The Queen's favourite teatime cake revealed – and it's the perfect treat for Afternoon Tea Week!

We're trying Darren McGrady's recipe this weekend

Gemma Strong

It's Afternoon Tea Week – the perfect excuse to indulge in cakes, biscuits and a pot of Her Majesty's favourite tea. We’ve unearthed the perfect easy bake to try this weekend; Queen Elizabeth's favourite chocolate biscuit cake recipe!

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Former chef Darren McGrady previously told HELLO! the monarch is such a big fan of chocolate biscuit cake that leftovers have been packaged up and sent to Windsor Castle so she can enjoy them over a weekend. We don't blame her… it looks delicious!

Put the kettle on and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea treat this weekend…

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Darren revealed: "The royal chefs send a whole cake up to Her Majesty every day for tea. She will sometimes take a slice and then it is never seen at the royal table again. [The cake is sent to the staff for their afternoon tea.]

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The Queen's favourite teatime cake looks divine

"The chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes up to the royal table every day until it has all gone – sometimes this means it following her to Windsor Castle for the weekend," Darren said.

"I remember as a young chef travelling from Paddington to Windsor one Friday morning with a half-eaten chocolate biscuit cake packed neatly and tightly in a biscuit tin, and wrapped in Clingfilm, perched on my knee with the fear of God in me that I would lose or drop the thing! It was her favourite. And when Prince William first tried it, he loved it and then requested it as his groom's cake [at the Royal wedding in 2011]."


The delicious chocolate biscuit cake

On Darren's website, theroyalchef.com, he reveals that the 'rich dark chocolate cake has a lovely crunchy texture thanks to the addition of classic English cookies called Rich tea biscuits'. The cake is finished off with a layer of chocolate frosting.

Darren worked at Buckingham Palace for 11 years, before moving to Kensington Palace for a further four. He previously told HELLO! that the Queen "never was a foodie" - unlike her husband Prince Philip – and that she preferred to stick to the same dishes.

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Chocolate Biscuit Cake recipe




  • 1/2 teaspoon butter, for greasing the pan
  • 8 ounces Rich Tea biscuits or sweet cookies
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate


  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, for coating
  • 1 ounce chocolate, for decoration



Step 1

Lightly grease a 6-inch-by-2½-inch cake ring with the butter and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.

Step 2

Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.

Step 3

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until the mixture starts to lighten.

Step 4

Melt the 4 ounces of the dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture, stirring constantly. Add the egg and beat to combine. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture. 

Step 5

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Step 6

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand.

Step 7

Meanwhile, melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan on the stove top over low heat. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.

Step 8

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Step 9

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

Step 10

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

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