Chocolate Biscuit Cake & It’s tea time again! What should you have with your cuppa? Definitely a little slice of Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Part nostalgia, part sweet treat, part absolute chocolate indulgence, this little cake is perfect for afternoon tea or an after-dinner dessert. With crumbled digestive biscuits and nuts enrobed in a creamy chocolate filling and the outside covered in a layer of melted chocolate, a good slice of chocolate biscuit cake has it all: texture, flavor, and ease of preparation.
In this post I share the easiest way to make a perfect Chocolate Biscuit Cake.
What is a Biscuit Cake?
So what defines a chocolate biscuit cake? A Chocolate biscuit cake requires no baking and is a kind of tea cake, a sweet commonly served with tea in the U.K. It consists of crumbled up cookies, or biscuits, floating in a kind of chocolate syrup or pudding mix and smothered with melted chocolate on the outside.
Despite biscuit cake seeming uniquely British, there are other similar cakes across the globe. In the United States, icebox cakes grew in popularity in the 1920s and 1930s with the beginning of home refrigeration and remain popular to this day. Refrigerated cookie or biscuit cakes show up in other countries and cultures as well, including Jewish and Irish cuisines.
In more recent history, it’s been a notable favorite dessert among the British Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II is an advent lover of biscuit cake, and her grandson Prince William requested it as the groom’s cake at his wedding.
The biscuit cake’s enduring popularity has made it an iconic recipe in the baking world.
How to Make Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Biscuit cake is one of those recipes that is best to make ahead, so it’s perfect for when you plan on having guests over for tea or dessert. Make this recipe a day or two before and you won’t even have to worry when folks start craving something sweet with tea or after a meal.
Whether you decide to make this cake a few days before or on a whim the day of, there are a few things to keep in mind while making it.
First, be mindful of what kind of pan you want to use for a mold and how you prepare it. A springform pan or pan with a removable base would be the easiest to use, but you can also use a regular cake pan–just be sure to line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
Second, don’t be afraid to use high quality cocoa powder, chocolate, and vanilla in your biscuit cake. The flavors are relatively simple, so using nice ingredients will really make the cake shine. Consider using Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa powder as opposed to natural cocoa powder for a darker colored and richer-tasting filling.
Third, Tea biscuits or digestive biscuits are an important part of the recipe. What do you do if you don’t have access to digestive biscuits?
There are definitely other cookies or biscuits you could use depending on where you live. Graham crackers or Marie biscuits work, but you could also use shortbread or gingersnaps if you’re in a real pinch. Just keep in mind these cookies and biscuits all have different flavors that will affect the biscuit cake! So you may need to use lesser amount of them so the biscuit won’t turn out crumbly and dry.
Size of cake pan
Since this is a no bake cake recipe feel free to use any pan you have. But a 6 or 7 inch cake pans will be better.
This recipe can be easily halved and still be made in a smaller pan or tray.
You can use any kind of cake pan to make this biscuit cake. But spring foam pans or cake pans with removable bottom are more convenient to handle the cake.
I used a 6 inch steel cake pan with removable bottom. If you do not have one then, just line your cake tray with foil or parchment paper. You can easily lift up the biscuit cake holding the paper once it is set.
How to Make Chocolate Biscuit Cake (Stepwise Photos)
Make Chocolate Syrup
1. Mix together 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, ½ cup organic sugar, 1 cup milk & 2 tbsps unsalted butter. You can skip butter but it adds flavor.
2. Whisk until the cocoa dissolves well and turns to a smooth liquid. It should not have any lumps.
3. Begin to boil on a medium heat stirring often until the mixture thickens slightly. You can also add butter if using.
4. Turn off when it turns thick. Check by dipping a spoon. The chocolate syrup has to coat the back of a spoon. This is the right consistency. It will thicken further upon cooling. Set this aside to cool down slightly.
Make Biscuit Cake
5. Meanwhile break 250 grams thin digestive or any tea biscuits to half by 1 inch sizes. Too large chunks will remain dry in the cake. This will make the cake crumbly and dry. Chop ¼ cup chopped nuts and add. You can also skip them. I went ahead using almonds. You may also pulse them in a grinder and add.
6. Pour the syrup in 2 batches mixing well. Avoid pouring all of the syrup at one time as it makes some pieces soggy while the others will not have enough syrup.
7. The biscuit pieces must be well coated with the chocolate syrup.
8. Transfer this to the pan and press down with the base of a cup. Some pieces of biscuits will break, it is just normal. Then level it with a spatula.
9. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. You can also leave it longer.
10. Since I did not have chocolate in hand, I went ahead using semi sweet mini chocolate chips. Add ½ cup chocolate chips or 100 grams chopped chocolate and 3 tablespoons milk to a bowl. Melt it and mix well until smooth.
You can microwave it for a min, stirring every 30 seconds until it turns smooth. I followed double boiler method and placed this bowl over a pot of hot water. Whisked it well.
11. The melted chocolate has to be very smooth & spreadable.
12. Remove the biscuit cake from the pan gently. The sides will look crumbly & ugly. Just ignore it and smoothen with a spatula.
13. Pour the melted chocolate and spread it.
14. Smear some chocolate on the sides and smoothen it as well.
15. Refrigerate the biscuit cake until set. It just takes a while for your chocolate to set. I melted some white chocolate and transferred to a piping bag. Squeezed to draw some lines over it. You can make any design or decorate it.
Slice the cake and serve plain or with Ice cream. Biscuit cake keeps good for about a week if refrigerated.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams thin biscuits (digestive or any tea biscuits)
- ¼ cup Nuts chopped (like almonds)
- 1 cup full fat milk (whole milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup organic sugar (jaggery or palm jaggery) (notes)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional, refer notes)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (or 100 grams of sweetened chocolate bar)
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Prepare a 6 inch spring foam pan or a pan with removable base. Alternately you may use a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper.
Make Chocolate Syrup
- Mix together sugar, cocoa & milk in a pan. Whisk well to make a smooth liquid, breaking up lumps of cocoa if any.
- Add butter (optional) & boil this stirring often until you get a slightly thick syrup.
- To test, dip a spoon and check. The syrup must coat the back of the spoon.
- This will further thicken upon cooling. Set aside to cool down.
How to Make Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- Break down the biscuits approximately to 1 by ½ inch pieces.
- When the syrup cools down pour it in 2 batches and give a good stir.
- Transfer the chocolate biscuits to the pan and press down with the base of a measuring cup. Smoothen the top with a spatula.
- Cover it and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until set.
- Add the chocolate and milk to a small bowl.
- Microwave it for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate melts and turns smooth.
- Or Double boiler – Alternately place the bowl over a small pot of hot water. Stir and mix until smooth.
Frosting Biscuit cake
- Unmold the cake gently from the pan. Or lift the cake from the pan holding the butter paper.
- Spread the chocolate frosting over the biscuit cake with a spatula. Smear some chocolate on the sides & smoothen.
- Refrigerate until the chocolate frosting is set. Slice the biscuit cake and serve plain or with Ice cream or tea.
- Biscuits: Choose thin biscuits. Thick biscuits won’t absorb the chocolate syrup so they remain dry.
- Sugar: You can reduce sugar if you are using sweet biscuits.
- Butter: Adds flavor and also provides some moisture to your cake, reduces dry crumbs as well.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes