Quince and chestnut crumble cake

Louise's incredible quince and chestnut cake recipe is full of autumnal flavours. With a wonderfully moist centre and crunchy crumble topping, this will fast become on of your favourite seasonal bakes.

First published in 2017





  • 2 large quince, weighing approximately 700g, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1l water
  • 440g of caster sugar
  • 140ml of sweet Marsala wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, halved
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Crumble topping

For the cake

  • 185g of self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 250g of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the tin
  • 220g of soft brown muscovado sugar
  • 220g of chestnut purée, unsweetened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60ml of whole milk


  • 24cm spring-form cake tin
  • Electric mixer


To begin, prepare the quince. Place the water, caster sugar, Marsala, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod in a medium pan over a low heat. Stir continually until all the sugar has dissolved
Add the quince quarters to the syrup and cover with a cartouche with a small hole cut in the middle to allow steam to escape (a cartouche is a round of parchment paper cut to fit snugly in the pan). Simmer for 2 hours or until the fruit is deep red and tender. The syrup should be nicely reduced
Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl to cool, reserving the syrup. When cool, cut the quince quarters in half
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 24cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper
Make the crumble topping by combining the flour, sugar, walnuts and cubed butter in a bowl. Rub the butter into the mixture until it forms coarse crumbs then set aside
Sieve the flour, mixed spice and baking powder into a bowl and add the almonds. Set aside
Place the butter and sugar into an electric mixer bowl and beat until the mix is pale and fluffy. Add the chestnut purée and beat until just smooth
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture and milk until just combined
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread until level. Arrange 12 quince slices in a circular pattern on top, then 4 slices in the centre. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top
Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
Serve warm or cool, drizzled with the reserved syrup. The cake is best eaten on the day of making
First published in 2017

Louise Robinson is a former fashion accessories designer turned freelance food writer, stylist and photographer now based in the Sussex countryside.

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