Queen Elizabeth’s Favorite Chocolate Biscuit Cake

A slice of Queen Elizabeth's favorite chocolate biscuit cake.

Chocolate biscuit cake was the late Queen Elizabeth’s favorite cake, and this is the no bake recipe from former royal chef Darren McGrady.

Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake ~ chocolate biscuit cake, on a floral plate with fork.

chocolate biscuit cake from the British royal kitchen

Chocolate biscuit cake is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite cake ~ she would take a small slice every day with her tea, until the cake was finished, and then she’d start on a fresh one! She reportedly had her chefs bring along this special chocolate cake wherever she traveled, and the cake was so popular in the royal family that it was Prince William’s groom’s cake at his wedding to Kate Middleton.

After researching this tea cake I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like it, but I was wrong! I gobbled up an entire piece right in the middle of my photo shoot. The combination of the mousse-like chocolate filling with the crunch of the biscuits and the chocolate layer on top is really delicious. I’m a fan!

British chocolate biscuit cake, sliced, with forks.

just four ingredients for British chocolate biscuit cake

Queen Elizabeth was famously not a ‘foodie’. Her tastes in food were surprisingly simple and homey and this no-bake ‘fridge cake’ is a good example. Just four basic ingredients make up this no-bake recipe. A fifth ingredient, a raw egg, is in the original recipe, but I’ve left it out because raw eggs aren’t considered safe to consume in the US. You could, if you like, use a pasteurized egg.

  • English rich tea biscuits
    • Look for English rich tea biscuits in larger supermarkets and specialty stores. Cost Plus World Market carries them as well. I used McVities Digestive Biscuits which are very similar to rich tea biscuits. These not too sweet wheat biscuits remind me a little bit of American graham crackers.
  • butter
  • granulated sugar
    • if you happen to have superfine bakers sugar, that’s ideal, but otherwise, regular white sugar will do.
  • dark chocolate
    • melted chocolate is used in the filling and also as the icing on top. Honestly use whatever good quality chocolate you like, whether chips, or bar chocolate. Dark chocolate is specified in the original recipe and that’s what I used.
McVities Digestive Biscuits for a chocolate biscuit cake.

how to make a British chocolate biscuit cake

  1. Break or chop the biscuits into pieces. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in melted chocolate. At this point the British recipe has you beat in a raw egg, but I left that out.
Chocolate filling for Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake.

2. Fold in the biscuit pieces so that everything is evenly blended.

Folding biscuit pieces into batter for biscuit cake.

3. Fill prepared cake pan, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until chilled and firm.

Cake tin filled with batter for Queen Elizabeth's favorite no bake cake.

4. Invert cake out onto a rack. Remove plastic wrap.

Chocolate biscuit cake on a rack with melted chocolate.

5. Pour melted chocolate over cake and spread over top and sides with an offset spatula.

Pouring melted chocolate over cake.

6. Allow the chocolate to set up at room temperature, and slice.

Queen Elizabeth's favorite chocolate biscuit cake.

final thoughts on chocolate biscuit cake…

This cake is vey good, and unique, at least as far as American desserts go. It’s quite rich, so thin slices are best. It actually reminds me of a KitKat candy bar, in cake form! I hope you give it a try, I think you’ll love it like I did.

Chocolate glaze on a chocolate biscuit cake.

more British inspired food

A slice of Queen Elizabeth's favorite chocolate biscuit cake.
5 from 28 votes

British Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Chocolate biscuit cake was the late Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake, and this is the no bake recipe from former royal chef Darren McGrady.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
chilling 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 407kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 8 inch cake pan (the original recipe uses a 6 inch cake ring.)


for the cake

  • 8 ounces British tea biscuits (I used McVities Digestive Biscuits.)
  • 6 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted

chocolate topping

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted

garnish, optional

  • mini chocolate chips. You could also use chocolate sprinkles, or chocolate curls.


  • Butter or spray your pan, then line with plastic wrap, with long ends. This will make it easier to invert after the cake chills.
  • Break or chop your biscuits into pieces. The original recipe says to break them into pieces the size of almonds. I chopped mine a little larger than that. Set aside.
    chopped English tea biscuits.
  • Cream the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the melted chocolate until everything is completely combined.
    Chocolate filling for Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake.
  • Fold in the chopped biscuits until they are evenly distributed.
    Folding biscuit pieces into batter for biscuit cake.
  • Spread the mixture into your prepared pan. You want to make sure to fill all the nooks and crannies so there are no air pockets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. Note: You could also leave it overnight.
    Cake tin filled with batter for Queen Elizabeth's favorite no bake cake.
  • When the cake has chilled, run an offset spatula or other thin blunt knife along the edge to loosed the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert onto a rack that is set over a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the plastic.
    Chocolate biscuit cake on a rack with melted chocolate.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake, using an offset spatula to smooth it out. Add your garnish, if using, while the chocolate is still wet.
    Pouring melted chocolate over cake.
  • Allow the topping to set at cool room temperature before slicing.
  • The cake can be stored at room temperature, but for overnight I would refrigerate it. Let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes for easier slicing.

Cook’s notes

*Recipe lightly adapted from former British royal chef Darren McGrady. The changes I’ve made are to omit the raw egg, and to increase the amounts of butter, sugar, and chocolate for the filling to account for a larger 8 inch pan.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2022 at 2:21 am

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe

  • Reply
    September 20, 2022 at 12:57 am

    5 stars
    I bet Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies would be great in this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Ellen Easton
    September 19, 2022 at 2:44 am

    5 stars
    Sue, once again you manage to present a recipe with beautiful photos in easy to understand steps. I published the same recipe in my March Tea Travels™ column tribute to the Queen’s Jubilee, but your post made it come to life for the home cook. For those who can’t find ingredient locally, AMAZON is worth a try.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2022 at 12:57 am

    5 stars
    I can’t get digestive biscuits where I live. Could you please recommend what I should use? I can’t get what you use for the base of non cook cakes either.
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 19, 2022 at 6:07 am

      Any plain cracker will probably work, even graham crackers in a pinch. I mentioned to another reader that maybe Nilla Wafers might be a good choice.

    • Reply
      Siobhan Brace
      September 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm

      Sometimes “World Market” carry them.

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        September 24, 2022 at 1:47 pm

        World Market is a great resource for British foods.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    I really appreciate the measurements given by weight. My kitchen scale is a cherished kitchen tool! I find it the most accurate way to measure; and it gives me the best results.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    I live in a rather rural area in the The White Mountains of Arizona. If I can’t find wheat biscuits can I use mini Kit Kat bars or would that be overload?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 18, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Karen! I wouldn’t use KitKats. I would look for a plain cracker, it’s possible that plain graham crackers would work. Nilla Wafers might work, too.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2022 at 9:55 am

    5 stars
    This sounds delicious, Sue! I’m going to try it. What do you think about substituting ginger snaps for the British tea biscuits?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 18, 2022 at 11:32 am

      That would definitely work. Just about any crisp plain cookie would probably work.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2022 at 8:24 am

    I can’t use Darren McGrady’s recipes. His measurement are done in a weird way, and grams measurement for his scones recipe was off as much as 30grams and needless to say major fail. I am afraid to try any recipes again.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 18, 2022 at 11:32 am

      Not sure about his other recipes but this one worked fine. I did adjust the amounts only because my 8″ pan is larger.

  • Reply
    Joyce Wills
    September 18, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Hi…I’d love to try this cake but need amounts in cups. I don’t know if the volume mentioned is liquid measure or weight measure. . Can you convert it to cups.tablespoons for me?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 18, 2022 at 7:40 am

      I’ve used weight measurements. The cookies cannot be measured in cups, but the McVities comes in an 8.8 ounce box, which is about 16 biscuits. 6 ounces of butter is 12 tablespoons. 6 ounces of sugar is just over 3/4 cups. 6 ounces of chocolate would be about a cup if you are using chips.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2022 at 12:45 am

      Good Lord! You can Google this yourself; it’s especially easy if you use Google Voice, or the equivalent on the system you’re using. For example, say “How many tablespoons iis 6oz. of butter?” The reply will be given in seconds! I use this at LEAST once a day, for everything from measurements, pan size conversions, substitutions, to “What time is it in Tokyo now?”, for example. Try it. It’s a life changer!

      • Reply
        Belinda Hart
        September 25, 2022 at 3:08 pm

        I love your reply about the way to find measurements! I mean really! it’s so simple to do even without a device. This recipe is a must try ASAP. Thank you! I will let you know how it turns out.

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