Chocolate Biscuit Cake (The Queen’s Favorite Cake – Tiffin Recipe)


Chocolate biscuit cake is a no bake cake recipe that happens to be Queen Elizabeth’s favorite/favourite cake! Growing up in the UK, this type of treat, called a tiffin, is quite popular for one reason: it’s fantastic! 

chocolate biscuit cake and cup of tea

The original recipe is by the Queen’s past royal chef–Chef Darryn McGrady, who shared it some years ago. 

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I want to share this recipe with you because it’s the perfect treat to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! Apparently, this is the only “cake” that Queen Elizabeth wants kept for leftovers for herself!  All other cakes are shared after the queen has enjoyed a slice, but not this one. 

overhead chocolate biscuit cake and cup of tea

You may also recall that when Prince William and Kate were married, the groom’s cake was this exact recipe! So now you know, this cake is definitely fit for royalty, however, it’s the most simple treat you could probably ever make, since there’s no baking involved! 

tiffin and cup of tea

I hope you don’t believe the myth of bad English food! I can prove them wrong!

bangers and mash

What is a Tiffin?

Tiffin actually means a light meal or snack, and is an Indian/English word. As noted above, a tiffin is simply the name for this chocolate biscuit treat. A cake is actually a misnomer since there’s nothing cake-like about it, except for the shape and the tin it’s made in. You can add dried fruit, nuts, and British candy like Maltesers, but then it won’t be the Queen’s favorite version. Tiffin is often served with a cup of British tea

Rich Tea biscuit

Tips on Making the Best Chocolate Biscuit Cake

  • Although it might be more difficult to find, I would recommend using McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits. These are the ones I grew up eating, and always dipping into my cup of tea, just like Digestives! I could have ordered them on Amazon, but they would have taken too long to arrive, so I bought another brand at Cost Plus.
  • Use good quality dark chocolate. You can use something like Callebaut chocolate, but honestly, the big bars of Belgian chocolate from Trader Joe’s are really good, too, and much more inexpensive.

trader joe's chocolate pieces

  • Be sure to use Baker’s or caster sugar or else the cake may have a gritty texture. You can also put granulated sugar in a blender, but don’t process too long or you’ll make powdered sugar.

chocolate biscuit cake with tea

Chocolate Biscuit Cake –
The Queen’s Favorite Cake (Tiffin Recipe)

Original recipe by Chef Darren McGrady-slightly adapted by Christina Conte.      Serves 18

FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW

Ingredients

  • Rich Tea biscuits or similar cookies/biscuits
  • butter, softened
  • Baker’s/caster sugar
  • dark chocolate
  • pinch of salt
    COATING
    good quality dark chocolate
    chocolate curls, bits of a chocolate bar, or whatever you would like to put on top the cake

Special equipment: 6″ cake tin or springform pan (optional: cake stand)

Prepare the Chocolate Biscuits and Filling

Butter a 6″ cake tin and line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper.

broken biscuits

Break the tea biscuits into small pieces (about 1″ long) and put into a bowl and set aside.

butter and sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

melting chocolate

Melt the dark chocolate using the defrost function of the microwave or over a double boiler. Stop heating the chocolate when it is almost melted.

whisk with chocolate butter mixture

Add the melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well until combined. (At this point, the original recipe adds an egg, however, I don’t recommend doing this in the US as it is not cooked.)

adding Rich Tea biscuits

Gently add in the Rich Tea biscuit pieces until they are fully coated in chocolate mixture.

tiffin in a tin

Put this into the prepared cake tin, carefully trying to fill all the air spots so there aren’t holes in the bottom or middle of the cake (the bottom will be the top).

Coat and Decorate the Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Place the tin in the fridge for about 4 hours. When ready to finish the cake, remove from the fridge and allow to stand for about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn upside down onto a cooling rack placed on a sheet tray (or anything to catch chocolate drips). Remove the parchment paper.

melted chocolate in a pan 

Now, melt the dark chocolate for the coating in a double boiler or again in the microwave on defrost to slowly melt the chocolate, stirring at intervals. Stop heating the chocolate when there are still pieces of chocolate. Continue stirring off the heat until completely smooth.

pouring chocolate over biscuit cake

Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake and smooth using a butter or palette knife.

chocolate biscuit cake and tea

Allow to set at room temperature. When set, remove the cake and place on a serving plate and decorate as desired and serve.

tea and tiffin

Cutting the cake is much easier at room temperature, and a cup of tea is (practically) mandatory. 👑

chocolate biscuit cake with flowers on top on a cake plate

Chocolate Biscuit Cake (The Queen's Favorite Cake - Tiffin Recipe)

Yield: 18 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A chocolate and cookie concoction that is called a tiffin in the UK and happens to be Queen Elizabeth II's favorite cake!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Rich Tea biscuits or similar cookies/biscuits
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces Baker's/caster sugar (if the sugar isn't fine, it might be gritty)
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate
  • pinch of salt

COATING

  • 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate
  • chocolate curls, bits of a chocolate bar, or whatever you would like to put on top the cake

Instructions

1. Butter a 6" cake tin and line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper.

2. Break the tea biscuits into small pieces (about 1" long) and put into a bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Melt the dark chocolate using the defrost function of the microwave or over a double boiler. Stop heating the chocolate when it is almost melted. Add the melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well until combined.

5. Gently add in the Rich Tea biscuit pieces until they are fully coated in chocolate mixture.

6. Put this into the prepared cake tin, carefully trying to fill all the air spots so there aren't holes in the bottom or middle of the cake (the bottom will be the top).

7. Place the tin in the fridge for about 4 hours. When ready to finish the cake, remove from the fridge and allow to stand for about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn upside down onto a cooling rack placed on a sheet tray (or anything to catch chocolate drips). Remove the parchment paper.

8. Now, melt the dark chocolate for the coating in a double boiler or again in the microwave on defrost to slowly melt the chocolate, stirring at intervals. Stop heating the chocolate when there are still pieces of chocolate. Continue stirring off the heat until completely smooth.

9. Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake and smooth using a butter or palette knife.

10. Allow to set at room temperature. When set, remove the cake and place on a serving plate and decorate as desired.

Notes

Use good quality chocolate for best results (DO NOT USE HERSHEY'S)

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is only estimated.

Did you make this recipe?

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© adapted by Christina Conte
Cuisine: British, Scottish / Category: Desserts

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