bake with nuts now that Denisa is on the East Coast! Never had or used chestnut flour before. Lots of possibilities! 🙂

  4. I always knew your girls were clever. Must try this – looks good, especially as it’s a while since I used chestnut flour. Thanks for sharing Jill.

    • Clever? Think it’s rather sneaky really 😉 I love using chestnut flour and appreciate it even more at breakfast. Enjoy Jean-Pierre x

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