Vegan Chocolate Concrete Cake is a nostalgic throwback to the British Old School Dinners puddings of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This classic bake is so easy and quick to prepare as a batch can be ready and cooling in the baking pan, in just 35 minutes. Chocolate Concrete Cake is arguably more of a hard biscuit or cookie in texture as it has firm crisp edges but with a softer rich chocolate brownie-like inner crumb and flavour. It's definitely an ideal biscuit for dunking in a hot cup of tea, coffee or chilled oat milk to soften up those crispy chewy edges! Although its traditionally treated like a cake and enjoyed with pink or green hot custard poured over!
Origins of Chocolate Concrete Cake
Chocolate concrete cake was a British old school dinners pudding that was served up to school kids during the 70s, & 80s, and in some schools during the 90s. Many people have fond memories of chocolate concrete served with green mint custard! At least the hot custard would have softened up the edges a little!
However my kids enjoy clanking the concrete cake off their plate to hear the clunk clunk sound! The biscuit-cake can be quite hard at the edges so is best dunked into hot tea, coffee, or even a chilled glass of milk will do. Its the main reason for the name -concrete cake!
Even though our recipe is prepared with vegan margarine, if you are not vegan or plant-based you can use your regular baking margarine, block, or butter, and the recipe will work fine.
The only difference between our vegan concrete cake and other non-vegan recipes is the use of a dairy-free margarine and perhaps back in the day the school cooks would have also used a vegetable-based margarine as it would have been less expensive compared to butter.
However, some modern recipes for concrete cake do add eggs but this is not essential for a traditional concrete cake recipe.
Fill up your biscuit jar with delicious squares of concrete cake and keep it next to your kettle as you will need a hot cup of tea or coffee for dunking and softening the edges! Kids especially love this fun bake and the clunk-clunk sound it makes when clunking it off a plate! But really the flavour is off a nice rich brownie and the insides are much softer!
Recipe Notes and FAQ's
Chocolate concrete cake will keep fresh for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container such as a biscuit tin or jar. If storing in a plastic tub, adding a layer of kitchen foil and wrap this around the biscuits as this will prevent the biscuits from going soft too quickly.
Concrete cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the cooled slices up, separately, with food and freezer-safe wrap to avoid freezer burn, and to make it easy to just pull out a few slices whenever required. Place the wrapped cakes in a food bag of container. Remove the wrappings before thawing to room temperature on the countertop.
Yes, simply place back in the oven at the baking temperature for 10-15 minutes to refresh. Enjoy warm or leave to go cold and firm up. If your concerned the biscuit will brown too much while it reheats wrap the baking tray in a little kitchen foil.
Chocolate concrete cake is traditionally served with hot custard, often green mint flavoured custard! You could always colour your custard with some vegan-friendly green food colouring and add a few drops of peppermint essence for an authentic old school pud!
Alternatively, if you do not wish to prepare home-made custard you could use ready-made vegan custard which sometimes comes in individual pots such as Alpo's Vanilla Dessert pots. Alpro also has a ready-made vegan vanilla soya custard which is packaged in a 525gram cardboard carton.
Also, we have a delicious traditional Chocolate Custard Pudding recipe which would be nice to enjoy along with a slice of concrete cake, as well as a Whipped Chocolate Pudding prepared with silken tofu that can be ready to go in just a few minutes.
How to prepare chocolate concrete cake
We use vegan margarine, mainly Stork baking block, to prepare our concrete cake and other baking recipes. However, feel free to use whatever baking block, margarine, or butter, that you normally use for your bakes as they will work fine with this recipe.
First melt the margarine and mix the vanilla through. Next, sift the plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, and stir through the sugar.
Pour the margarine mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture.
Stir well and big clumps will form, keep mixing and break the clumps up with your mixing spoon.
Keep at it until the mixture looks like chocolate crumbs.
Add the pile of crumbs to a baking pan that is lined with baking paper.
Press the crumbs down until firmly packed evenly in the baking pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Once baked sprinkle sugar over the concrete cake and score into 12 pieces whilst still warm.
Leave the scored concrete cake pieces to cool in the pan before using the baking paper to lift the whole lot out at once.
Break the cool pieces apart.
Once completely cool store in a cookie jar or tin.
Chocolate Concrete Cake is the perfect addition to a classic British afternoon tea tray. On our tea tray photo above we also have Vegan Empire Biscuits and slices of Jam & Coconut Sponge, which are both delicious old school dinner dessert options.
More Vegan School Dinners Recipes
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan School Dinners Chocolate Concrete Cake
- Baking dish/ brownie style pan around 10 x 7 inch (25.4 cm x 17.7cm)
- Baking or parchment paper
- 200 grams plain flour [or all purpose flour]
- 160 grams granulated sugar [or caster sugar, plus an extra tablespoon for sprinkling over the baked biscuits.]
- 50 grams cocoa powder [sieved]
- 100 grams plant-based margarine [or vegan butter, or your usual baking butter, block, or margarine]
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract [or essence]
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan, 180 Celsius, 356 Fahrenheit, Gas 4.
- Grease a baking pan with some extra margarine, and line with baking paper.
- Melt the margarine in a saucepan.100 grams plant-based margarine
- Add the vanilla to the margarine and mix.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, and stir to combine.Pour in the margarine-vanilla mix.200 grams plain flour, 160 grams granulated sugar, 50 grams cocoa powder
- Mix well. It will look like thick clumps but eventually will mix into crumbs. Use your spoon to break up the lumps.
- Tip the crumb mix into your baking tin and press it all down into a firm even slab.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for around 25 minutes. [Bake for 20 minutes if you prefer a softer texture, and for a firmer texture bake for 25 minutes.]
- Chocolate concrete will be soft and a little crumbly when it comes out of the oven but will firm up when cool. Score into 12 pieces whilst still warm.
- Sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the top after marking into pieces.Leave to cool in the pan before removing and breaking the pieces apart.
- Pop the kettle on and enjoy!
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not an exact calculation as ingredients vary.
- Store chocolate concrete in a biscuit tin or jar for up to 7 days, perhaps longer. If it has gone slightly stale or soft it can be placed back in the oven at the baking temperature for 10-15 minutes, or until just warmed through.
- Enjoy warm or leave to harden up.
- Pieces can be frozen for up to 3 months if well wrapped.
Baked our Vegan Chocolate Concrete Cake? Was it a favourite from your school years? We would love to know how you got on with the recipe so do pop back and drop us a comment below and click the star ratings. Its very much appreciated. Thanks so much! Love Jacq x