Crunchy Chocolate Cakes

Crunchy Chocolate Cakes. Or rather, Crunchy Chocolate Traybake. It’s a simple chocolate cake mix, sandwiched together by a crunchy, nutty layer. Fairly quick and easy to make, it’s a simple traybake.

I used hazelnuts for my traybake as I think hazelnuts and chocolate are a great combination. For reference, I’d recommend my Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies. But feel free to use whatever you prefer, or have at hand.

The baking process is pretty simple. For the base and topping, just rub the butter into the flour and stir through the nuts and sugar. If you can’t get demerara sugar, then you’d get a similar taste from brown sugar.

Just make sure to press this base layer firmly into your tin. And then when it comes to the cake layer, the best approach is to place spoonfuls of the mix on top of the base. Then very carefully spread the mix to the edges, being careful not to disturb the crumble too much.

Then it’s just a case of sprinkling the remaining crumble mix over the top. And then bake.

These Crunchy Chocolate Cakes are at their best on the day you make it, as it will start to dry out a little. If you find that yours has gone a little dry, then serving it in a bowl with some custard as a dessert would work well.

Crunchy Chocolate Cakes

A simple chocolate cake, with a crunchy, nutty base and topping.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 9 square


Base and Topping

  • 2 oz or 55g butter
  • 4 oz or 110g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 3 oz or 85g demerara sugar
  • 3 oz or 85g chopped nuts

Cake Mixture

  • 4 oz or 110g butter, softened
  • 4 oz or 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • oz or 95g self-raising flour
  • ½ oz or 15g cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C, for a conventional oven.

For the base and topping

  • Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and nuts.
  • Press ⅔ of this crumble mixture into the base of a lined traybake tin. I used an 8"/20cm square tin.

For the cake

  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs. Adding a little flour at this stage if it starts to curdle.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa and fold into the mix.
  • Place the cake mixture carefully, in spoonfuls, over the crumble base and spread gently.
  • Sprinkle the remaining topping over and press in lightly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares.
Keyword chocolate, nuts, traybake