Dutch ‘Arretjescake’ is a traditional Dutch no-bake chocolate tea biscuit cake. Dutch Arretjes cake is very easy to make and a Kidd bake-friendly recipe because it only consists of 5 ingredients and only needs to stiffen in the refrigerator. This Traditional Dutch cake is made of eggs, butter, sugar, maria biscuits, and cacao powder. Arretjescake is a dessert that is rich in chocolate and biscuits.
I understand if you have never heard of Dutch arretjescake before, that it is hard to imagine what it would taste like. It is also hard to explain, but it is a heavy sweet chocolaty cake with little pieces of tea biscuits in it. It is called a cake because it is made in a cake form (loaf pan).
You can make this no-bake chocolate cake within 15 minutes. Because it is a no-bake cake it has to stiffen in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. If you’ve never tried arretjescake before, you should definitely try this no-bake chocolate cake out! If you want to make another no-bake recipe, try out my no-bake mojito cheesecake.
My grandmother used to make it regularly for birthdays and holidays. Making arretjescake reminds me of my younger years and making this makes me so happy. It is a true family recipe. Arretjescake is a perfect treat for a break with coffee. Other typical Dutch recipes are Dutch Pancakes or Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek).
What is arretjescake?
Arretjescake’ is a traditional Dutch no-bake chocolate tea biscuit cake. That is made of only 5 ingredients -eggs, maria biscuits, butter, sugar, and cacao powder. Arretjes cake is an old Dutch delicacy.
Here in The Netherlands, we use ‘Maria biscuits’ for the Dutch arretjescake, which is comparable with ‘Graham crackers’.
- Eggs: You can easily replace the raw egg in the cake with half a banana if you don’t want to use raw eggs. Mash the banana half well until it is completely fine and you can use it as an egg substitute. Since there is only half a banana in the cake, the arretjescake will not taste like a banana. Another option to replace the raw egg is with 5 tablespoons of vanilla custard
- Maria biscuits: the original recipe is with Maria biscuits. A Marie biscuit is a type of biscuit similar to a rich tea biscuit. If you don’t like Maria biscuits, or they aren’t available over there, you can replace them with digestive biscuits or other biscuits.
- Unsalted butter: Arretjescake is a no-bake cake, so it is important to melt the butter before adding it to the mixture. In the beginning, they used to make Dutch arretjescake with frying fat instead of butter.
- Caster sugar: white caster sugar is used in this recipe because it melts better with melted butter than granulated sugar. You can replace the caster sugar with granulated sugar. But be aware that the granulated sugar can crunch between your teeth.
- Cacao powder: I use cacao powder in this recipe to give the arretjes cake the chocolate taste. The cacao powder gives the arretjes cake a rich chocolate taste. In some recipes, they use melted chocolate as well, but I think that it makes the cake too heavy.
- Hand mixer with whisks
- Loaf pan
- Mixing bowl
- Cling foil, aluminum foil, or baking paper
- Optional: food processor
👩🏼🍳 Expert Tips
- You can make the cake less flat if you are using a long cake tin, by not filling the tin completely with the mixture. Put something on one side so you can make the cake tin smaller.
- It is easier to cut the arretjescake into pieces with a hot knife. I advise you to cut the pieces not too thick because the cake is very heavy.
- The use of raw eggs is not recommended for vulnerable groups, such as children up to five years of age, the elderly with reduced resistance, and sick and pregnant women. Replace the raw eggs with vanilla custard or banana.
- Chocolate: add more chocolate to the arretjescake. Melt 50 grams of chocolate and add it to the mixture.
- Instant coffee: make the cake stronger by adding a little instant coffee to the chocolate mixture. Coffee enhances the chocolate taste. You can’t taste the coffee in the mixture.
- Garnishing: Garnish the arretjescake by adding some cacao powder or some chocolate sprinkles on top.
- Biscuits: replace the biscuits with some other biscuits or chocolate cookies.
- Add some chopped pieces of Malthesers into your mixture.
- Chop some meringue, nougat, pecan, or pistachio nuts and add it to the arretjescake. The possibilities are endless.
How long can you store ‘Dutch arretjescake’?
A covered Dutch arretjescake can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days, because of the raw eggs. Are you making the arretjescake without eggs? Then you can keep it a little longer: 3 to 5 days. In the freezer, Arretjescake can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 months.
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- Bread and loaf pan
- 3 medium eggs
- 300 grams unsalted butter 1 ¼ cup
- 300 grams caster sugar 1 ¾ cup
- 300 grams Marie biscuits 3 cups
- 8 tbsp cacao powder
- Mix the eggs and the white caster sugar together in a bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes until frothy. Sieve the cocoa powder through the mixture and mix it for about 30 seconds together with a hand mixer.3 medium eggs, 300 grams caster sugar, 8 tbsp cacao powder
- Melt the unsalted butter in a pan over low heat. Little by little, add the melted butter to the egg mixture and mix it all together for 30 seconds.300 grams unsalted butter
- Break the tea biscuits into small pieces. Crumble one-half fine and the other part coarsely for a good mix. You can break the cookies fine in a food processor or by putting them in a plastic bag (or a tea towel) and then hitting them with a rolling pin. Spoon the biscuit crumbs into the mixture.300 grams Marie biscuits
- Line a rectangular cake tin with cling film, aluminum foil, or baking paper, so that no batter touches the tin. Spoon the batter into the cake tin press it well, and leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. My recommendation is to leave it in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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