Easy Chocolate Tiffin Recipe

Before I moved to Scotland, I had never heard of Tiffin, even though I’d been eating it my whole life. How is that possible? We have something similar in New Zealand, although I think it’s called a no-bake chocolate slice or even chocolate concrete.

So when I moved to Scotland, I started frequenting the cafes here and constantly seeing Tiffin in the cake cabinet and on menus alongside Mars Bar Slice, Mint Aero Traybake, and Malteser Traybake, so I decided it was time to try making it. That’s when I realised it was an old familiar friend, but with a new name!

We love making classic recipes, as evidenced by our Old School Cake and Cornflake Tart recipes, so we always intended to add this one to our repertoire. It’s a crowd-pleaser at parties too!

Chocolate Tiffin Recipe

So why is it called Tiffin? If you try to look it up, you might come across it as the name for a light midday meal or India or the name of the box that the meal comes in.

In Scotland, though, it refers to the delicious traybake made of crushed biscuits, butter, sugar, and raisins (sometimes cherries) and topped with a layer of melted chocolate.

Rumour has it (aka Wikipedia) that the Chocolate Tiffin recipe originated in Troon in Scotland in the 1900s, although I haven’t been able to find anything to substantiate this.

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Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

You might sometimes see it called “fridge cake”, as this simple recipe requires no actual baking. Instead, you mix all the ingredients together before allowing it to chill in the fridge.

It’s also known as icebox cake, chocolate concrete cake, and no-bake chocolate biscuit cake. Whew! Whatever it is, it’s delicious.

So let’s get started.

Things you’ll need to make Chocolate Tiffin

  • 8x8inch cake tin (or 9inch for a thinner slice) – we like this one
  • Microwave safe jug
  • Ziplock bag and rolling pin for crushing the biscuits
  • Baking paper for lining the tin
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

Ingredients for Chocolate Tiffin

  • 375g (3 ¾ cups) digestive biscuits
  • 200g (¾ cups + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 110g (1/3 cup) golden syrup
  • 40g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 180g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) raisins
  • 300g ( 1 ¾ cups) milk chocolate

Biscuit Alternatives

Some recipes call for Digestives, and others for Rich Tea Biscuits. For those in North America, Graham Crackers is another option. While it can slightly change the flavour, go with what works for you!

We tend to stick with the classic Digestives. You want something that won’t totally crumble and melt into the butter mixture but also something that can be crushed to make biscuit crumbs and hold everything together.

Abernethy Biscuits is another Scottish alternative!

Raisins

Raisins are optional. You’ll find them in most Scottish Tiffin recipes and store-bought Tiffin. We didn’t have them in the Tiffin I grew up with; I prefer the recipe without them. It’s entirely up to you!

Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

How to make Chocolate Tiffin – Step-by-Step Method

Grease and line a 20cm/8” square tin with baking paper.

Put the digestive biscuits into a zip lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin to break them up. They should be mostly broken into fine crumbs, but you can leave a few larger chunks.

Add the butter, golden syrup, sugar and cocoa powder to a large saucepan. Melt everything together over a low heat, stirring frequently.

Once the mixture has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the digestive biscuits and raisins. Stir everything together well so the biscuits are completely coated in the butter mixture.

Transfer the mixture to your prepared tin and press it down into a compact even layer with the back of a spoon.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the tiffin base, smoothing it out into an even layer.

Put the tin in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow everything to set.

To prevent the chocolate layer on top from cracking when you cut into it, allow the tiffin to come to room temperature again before slicing. Slice up into 16 squares and enjoy!

Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

Variations for Tiffin

Adding Cherries

Some Tiffin recipes add sliced or chunks of cherries into the mixture alongside or instead of raisins. It’s not for me, but worth a try!

Boozy Tiffin

If you want to make your Tiffin recipe a little bit boozy (and maybe a little more Scottish!) then you can soak the raisins in two or three tablespoons of whisky. Do this about 2-3 hours before you make the recipe, so there’s time for it to soak in, then make the recipe as usual.

You can also do something similar with Baileys, although this is Irish Cream, of course! Soak the raisins in 2-3 tablespoons and add another tablespoon or two to the mixture.

If you’re not adding raisins to your Tiffin recipe, you can just add the alcohol straight to the pan when adding the biscuits. You don’t want the mixture to be too wet and have the alcohol just run out, so don’t add too much!

Other Tiffin Flavours

It’s easy to mix the traditional Tiffin with other flavours. That’s basically what our Mint Aero Traybake and Malteser Traybake recipes are. We have also made a Biscoff Tiffin recipe for those who love Lotus Biscoff biscuits!

You will sometimes see variations of Rocky Road called Tiffin if it includes big chunks of biscuits, but these tend to be made by mixing the chocolate in with everything instead of using it as a topping, and they include marshmallows too. We made a Biscoff Rocky Road recipe, but it’s definitely not a Tiffin, hence the two different recipes!

Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

Frequent Questions

How long does Tiffin last?

It’s best to keep Tiffin in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, but you could also freeze it for up to two months in an airtight box or wrapped in clingfilm.

When you want to enjoy it, take it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge or on the benchtop for several hours beforehand.

How do you cut Tiffin without cracking the chocolate?

Cutting chocolate-topped slices can be a bit of a mission if you want to avoid chocolate cracking. There are a few options!

You can add a small amount of coconut or vegetable oil to the chocolate when you melt it before pouring it over the slice.

Before slicing, ensure that the slice fully cools down, ideally leaving it to chill overnight. Then take it out of the fridge about half an hour before you actually slice it so that it warms back up to room temperature and the knife goes through more easily.

Score gently lines before slicing to guide the knife.

Use a large, flat-edged knife and press straight down through the chocolate layer first, then down through the base. Turn the whole slice to do one side first and then the other. Once you have it into long strips, it’s easier to cut each small square.

Chocolate Tiffin - Chocolate Concrete - Recipe

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What’s the difference between Tiffin and Rocky Road?

Rocky Road also has the addition of chopped or small marshmallows, and it contains melted chocolate to hold everything together rather than the melted butter, biscuit, and cocoa mixture.

I’ve seen some recipes that are called Tiffin but are made with melted chocolate, but I would put these more in the Rocky Road camp. While we love a bit of Rocky Road, we don’t think you can go past the classic Tiffin recipe.

If you’re looking for more classics, be sure to check out our Paris Buns Recipe and Old School Cake Recipe!

Other Popular Traybake Recipes

Yield: 16

Easy Chocolate Tiffin Recipe

Chocolate Tiffin Recipe

In Scotland, Tiffin refers to the delicious traybake made of crushed biscuits, butter, sugar, raisins (sometimes cherries) and topped with a layer of melted chocolate.

Rumour has it (aka, Wikipedia) that the chocolate tiffin recipe originated in Troon in Scotland in the 1900s, although I haven’t been able to find anything to substantiate this.

You might sometimes see it called “fridge cake” as this simple recipe requires no actual baking. Instead, you mix all the ingredients together before allowing it to chill in the fridge. It’s also known as icebox cake, chocolate concrete cake, and no-bake chocolate biscuit cake.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 375g (3 ¾ cups) digestive biscuits
  • 200g (¾ cups + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 110g (1/3 cup) golden syrup
  • 40g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 180g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) raisins
  • 300g ( 1 ¾ cups) milk chocolate

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a 20cm/8” square tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the digestive biscuits into a zip lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin to break them up. They should be mostly broken into fine crumbs but you can leave a few larger chunks.
  3. Add the butter, golden syrup, sugar and cocoa powder to a large saucepan. Melt everything together over a low heat, stirring frequently.
  4. Once the mixture has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the digestive biscuits and raisins. Stir everything together well so the biscuits are completely coated in the butter mixture.
  5. Transfer the mixture to your prepared tin and press it down into a compact even layer with the back of a spoon.
  6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the tiffin base, smoothing it out into an even layer.
  7. Put the tin in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow everything to set.
  8. To prevent the chocolate layer on top from cracking when you cut into it, allow the tiffin to come to room temperature again before slicing. Slice up into 16 squares and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g

Amounts above are estimates based on generated data.

Let us know if you make this Tiffin and if you make any adjustments to it too! Have you had it before or called it something else?

Phil and Sonja x

9 thoughts on “Easy Chocolate Tiffin Recipe”

  1. Loving the recipe, will try it with lotis biscuits! Tip: the best way to slice without cracking is for it to be room temperature, use a knife dipped in hot water and cut.

    Reply
  2. I’m just about to make this and double checked the measurements of two of the ingredients. The equivalent mls to cups are not accurate. There seems quite a difference so I’m now not sure whether to use cups or mls.

    Reply
    • Hi Jackie,

      Could you let us know which ones so we can double check? We always go for grams when baking as it’s much more accurate than cups, and just use a basic electric scale. If you have access to measuring in grams we’d recommend that.

      Reply
  3. My all-time favourite snack – Never realised it was called Tiffin
    To help prevent cracking you mentioned –
    “You can add a small amount of coconut or vegetable oil to the chocolate when you melt it before pouring it over the slice.”
    How much of either would you add to the chocolate?

    Reply
  4. Would like to make Tiffin for upcoming holidays. Please share whether cherries should be dried, or fresh (quartered & pitted)? My (Dunbar) family isn’t a fan of raisins and adding cherries seems a festive and tasty addition!!

    Reply

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