This has been my go-to chocolate crunch for over ten years now. Eating hot chocolate crunches on my school break time is probably my fondest memory of high school. A couple of years after high school I started to really miss and crave the snack, thinking about sneaking into the school canteen to acquire a tray full.
Then, a friend of mine who still attended college at the school asked a dinner lady for the recipe – and she gave it! I have adjusted this recipe since to make it a (tiny bit) healthier/lighter, and a bit richer in the chocolate flavour.
I’ve always been a choc-a-holic. This is the best chocolate crunch recipe because it is a) very chocolatey, and b) very crunchy!
If you’ve not had a chocolate crunch before (where have you been?!) they’re a classic, English school dessert. A chocolate, tray bake made with very ‘short’ ingredients which sets to a hard, crunchy brownie like cake. There’s lots of texture to a chocolate crunch (also known as a chocolate concrete cake) and they’re super moorish.
There’s two ways to eat these – either immediately whilst they’re hot, when they’re soft and the main texture comes from the granulated sugar. Or cold, and crunchy – which is my preference!
Are chocolate crunches the same as chocolate concrete cake?
Yes! They are – in my school they were called chocolate crunches and served hot at 10:30am. I know other schools called them chocolate concrete cakes and served them with custard – i’ve never had them this way, but hear its amazing!
How to make chocolate crunches soft?
By their very nature, chocolate crunches are crunchy – but, your school may have served them super soft too (as mine sometimes did). When they were soft, the napkin used to pick them up was also saturated in grease – because of the high butter content!
The recipe below is for a short, crunchy chocolate crunch, but if you’d like yours to be soft add some more butter and eat them warm!
Step-by-step Chocolate Crunch / Chocolate Concrete Recipe
Scroll down for recipe card and ingredient list
1. Make sure you have all the ingredients needed (list at the bottom of this post) and preheat your oven to 180C
2. To a large mixing bowl, add the cocoa, flour and sugar
3. Stir, using a fork or whisk
4. Stir until all ingredients are fully combined and you have a light brown mixture
5. To a pan add the butter (or if you prefer, you can microwave it)
6. Heat until melted through
7. Then add the melted butter to the dry mixture
9. And mix until fully combined – this could take a couple of minutes.
10. Once fully mixed you’ll have a dry mixture which forms together
11. Butter your baking tray (this will make it easier to get the chocolate crunch out of the pan)
12. Tip the mixture into the buttered tray
13. Spread out until it’s in an even layer
15. Then squash the mixture down to compress it – I do this by using my hand inside a sandwich bag but you could chose to flatten with a heavy object instead
16. Once flattened it should look like this; the crumbs should form one solid piece. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 180C and once cooked, sprinkle with additional sugar
Chocolate Crunch Recipe
An easy to follow recipe for the school lunch classic: chocolate crunch. Sprinkled generously with granulated sugar - yum!
- 300g Plain Flour
- 300g Granulated Sugar
- 80g Cocoa Powder
- 150g Butter (Vegan butter works great too!)
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl
- Melt the butter until runny (either in microwave or in a pan)
- Pour the melted butter into the flour mixture and mix to a crumble
- Butter a deep-sided tin, then tip the crumble mixture into it
- Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumble down to form a flat, dense cake
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more granulated sugar
- Allow to cool for 1 minute if you like them warm and soft, otherwise allow to fully cool for a 'crunch'
If you'd like your chocolate crunch to be softer than this, add more butter - i'm not 100% sure how much, but you really can't go wrong with this recipe. Or, eat is when its really warm. I'd advise against putting the chocolate crunch in the fridge as it will go solid - leave in a sealed concealer at room temperature if you plan on eating these over a few days.
Nutritional values calculated using VeryWellFit and are based on 12 servings.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 289Total Fat 11.3gSaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 27mgSodium 74mgCarbohydrates 47.8gFiber 2.7gSugar 25.2gProtein 3.9g
I wonder if these are still served in schools? I seem to imagine everything is a touch healthier now, with granola bars and fresh fruit. This recipe can easily be made vegan too, by using a vegan ‘butter’.
Enjoyed this recipe? You might also enjoy my old school cake recipe
Just made a chocolate concrete to your instructions it was amazing, thank you
Just made your old school chocolate crunch it is amazing thank you.
Lush but do you remember it was served with mock cream
Unfortunately at my school, it was just served alone… picked up by a napkin and eaten just plain! I’m definitely going to try it with custard or cream next time I make them though Kate!
Hi, I was looking at making this, but have no cocoa powder, would drinking chocolate work? If your not sure, I’ll try it and let you all know 😂
Sorry for the late reply – how was it Tony?
I have made it with both. Drink chocolate makes it sweeter but both were delicious.
Ours was always served with pink custard !
I’ve NEVER had pink custard but heard this before too – must give it a try!
Hi Helen. Absolutely love the taste of this! But mine is very crumbly. What I have I put too much of in or not enough of?! Thanks.
Hi Sue 🙂 so glad you enjoyed it! Add a little bit more butter next time if you want it less crumbly (it depends on the type of butter/marg used sometimes) x
Thanks Helen nice easy recipe to cook and yummy
Was delish I absolutely loved this at school!!! It was a lockdown recipe for us :))
My daughters loved Chocolate Crunch & Chocolate Custard they had at school, that was a very very long time ago. Whilst they now bring me my groceries to the door during lockdown and I have to stay home, making this for them will be a good thank you to them. Thanks for the recipe.
Just tried your recipe took me right back to my childhood taste delicious. Very quick and easy to make.
How do I convert 300 mls into grams
Hi Jean, 300ml is 300grams 🙂
Mine came out like a solid brick to hard to enjoy what am I doing wrong
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear Jeannie! There’s 2 things you can do to make it ‘softer’ next time – 1) Cook it for slightly less time (When it comes out of the oven it’ll be hot so, still ‘soft’ but will firm up as it cools – so, cook it to the timing or slightly less if your oven cooks things quicker. 2) It also depends on the type of butter you used, if it was a hard/firm block, once the chocolate crunch sets it’ll have the same quality, I tend to use a softer ‘easy spread’ type for this recipe most often – hope this helps and maybe you could salvage your ‘solid’ choc crunch’s in the microwave maybe? (wrap in a paper towel and micro for 5 seconds, see then maybe another 5 seconds? Eat instantly – whilst soft – with a scoop of ice cream? Fingers crossed Jeannie! Helen x
Just tried this recipe! Takes me back…it’s just like it was at my school. Where did you all go to school- didn’t know whether this was a northern thing?
Okay so I’ve made these so many times from various recipes. I must say this has got to be the best and tastes just as I remembered from my school days. Mine are soft centred and crunchy outside. They are just perfect…. thanks
So happy to hear you enjoyed them Judy 😀
Hi Helen thank you for the recipe. I’m looking forward to making it. I remember it being so crunchy at school that when you put your fork into it it sometimes shot out of your bowl. It was always served with green mint custard. Delicious.
Hope you enjoyed the recipe Mary! Haha yes, choc crunch + forks don’t work so well 😀
Followed the recipe almost to the letter (added a pinch of salt). Easy to make and absolutely delicious. Reminiscent of the chocolate concrete they used to serve in school canteens. Thanks!
I’m so glad the recipe turned out well for you Sam 😀
Hi Helen! Would Stork be ok for this recipe? Only as it’s a spreadable type butter?! I have wanted to try chocolate crunch for some time (I made it years ago and it was so hard) so want to try again! I like mine a bit soft so I may add more butter as you have recommended
Hi Naznin, yes spreadable stork works great in this recipe – it’s what I use most often! 🙂
Soooooo good, made it twice with my 5 year old and its better than the school one! Our school used to colour gran sugar with green food colouring and sprinkle on top for extra crunch and a ‘bejewelled’ kind of look.
Wow just how I used to make them at school, probably even better. I’ve had to make a batch for my 24 year old son to take into work !
Thank you for sharing this recipe x
So glad you and your son enjoyed Sue! 😀
Followed your recipe and they turned out amazing and were enjoyed by the whole family