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What is Chocolate Concrete Cake?
Blog / Cooking and Baking / What is Chocolate Concrete Cake?

What is Chocolate Concrete Cake?

Chocolate Concrete Cake, a nostalgic delight for many, evokes memories of school dinners and homely comforts.

This dessert, known for its uniquely dense and crunchy texture, stands apart from the conventional soft and fluffy cakes we’re accustomed to.

In this post, we delve into the world of Chocolate Concrete Cake, exploring its origins, what sets it apart from other chocolate desserts, and the simple joy it brings to baking enthusiasts and those fond of childhood treats.

What is Chocolate Concrete Cake?

Chocolate Concrete Cake is a quintessentially British dessert, beloved for its unique texture and simple, comforting taste.

Contrary to what its name might suggest, this cake is not made of concrete, but the name humorously refers to its unusually hard, dense texture, which is crisp and crunchy rather than soft and spongy like traditional cakes.

Originating from the school canteens of the UK, Chocolate Concrete Cake has been a staple of British school dinners for decades.

It’s typically made from a straightforward mix of ingredients in most kitchens: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and eggs.

The ingredients are combined to create a thick batter that, when baked, forms a firm, biscuit-like texture.

The cake is often served as a square or rectangular slab, sometimes topped with a layer of chocolate icing or dusted with sugar for added sweetness.

It’s commonly accompanied by a side of custard, which perfectly complements the crunchy texture of the cake, providing a creamy contrast.

Chocolate Concrete Cake is celebrated for its simplicity and the nostalgia it evokes, reminding many of their childhood days.

Its enduring popularity lies not just in its distinct texture and taste but also in the fond memories it brings back of school days and simpler times. It’s a testament to the comfort and joy that a simple, well-made dessert can bring.

Chocolate Concrete Cake Recipe

Here’s a traditional recipe for Chocolate Concrete Cake, a classic British school dessert known for its crunchy texture:


  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg

For the topping (optional):

  • Chocolate icing or powdered sugar
  • Custard, to serve


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C for fan ovens) or Gas Mark 4.

  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Sift the plain flour and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar to the mixture and stir to combine.

  3. Add Wet Ingredients: Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and the egg to the well. Mix thoroughly until you achieve a dense, firm dough. The mixture should be quite stiff and not pourable like traditional cake batter.

  4. Prepare Baking Tray: Grease a square or rectangular baking tray (approximately 20cm x 20cm) and evenly press the mixture into the tray. The layer should be about 1.5 to 2 cm thick.

  5. Bake the Cake: Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is ready when it feels firm to the touch and has a slightly cracked appearance.

  6. Cool and Cut: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tray for about 10 minutes. While still warm, cut into squares or rectangles as per your preference.

  7. Add Toppings (Optional): Once the cake is cool, add a layer of chocolate icing or simply dust with powdered sugar.

  8. Serve: Chocolate Concrete Cake is traditionally served with custard, which perfectly complements its crunchy texture. Pour warm custard over the cake squares when serving.


  • The key to getting the right texture is not to overmix the batter and to press it firmly into the baking tray.
  • The cake is meant to be dense and crunchy, so don’t worry if it seems hard – that’s how it should be!

This recipe captures the essence of the beloved Chocolate Concrete Cake, offering a trip down memory lane for those who grew up enjoying this classic British dessert. Enjoy!

What Does Chocolate Concrete Cake Taste Like?

Chocolate concrete cake, often known for its dense and fudgy texture, tastes rich and intensely chocolatey.

It’s a type of dessert that combines the qualities of a brownie and a traditional cake.

The flavour is deep and robust, often enhanced with cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and sometimes both.

The texture is unique – it’s not as fluffy as a typical cake nor as gooey as a brownie; instead, it’s somewhere in between, offering a satisfying chewiness.

Some variations may include chocolate chips or nuts for added texture and flavour.

It’s commonly served with a dusting of icing sugar or paired with a side of custard or cream, which complements its rich chocolate taste.

Where Does Chocolate Concrete Come From?

Chocolate Concrete, also popularly known as Chocolate Concrete Cake or Chocolate Crunch, is a classic British dessert.

Its origins are firmly rooted in the United Kingdom, specifically within the context of school dining.

This dessert became a staple in many British school canteens during the 20th century.

The exact origin of Chocolate Concrete is somewhat nebulous, as it likely evolved within the school system rather than being the creation of a single individual or moment.

Its popularity soared due to its simple recipe, economical ingredients, and ease of preparation, making it an ideal choice for large-scale school catering.

The name “Chocolate Concrete” is a playful nod to its unusually hard and crunchy texture, a marked departure from the soft, fluffy consistency typically associated with cakes.

The recipe is straightforward, usually involving essential ingredients like flour, cocoa, butter, sugar, and eggs, resulting in a dense, biscuit-like texture that is unique and memorable.

Chocolate Concrete reflects the no-frills, practical approach to food typical in British schools during the mid to late 20th century.

Its endurance as a beloved treat is a testament to its appeal across generations, with many adults fondly recalling it as part of their school dining experience.

Where Can You Buy Great Quality Baking Chocolate?

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These mini shards are designed for easy and efficient melting, making them ideal for various culinary applications where smooth, high-quality melted chocolate is desired.

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Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier

As an expert chocolatier, my journey through the world of chocolate has introduced me to an astonishing variety of chocolate-based creations, each unique and delightful in its own way.

Among these, Chocolate Concrete Cake holds a special place.

It’s a fascinating example of how a simple ingredient like chocolate can be transformed into something so distinct and memorable.

What intrigues me most about Chocolate Concrete is its unconventional texture.

In a realm where chocolate is often associated with smooth, melt-in-your-mouth experiences, this dessert flips the script, offering a satisfyingly crunchy, almost biscuit-like experience.

Final Notes On Concrete Cake

Chocolate Concrete Cake stands out as a unique and nostalgic dessert in the diverse world of chocolate creations.

Its origins in the British school canteen system have given it a place of fondness in the hearts of many, reminding them of simpler times.

With its distinctive hard and crunchy texture, this dessert diverges from the conventional expectations of a chocolate cake, offering a unique sensory experience.

The simplicity of its ingredients and the ease of preparation have made it a practical choice for large-scale catering and a beloved recipe for home bakers.

The contrast of its texture with the smooth creaminess of custard, often served alongside it, highlights the versatility and adaptability of chocolate as an ingredient.