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Easy Traditional Scottish Chocolate Tiffin Recipe

A traditional Scottish no-bake tiffin & massive chocolate hit all in one scrumptious little square. The main ingredients are chocolate, raisins and digestive biscuits (or Graham crackers).

Scottish Chocolate Tiffin.

What is chocolate tiffin?

Not to be confused with the light afternoon meal enjoyed in India. Scottish tiffin is a chocolate traybake made with raisins and crushed digestive biscuits (cookies).

This traditional chocolate fridge cake was created in a bakery in Troon, Scotland in the early 1900s and has been popular in Scotland since then. 

It's always on offer in cafes and in bakers.

We call it a traybake, but actually if is more of a fridge cake as the mixture is chilled in the fridge rather than baked.

Scottish name for tiffin

This tray bake is usually called chocolate tiffin in Scotland, but it also has a few nicknames. 

Tiffin is also known as biscuit cake, tiffin barschocolate concrete or chocolate cement.

It's not the same as Rocky Road, as it doesn't have marshmallows added to it.

However, it's a similar no bake slice.

a bowl of raisins.

What you need to make traditional Scottish Chocolate Tiffin

Here is a list of simple ingredients you need to make this popular afternoon tea treat. 

The printable recipe card with detailed instructions is at the bottom of this post.

  1.  Butter - vegan butter or dairy-free spread both work well
  2. Golden Syrup - which is popular in Scottish baking for that caramel flavour, however if you don't have that you could use maple syrup
  3. Cocoa powder
  4. Raisins - 0or sultanas
  5. Salt - just a pinch
  6. Dark Chocolate - or vegan milk chocolate

Chocolate topping

For the chocolate topping, you can melted dark chocolate or chocolate chips.

If you prefer milk chocolate, that is ok too and of course, there are dairy-free versions available.

The melted chocolate mixture can be spread with the back of a spoon or a palette knife.

Just make sure you score the chocolate topping before it is set, it will give you a clean cut.

If you don't score the chocolate, it can shatter when you cut it after it is set.

Optional fillings for chocolate tiffin

Scottish chocolate tiffin is made with raisins, but there are other filling options that give the same chewy texture.

  • glace cherries
  • sultanas
  • dried cranberries
  • dried blueberries
You could add any small pieces of dried fruit, but I have to say the classic recipe with raisins is hard to beat.

a bowl of digestive biscuits.

Chocolate tiffin tips

Here are a few tips for the best tiffin when using this easy recipe.

  1. Crush the biscuits - Pop your digestive biscuits or Graham crackers in a freezer bag before bashing them with a rolling pin. You want small chunks, not a fine crumb for the biscuit base.
  2. Line your baking tray (brownie baking tin) - with non-stick baking paper or parchment for easy removal.
  3. Melt the chocolate - When melting your chocolate in a bain mare (a heatproof bowl above simmering water), make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, or the chocolate will seize and go grainy. You could also melt the chocolate in slow bursts at a low heat in the microwave.
  4. Score the bars - before you pop the traybake in the fridge to chill. This will help prevent the chocolate on top from splitting.

What equipment do you need to make tiffin?

Here is the equipment you need to make this delicious chocolate fridge cake.
  • 20 cm x 20 cm (8 x 8 inches) baking tray or brownie pan
  • non-stick baking paper or parchment paper
  • a small pan (to bring water to a simmer)
  • a bowl that fits over the pan (to melt the chocolate)
  • a spoon (to stir the melting chocolate
  • a freezer bag (to put the biscuits in to crush)
  • a rolling pin (to bash the biscuits
  • a large bowl (to mix the ingredients)
  • a spatula (to mix the ingredients and smooth the chocolate)
  • a knife (to score, then cut the bars)

Line the tin

Disaster can happen if you don't line the baking pan. 

If you don't line the pan well, then you will really have problems when removing it from your square pan and it could break into pieces instead of the perfect squares or bars you were imagining.

I butter the pan, then lay two strips of parchment paper across the pan in opposite directions, with a bit of overhang, so you can easily lift it out.

Just make sure your parchment paper or baking paper is non-stick and that you are using the non-stick side.

I now buy the type that is coated with non-stick on both, as I have had too many disasters.

also try - Mars Bar Slice (vegetarian)

melted chocolate in a white bowl

How long does chocolate tiffin keep in the fridge?

You can keep chocolate tiffin chilled in the fridge for 4-5 days. 

Store it in an airtight container, using non-stick baking paper between the layers to prevent it from sticking together.

Can chocolate tiffin be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze individual tiffin bars.

Once cut into bars, wrap them individually in non-stick baking paper or greaseproof paper (check the pack to see if it is freezer-proof) and then pop them in a zip-lock freezer bag or in an airtight container.

You can freeze the chocolate tiffin cake bars for 3-4 months.

To defrost them, just remove as many bars as you need and pop them in the fridge overnight.

Edible gifts

Chocolate tiffin makes a great edible gift for special occasions such as Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas and birthdays. 

It also makes a great workplace treat or as a small gift for teachers.

Remember you can make them a little bit more fancy by adding some flakes of edible gold on to the chocolate before it melts, or you could drizzle some icing or add some metallic or coloured sprinkles.

Not traditional, but pretty and more festive.

Burns Night

Chocolate tiffin is also perfect for serving on Burns Night.

Burns Night is the night when Scotland celebrates its national poet Robert Burns, or Rabbie Burns as he is also known. 

It's celebrated on the baird's birthday, the 25 January. He was born way back in 1759, but the Scots have lang (long) memories.

You probably sing one of his poems without even realising it. Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne (should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought tae mind.... ) in 1738.

On Burns Night Scots will cook a traditional dish like haggis, neeps and tatties and enjoy a wee dram of whisky. 

We finish off the meal with a sweet treat such as cranachan or a chocolate tiffin.

If they are lucky they will also be invited to a ceilidh too for a night of wild dancing and much fun!

For more Scottish recipes have a look at my recipe index of Scottish Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

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A traditional Scottish no-bake and a massive chocolate hit all in one scrumptious little square. The main ingredients are chocolate, raisins and digestive biscuits (or Graham crackers). #scottishtiffin #chocolatetiffin #scottishrecipes #tiffin #fridgecake #biscuitcake #traybake #chocolatetraybake

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More Traybake Recipes

Here are a few more no bake refrigerator cakes for you to try.

They are great with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. 

Whichever you prefer.
  1. Easy Peanut Butter Bars - these bars filled with salty and sweet flavours are very addictive
  2. Oreo Chocolate Tiffin - a twist on the traditional tiffin made with Oreo cookies
  3. Pineapple, Banana and Chocolate Flapjacks - another traditional Scottish recipe with a more modern twist
  4. Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge - a super simple fudge recipe
  5. Blueberry and Lemon Oaty Breakfast Bars - a chewy bar perfect for breakfasts on the go

chocolate tiffin, Scottish chocolate tiffin, Scottish recipe, Scottish tiffin, Scottish traybake, tiffin, fridge cake, chocolate cement, chocolate concrete, biscuit cake
Yield: 16 bars or 25 small bites
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Scottish Chocolate Tiffin

Scottish Chocolate Tiffin

A traditional Scottish no-bake and a massive chocolate hit all in one scrumptious little square. The main ingredients are chocolate, raisins and digestive biscuits (or Graham crackers).
Prep time: 15 MinTotal time: 15 Min


  • 225g/2 sticks/1 cup butter or dairy free spread
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g/½ cup cocoa powder, sieved
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 300g digestive biscuits (or graham crackers, crushed, uneven size pieces make for a more interesting tiffin slice
  • 400g dark chocolate, broken into pieces or 3 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips


  1. Melt the butter or dairy-free spread in a pan along with the golden syrup and cocoa powder, until combined. Take off the heat and stir in the the crushed biscuits and raisins then mix until well combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 20 cm x 20 cm brownie tin, which has been greased or lined. Smooth out and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, pour it over the biscuit mix and smooth over. Score the bars with a knife before chilling in the fridge to prevent the chocolate cracking when you cut the bars.
  5. Leave the mixture in the fridge to set, before cutting into bars with a sharp knife.
  6. Enjoy!


  • Prep time does not include chill time.
  • Pop your digestive biscuits or Graham crackers in a freezer bag before bashing them with a rolling pin. You want small chunks, not a fine crumb.
  • You can keep chocolate tiffin chilled in the fridge for 4-5 days. Store it in an airtight container, using non-stick baking paper between the layers to prevent it from sticking together.
  • You can freeze individual bars, once cut individually wrap them in non-stick baking paper or greaseproof paper (check the pack to see if it is freezer-proof) and pop them in a zip lock freezer bag.
  • Pop them in the fridge overnight to defrost the bars.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.92 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.28 g

Carbs (grams)

23.21 g

Fiber (grams)

1.90 g

Net carbs

21.31 g

Sugar (grams)

15.28 g

Protein (grams)

1.94 g

Sodium (milligrams)

37.93 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

2.49 mg


  1. That looks like a perfect dessert! It looks really delicious.

  2. Thanks Pam. They didn't last long. Graham took them into work with him. They are just too tempting to have hanging about the house, whispering eat me, eat me!

  3. Oh, holy heck - I want this right now!! Although, I would not be able to stop at one square.

  4. I know what you mean Amy, that's why I gave most of it away!

  5. yum - looks like the sort of thing that would console you with your pc problems

  6. Funny how a person can go their whole life without knowing something like tiffin ever exsisted and then in a very short space of time it manages to pop up all over the place. My boss loves tiffin but I had never heard of it before. I'll have to make him a batch of this ;0)

  7. They look delicious! And so simple to make too.


  8. how am I supposed to get to the allotment to dig now? I just want to go and get the ingredients to make these instead!

  9. I, of course, am a big geek and looked up the word "tiffin." :) Not at all an Indian snack, like the dictionary says! But a tasty-looking mouthful indeed. I will have to bring back some real graham crackers from the states; digestive biscuits are close, but more dense. They make better chunky bits, though. This seems like a wise one to send away to work!!

  10. Oh I love no bake desserts -- almost impossible to screw up! :) I am going to add this one to my list to try

  11. Very rich and delicious! I would love to have some of this waiting for me.

  12. Wow. Wish I had the ingredients for this on hand. Never heard of "Tiffin" before, but it sure does look wonderful!

  13. I wish I could grab and munch the sinful delight from the laptop screen :)

  14. delicious dessert! I love it...
    A kiss from spain

  15. It is easy to see what a great temptation these would be.

  16. You know you are a genius:-) I am in my "No oven" & restful existence now & just the thing I need. Temptations are bad:-D

  17. Excellent idea, making this for halloween. I'm going to do just that.

  18. This is always a winner - I used to make a similar one and add raisins to it, makes it lovely and chewy and a bit like fruit and nut!

  19. Looks just divine,Jacqueline!

  20. That looks so amazing!!!

    It sounds like a perfect dessert and so easy to make too. Can't wait to give it a try, thank you for sharing:)

    p.s. I love your blog!

  21. Tiffin! God, I love this stuff! I don't have a sweet tooth but, honestly, I could eat a mountain of this. Never have made it...

  22. Hi Johanna, I had a couple of pieces then sent the rest on to Graham's work. It's safer that way!

    Hey Chele, you will be impressed with how easy it is to make and then your boss will be impressed with you :)

    It is lovely Rose.

    It was very popular Sophie :)

    Go on, be bad then Nic, he he!

    Like the sound of it then Val :)

    Definitely T, too much temptation and while I could have the willpower to resist eating it constantly, I don't think Graham would manage.

    You won't be disappointed Sarah :)

    Hi NicI always think you can't go wrong with chocolate to cheer everyone up.

    Hi Eileen, I haven't made it for years. My mum used to make it. It was well worth revisiting.

    That is a nice compliment Barbara :)

    Hi Sheetal, I often want to reach into the screen to taste other people's dishes. Wouldn't it be great?

    Thanks Mar :)

    Hi Cynthia, oh they are, they definitely are a temptation!

    Yay! I hope you enjoy them Soma :)

    Hi TB, I got my hallowe'en treat idea of someone else's blog too!

    Hi CC, I don't think it would be as good without the raisins.

    Thanks Shri :)

    Thanks Oraphan, and nice to meet you :)

    Go on Wendy, you know you want to :)

  23. I don't think I've ever had anything like this! I love how the biscuits are crushed up and added. Looks so good!

  24. Hi Ashley, it is much better when you make this, not to crush the biscuits too much, so you get some good size chunks of biscuit in the mix.

  25. This looks great and tempting. I'll have to try this for a potluck when I need to bring dessert.

  26. This looks so chocolaty delicious!

  27. This would be perfect for the holidays- yum!

  28. Hi Jacqueline, I just made this (after having it bookmarked for over a year!) and am not sure if I used the right ingredient or not. I used unsweetened cocoa powder - but I added sugar as it didn't seem sweet enough with the golden syrup. Should I have used drinking cocoa - with the sugar already added? Thanks, Jane.

  29. Ooh must make this again. I Iove tiffin but haven't made it for ages..

  30. Love these tiffin bars. Now you have shared them again, I can't wait to make another batch

    1. Sometimes it's good to get a little reminder and yes they are good!


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