Chocolate Biscuit Cake

We used to call this dark and luscious chocolate cake Tiffin, others called it Refrigerator Cake.  Ever since Prince William used it as his Groom Cake at his wedding it is now more commonly known as Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Apparently the Princes William and Harry used to have it (and even helped make it) when they were very young.

There are lots of variations to this, the authentic “Royal version” as made by Carolyn Robb so don’t worry if you prefer dried cherries, sultanas or apricots to the figs, or shortbread or rich tea biscuits to the digestives.  You can also use pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts instead of pistachios or if nut allergic just use more biscuit.  Talking of allergies if you are gluten intolerant there are really good gluten free stem ginger cookies that go really well with this – particularly when you use soft dried apricots as the fruit element.  You can also dress this cake up by decorating it with a thin layer of melted dark/milk/white chocolate after the cake has set and then embellish it with maltesers or even chocolate mini eggs! Or do as I have here and crush the mini eggs and lightly roll in.  If you are in the USA and find golden syrup difficult to get you can use corn syrup though this makes the cake slightly softer

This cake is very rich so cut it into small pieces. It does keep well (two weeks in the fridge) but I find it’s normally eaten within a few days by the resident “fridge monster” who I repeatedly fail to catch.


Chocolate Biscuit Cake setting in tin


Ingredients (16-20 pieces)

  • 340g/8oz  (3 sticks) butter
  • 240g/8oz golden syrup
  • 60g/2oz unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 120g/4oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g/2oz pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 100g/4oz soft dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 450g/1lb digestive biscuits (Graham’s crackers) crumbled

To decorate

  • 300g/11oz dark/milk/white chocolate, melted
  • selection of sweets such as maltesers, chocolate mini eggs etc


  1. Line a 20cm round or square cake tin with baking parchment or clingfilm.  Tin must be about 6cm/2” deep
  2. Melt butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan.  Do not, whatever you do, allow the mixture to boil
  3. Remove from heat and add cocoa, chopped chocolate and vanilla extract and stir to a thick, glossy and smooth mixture is reached
  4. Crumble in biscuits, figs and pistachios and stir until everything is completely coated
  5. Pour mix into prepared tin pushing down well and, if using a square tin, paying particular attention to making sure it fills the corners
  6.  Cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge for 2 hours to set firmly
  7. Decorate with a thin layer of melted milk or dark chocolate if desired and any sweeties you fancy (ie maltesers or chocolate mini eggs) though I normally don’t bother just roll some crushed sweets on top.
  8. Cut into pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator



  1. What a fun cake Rosie!! And I know I would feel so fancy having cake that was also eaten by Prince William! Love how the layers show through– and how you can use all sorts of nuts or fruits. Was this for a special occasion?? Would be a fun Easter cake with the eggs on top! How’s it going there?? Are you done with winter storms? We went to England about this time a few years back and I couldn’t believe the daffodils everywhere!! hugs!

      • I know Rosie! sometimes things get too crazy around here and I don’t get to keep up with blog friends like I want to! But just read through Easter posts– so beautiful! I’m saving the hot cross bun recipe! thanks. xox

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