This is one of the most rich yet easy desserts in town! This no bake biscuit cake is made up of layers of biscuits, custard, and a chocolate topping! The biscuit texture resembles a sponge cake (without all the work!)
* Updated with new photos and easier instructions 🙂
I consider myself a
lazy energy-conserving person. While I love an intricate recipe from time to time, most often I find that time spent making a recipe is time wasted from eating the dish!
And along walks in this no bake biscuit cake!
You've got layers of milk dipped biscuits that are almost like sponge cake + layers of a quick and creamy homemade custard + ALL finished off with a rich and chocolaty topping! AND most of the time spent on this recipe is for the cake (and you) to chill!
This cake suits practically any time of the year! It's a cool and refreshing dessert in the hotter months, and a rich and decadent treat during the holidays.
No bake biscuit cake ingredients:
• sugar: for sweetness
• cornstarch: to thicken the custard
• egg yolks: give the vanilla custard richness, color, and helps with thickening
• milk: we need milk for all 3 parts of this no bake biscuit cake (the custard, the assembly, and the chocolate topping). For the custard, it's used as the main liquid for flavor and texture. For the assembly, the digestive biscuits are dipped in the milk to soften them slightly and give them a cakey texture!! For the chocolate layer, it's used to help keep the chocolate from hardening too much when it chills (making it easier to slice).
• butter: adds richness and helps the custard set when chilled
• vanilla extract: for flavor!
• whipped topping: will give you a softer custard. You can add more for even softer custard layers, or less for firmer layers. Try not to add more than ½ a cup because the custard may not set up properly if there's too much whipped topping. You can also use whipped cream here (¼ cup heavy cream whipped will give you ½ cup)
• digestive biscuits: you can use any cookies that you love!
• semi-sweet chocolate: for the chocolate topping. Make sure to pick out a good quality chocolate made for melting! My favorite types to use are Baker's or Ghirardelli
How to make no bake biscuit cake:
This no bake biscuit cake starts by making a quick homemade vanilla custard! If you'd prefer, you can make this same recipe with custard mix prepared according to the package instructions as well!
To make the vanilla custard, add your cornstarch and sugar to a large bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine your milk and egg yolks. Whisk to break up the eggs and combine everything together. Gradually add your milk mixture to the sugar/cornstarch mix, whisking well as you add. Strain the mixture into a large pot.
Place your pot over medium-low heat and cook until the mixture boils and thickens substantially (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat, and add your butter and vanilla. Whisk until the butter melts and everything is combined.
Transfer the cooked custard to a heat-safe bowl, and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface (to prevent skin forming!). Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, fold in your whipped topping (if using). Set aside until ready to use. If you don't plan on assembling your cake right away, you can store the custard in the fridge for up to 2 days.
For the assembly, pour milk into a medium bowl that's large enough to fit your cookies. Briefly dip your digestive biscuits in the milk.
Arrange the biscuits into an even layer in a 9x9 inch square dish. Top this biscuit layer with half of the vanilla custard. Repeat the layer process with another round of dipped biscuits, the remaining custard, and finishing off with a final biscuit layer.
Chill for at least 4 hours to let the custard set.
Combine your chocolate with the milk, and melt either over a bain-marie or in a microwave.
For the bain-marie, heat a pot filled with 1 inch of water on a stove burner set to low until it's just barely simmering. Place your bowl of chocolate over the pot and heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
For the microwave, heat for 30 seconds on high. Carefully remove from the microwave, stir, and place back in the microwave. Heat in 10 second bursts, stirring between each heating, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
Top your layered biscuit cake with the chocolate, and smooth into an even layer. Chill for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chocolate layer is set. If you'd like, you can go in and pipe some decorations with more melted chocolate for added flare!
Slice and serve!
How to store no bake biscuit cake:
This biscuit cake should be kept chilled until right before serving. You can keep your cake stored in your fridge or freezer.
If storing in your fridge, the cake will keep for about 1 week. If keeping in the freezer, make sure to assemble and store your cake in a container with an airtight lid for maximum freshness. The cake will keep for about 2 months frozen.
If you'd like a cake with an ice creamy texture, serve straight from the freezer! If you've frozen your cake but prefer a softer cake, defrost in your fridge overnight before serving.
If you liked this no bake biscuit cake, you may also like some of these other no bake desserts:
Vanilla No Bake Biscuit Cake Recipe
For the vanilla custard layer:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whipped topping (optional) * see notes
For the biscuit layer:
- ¼ cup milk
- 175 grams digestive biscuits, about 22 to 24 cookies
For the chocolate topping:
- 6 ounces (¾ cup) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup milk
- For the vanilla custard layer: In a medium saucepan, add in your sugar and cornstarch. Whisk together to combine, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine your egg yolks and milk. Whisk together until the egg yolks are broken up and incorporated. Gradually add your milk/egg mixture to the cornstarch and sugar (in 3 or 4 additions), whisking well after each addition.
- Place your pot over a stove burner set to medium-low heat. Cook your custard, whisking constantly, until it thickens and starts to boil (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in your butter and vanilla. Whisk together until the butter is melted and everything is combined.
- Transfer the cooked custard to a medium, heat-proof bowl. Cover the custard with plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard (to prevent skin formation) and let it cook to room temperature completely. Once cooled, fold in your whipped topping and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Assembling the cookies and custard layers: Measure out ½ a cup of milk into a medium-sized bowl (large enough to fit your biscuits). Quickly dip your digestive biscuit into milk for about 1 second on each side. Arrange your biscuits into one layer in a 9x9 inch square dish.
- Top the biscuit layer with half of your vanilla custard. Arrange another layer of biscuits on top of the custard layer by again dipping the biscuits in milk and placing in your square dish. Top with the remaining half of the custard. Finish off the layering with one more layer of milk dipped biscuits. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let the custard set.
- Make the chocolate topping: In a medium sized, heat proof bowl, combine your chocolate and milk. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie or in your microwave set to high for 30 seconds. Stir your chocolate occasionally, and continue heating in the bain-marie or in the microwave in 10 second intervals until melted and smooth.
- Pour your melted chocolate/milk mixture over your biscuit cake. Spread into an even layer to cover the top. Place in the fridge for another 20 to 30 minutes to let the chocolate layer set. Slice and serve!