Chicken, ham and cheese cake

Chicken, ham and cheese cake recipe with pistachios, rosemary and garlic – a quiche-cake!

Savoury cakes and snacks

Another savoury cake!  Woohoo!  Today’s offering is the second in our savoury cake series, a fine example of the picnic cake de voyage that is popular in France but might prove confusing to others.  Friends have looked peturbed, ‘hmmm, it’s like a quiche, but it isn’t?’  It’s delicious and moist they also say.  But to save further confusion we’ll refer to it as a quiche-cake and it’s replete with delightful ingredients:  chicken pieces poached in oatmilk with rosemary and garlic (the milk is then used in the cake batter), cooked and cured ham, emmental or gruyère cheese and pistachio nuts.  We’ll also be using olive oil and easily digestible spelt flour.  Easy to make and great for picnics, snack lunches or parties when cut into small cubes.  It can be baked ahead of time and frozen till needed, which allowed me to serve one up at a little party yesterday.  Can I offer you a slice maybe?

Chicken, ham and cheese cake

Chicken, ham and cheese cake with pistachios, rosemary and garlic

Or a party nibble?

Chicken, ham and cheese cake

Chicken, ham and cheese cake at a party

So moist and tasty!  And so very portable…

You could add anything you like to this cake really, except slippers or socks.  Haha… you know what I mean.  Perhaps one day I’ll build more layers of taste.  An Indian-spiced cake with pieces of chicken Tikka inside would be absolutely delightful!  I eliminated the olives that were in the first prototype but you could put them back in again!

And if you’d like to know how this cake came to include rosemary, well it so happens we got rather lost trying to find our climbing sector in the mountains the other week and as we went to and fro I started to pass the time by picking rosemary and planning related dishes.  Such is the life of a serious climber.  But if you don’t have any rosemary please use any herbs or spices you have handy (parsley, chives, Italian herbs or coriander for example, also adding a nice touch of colour).  French recipes can give you loads of ideas – look here for some cakes salés (savoury cake) images.

So let’s gather up whatever herbs we have, roll up our sleeves and make this cake!


  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (static, non-convection oven) or 155°C (fan-assisted oven)
  • Prepare the moulds: line a loaf tin (about 11x24cm) with baking/parchment paper.  Have the paper stick out higher than the mould by 2cm.  If you prefer cupcakes, use half the quantity to make 12 cupcakes and you can line a cupcake baking tray with paper cupcake moulds.


For poaching the chicken

  • 100g chicken breast cut in medium-smallish pieces (around 1.5 x  2 or 3 cm)
  • 280g oatmilk (or any other kind of milk)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2g of rosemary (about 2 sprigs, cut up to smaller pieces) or some other herbs of your choice
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 40g white wine, cava or cider

For the batter

Bits and pieces

  • 110g cooked ham, chopped into little cubes
  • 15g cured ham or bacon, cut into little pieces
  • 50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped (or 60g for more of a crunch!)
  • 150g grated cheese (emmental or gruyère – a good cheddar should be okay too)

Dry ingredients (whisk together to combine in a big bowl)

  • 320g white spelt flour (or plain flour)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 to half tsp fine sea salt (to taste)

Wet ingredients

  • 320g beaten egg (free-range)
  • 100g natural greek yoghurt (about 1 small pot)
  • 250g of the oatmilk that was used to poach the chicken
  • 250g mild cold-pressed olive oil, with no strong flavour
Chicken, ham and cheese cake

Chicken, ham and cheese cake


Prepare the poached chicken:

  • Melt 10g of butter in a frying pan on low heat.
  • Add the pieces of chicken and 280g oatmilk so that the milk almost covers the chicken.
  • Add the 2 sliced cloves of garlic  and rosemary.
  • Simmer on low heat for around 5 to 12 minutes until the chicken is just cooked.

    When the underside looks white, turn around.

    Simmer a few more minutes till cooked through but not dry (cut a piece to check).

  • Lightly whisk in the white wine then take off heat.
  • Take out the pieces of chicken with a slotted spoon and cut a little smaller if you like.
  • Pass the oatmilk in the frying pan through a sieve and reserve 250g of it for later.

This is a very easy cake!!!   Just be organised and have ALL the ingredients ready so as soon as the dry ingredients have combined with the wet (and start reacting) they can be poured into the tin and shunted pronto pronto into the oven.  The secret of all-in-one cakes is to mix lightly and fast, without overmixing, to get a light crumb and then pop it quickly in the oven.

So are you ready for the batter?

  • Make a well in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients in and whisk lightly for a very short time to combine.
  • Add the bits and pieces and whisk lightly again until just combined.  DON’T OVERMIX OR YOU’LL GET A CAKE LIKE A BRICK (unless you like that of course).
  • Pour into the loaf tin and level out with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake in the oven for around 1 hour to 1 hr 15 mins for the loaf tin (20-30 minutes for the cupcakes).  The cake should be lightly browned on top, spring back a little when pressed gently with a finger and a skewer inserted should come out clean.


DSCF7990Now you can go off on a picnic with your family or friends!  Unless of course you’re surrounded by snow, in which case you could move towards a source of heat with book and blanket, together with your handy little snack!  This little cake would make a nice meal accompanied by a salad or warming soup.  I took it out to the rock where it was easy enough to digest (love that spelt flour) so didn’t weigh me down too much while climbing! 🙂  And I’ll also take some to the Fiesta Friday party hosted by Angie the Novice Gardener, if you’d like to come along!

DSCF7979So what would you put in your savoury cake?  Any inspiration?  Have you eaten a cake salé before?  Do you think they’re strange or delicious?

Hope you’ve enjoyed our little incursion into a world without sweet stuff!  (I’m holding on okay thanks – aided by my little stock of mojito macarons in the fridge.. hee hee!).  Till next time savoury reader, may you find sweetness in your lives and the right amount of salt in your food!  Happy baking and eating! 🙂

Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

24 thoughts on “Chicken, ham and cheese cake recipe with pistachios, rosemary and garlic – a quiche-cake!”

    • Thank you Liz and you’re welcome!!! Yes, it’s versatile and you can throw anything in! I’m thinking of exploring a curry version soon … 🙂


  1. Pingback: orange olive oil bread (& Liebster award nomination) | ten.times.tea

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