Chocolate biscuit cake, also called tiffin cake, is a favorite in Irish shops, cafés, and restaurants.
Made with chocolate and crumbled digestive and rich tea biscuits, it’s a perfect cake for summer. No need to turn the oven on.
Melting chocolate is all the “cooking” required, and this biscuit cake can be stored in the refrigerator to prevent chocolate melt down on hot summer days. I love no bake cakes.
One of my little boys LOVES chocolate biscuit cake. His Nana introduced him to this delicious Irish treat in Dublin, and ever since we got back to Kentucky, he’s been asking me to make a chocolate biscuit cake.
And so, he challenged me to recreate an Irish chocolate biscuit cake using American ingredients.
Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you all the steps for making this favorite Irish chocolate cake, primarily using American cookies. Take a look at the video, then check out the recipe details below…
Irish digestive and rich tea biscuits are not easily available at my local grocery story. Sometimes they’re stocked in the British section at my local supermarket. But rather than search for specialty ingredients every time I need to make a chocolate biscuit cake, I tweaked my Irish recipe for cooking success in America.
My solution is to use graham crackers instead of digestive biscuits, and to substitute animal crackers for rich tea biscuits.
Remember in Ireland cookies are called biscuits and an American biscuit is called a scone. When I talk about biscuit pieces I mean cookie pieces.
And so here’s my American version of chocolate biscuit cake, or perhaps I should call it chocolate cookie cake, or chocolate cracker cake.
Ingredients for Chocolate Biscuit Cake:
Here’s a list of ingredients. You’ll find exact quantities in the printable recipe below, which allows you to choose between US and Metric measurements.
- milk chocolate chips (or a combination of milk and bittersweet chocolate chips)
- condensed milk
- golden syrup or corn syrup
- graham crackers
- 50 animal crackers
Note – some people add a little salt to their cake to counteract all the sweetness, but I find there’s plenty salt in the graham crackers so we can avoid the additional sodium. I also use salted rather than unsalted butter.
Directions for Chocolate Biscuit Cake:
Here’s my step-by-step photo instructions for making this no-bake cake, loved by Irish people.
Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin with plastic wrap.
Leave excess plastic wrap at each end of the pan. This will be used to wrap the cake before it gets refrigerated.
Break the crackers and biscuits into small pieces in a mixing bowl.
For anyone making this cake in Ireland, I would use a 1/2 packet of digestive biscuits and a 1/2 packet of rich tea biscuits instead of graham and animal crackers.
I have eaten biscuit cakes where the cookie bits are extremely small, but I like to leave the pieces fairly big. I break each graham cracker into 6 or 8 pieces and simply halve the animal crackers.
Place a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the chocolate chips, butter, and golden syrup to melt. Stir the mixture frequently so that it melts evenly.
Corn syrup can be used instead of golden syrup, since this English syrup is difficult to find in American stores.
I use all milk chocolate chips, but feel free to use a combination of both dark bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate chips.
Dark chocolate just isn’t my thing, even though I know it’s far healthier with 70% or more cocoa. I just can’t do it, no matter what the doctor might say. I don’t think there are many doctor’s approving of chocolate biscuit cake anyway.
Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the condensed milk.
Many chocolate biscuit cakes use much more golden syrup and omit the condensed milk, but I love the fudge like consistency when condensed milk is used.
Here’s a quick tip for a grown up version of this cake. Hold back on a little of the condensed milk and substitute a little Irish cream. You’ll take this recipe over the top with a creamy taste of Ireland.
This version, I’m making today, is kid-friendly and suitable for children.
Combine the wet with the dry ingredients and mix the chocolate mixture well to ensure the cracker pieces are completely covered in chocolate. Be gently though since you don’t want to smash the biscuit pieces.
Pour into the lined loaf pan, pressing the mixture down with a spatula to prevent any “air locks” and smooth out the top. An offset spatula works great for this step.
You really need to press it into the pan to squeeze out all the air. Even after all my pressing I still had a few air bubbles this time.
Cover the cake with the excess plastic wrap. I find plastic wrap works better than parchment paper.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Cut into small squares or fingers to serve.
This is a very rich cake, and a little goes a long way. I love picking on some biscuit cake fingers with a nice cuppa.
This cake can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Not even a morsel has ever survived in our house for more than a week, but my mother assures me it does keep well in the fridge. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and put it in an airtight container.
Another option is to cover the top of the cake with a chocolate ganache, but I like to serve this cake in finger slices.
I got a little carried away with my chocolate biscuit cake fingers. I started to build a tower. Chocolate biscuit cake Jenga anyone.
Here’s the printable recipe if you’d like to keep a copy on file.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
- 11.5 ounces milk chocolate chips 1 packet or a combination of milk and bittersweet chocolate chips
- 4 oz butter 1 stick diced
- 14 fluid ounces condensed milk 1 14 ounce can
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup corn syrup can be substituted
- 8 oz graham crackers 1 sleeve
- 50 animal crackers
- Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin with plastic wrap.
- Break the crackers or biscuits into small pieces in a mixing bowl.
- Place a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the chocolate chips, butter, and golden syrup to melt. Stir the mixture frequently so that it melts evenly.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the condensed milk.
- Combine the wet with the dry ingredients and mix well to ensure the cracker pieces are completely covered in chocolate.
- Pour into the lined loaf pan, pressing the mixture down with a spatula to prevent any “air locks” and smooth out the top.
- Cover the cake with the excess plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Cut into small squares or fingers to serve.
- This cake can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I hope you all enjoy this American version of one my all time favorite Irish cakes.
This cake is also loved in the United Kingdom. Prince William chose chocolate biscuit cake for his groom’s cake. He has good taste in cakes.
Happy easy summer baking to all!
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Here are some other recipes and ramblings which you might enjoy….
Here’s a Pinterest friendly image if you’d like to save this recipe to your Pinterest boards.
And if you’d like to check out some more Irish recipes here’s my recipe index page.