.This rich, chocolate biscuit cake is a favorite of the Royal family. It’s no-bake and made with digestive biscuits and dark chocolate – making it an easy recipe that’s fit for a queen.
When Prince William got married, apparently he requested a chocolate biscuit cake for his groom’s cake. After doing some research, it turns out that this recipe is a favorite of the entire Royal family – especially Queen Victoria. I found it quite endearing that despite all the fancy delicacies they’d have, the Queen loves an easy chocolate refrigerator cake.
The Perfect Chocolate Biscuit Cake
The recipe uses a few everyday ingredients that are very common in the UK but can be a little harder to get overseas. Specifically, you’ll need golden syrup and McVities Digestive Biscuits. If you live in the US or Canada, these ingredients can often be found at an import store or the import section of your grocery store. If need be, you can also substitute golden syrup with corn syrup. Digestive biscuits or shortbread cookies can also be substituted with graham crackers. However, I do find using digestive biscuits makes the cake more classic.
To make the recipe, you essentially just melt together butter, chopped chocolate, golden syrup and heavy cream. You get a thick, chocolate sauce that should look nice and glossy. Then you’ll stir broken biscuits into the mixture. I like larger pieces of biscuits about the size of a large coin, but it doesn’t really matter.
The mixture gets poured into a round cake pan that’s lined with plastic wrap and lightly greased, and then goes in the fridge to set. No baking, no cooking, and very little effort. After the cake has set, you’ll lift it out of the pan using the overhang of the plastic wrap.
Instead of frosting, a thick chocolate ganache goes on top for a little extra pizzaz (but you could skip this if you prefer). A sprinkling of powdered sugar or even cocoa powder on top can also look nice for something a little less rich.
While this cake is very easy to make, I main tip/piece of advice is to use high-quality dark chocolate for the best flavor. I typically use something between 50-70% dark chocolate, because the golden syrup will add more sweetness and the cream will make it milkier and less bitter. You definitely don’t want to use anything stronger than 70% dark chocolate though, otherwise, it will be very bitter and rich.
Variations & Substitutions
- I made this refrigerator cake in an 8-inch round cake pan with high sides – such as a springform pan. A 6-inch cake pan (with very high sides) would work, or a 9-inch cake pan will work too. It can also be made in a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- This cake is also delicious with the addition of nuts and/or dried fruit. If you’d like to use these additions, keep the amounts of chocolate, butter, golden syrup and cream the same. However, use:
- 200 grams digestive biscuits (half a package)
- ¼ cup dried fruit – such as raisins, dried cranberries, or apricots
- 1 cup chopped nuts -such as walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds. Make sure to toast the nuts first by placing them on a baking sheet and baking for 7-10 minutes at 350F (180 degrees).
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- 8-inch (20cm) round cake pan*
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- 400 grams digestive biscuits* 1 package
- 450 grams dark chocolate* 50-70%
- 225 grams unsalted butter cut into pieces
- ⅓ cup golden syrup*
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 170 grams dark chocolate 50-70% (I typically use 50%)
- ½ cup heavy cream
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- Line an 8-inch (20 cm) round pan* with high sides with plastic with plastic wrap ensuring that there is an overhang around the sides.
- Break up the digestive biscuits into pieces and place into a large bowl. I typically break each biscuit into about 6 pieces.
- Add about ½ - 1 inch (1-2 cm) of water to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and place a glass bowl overtop (ensuring that the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water) to create a double boiler.
- Add the chopped chocolate and butter to the glass bowl, and gently stir the mixture together until it is fully melted.
- Remove the glass bowl from the heat and whisk in the golden syrup and heavy cream.
- Pour the chocolate over the biscuits and stir until they're covered.
- Pour/spoon the mixture into the cake pan and smooth the top. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
Chocolat Ganache Topping
- Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Warm the cream until almost boiling (either in the microwave or a saucepan while gently stirring).
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2-5 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth. If the chocolate isn't completely melted, microwave the bowl on medium power (not high or standard power) for 45 seconds and whisk until smooth.
- Remove the cake from the fridge. Lift it out of the pan using the overhang from the plastic wrap. Peel back the plastic and place the cake on a plate.
- Spoon the ganache over the cake and smooth the top. Return to the fridge to let the ganache set.
- Make sure your pan has high sides (at least 2-3 inches). This recipe can also be made in a 9-inch pan, or a 9x3 inch loaf pan.
- Digestive biscuits are common in the UK and Australia can typically be found at an import grocery store or section in the US and Canada. They can also be substituted with graham crackers or shortbread crackers if needed.
- I recommend using 50% dark chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate can be used if needed, but I definitely prefer the flavor with dark chocolate. I would not use anything stronger than 70% dark chocolate in the cake and 60% dark chocolate in the ganache, otherwise it will be too bitter.
- Golden syrup can be substituted with corn syrup if needed.
- Store the cake covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cake can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months, then thaw in the fridge.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and is based on the recipe being divided into 14 equal pieces.