Recipe Post: Old School Chocolate Tarmac / Chocolate Concrete / Chocolate Crunch

I think this old school cake has a different name depending on where you went to school and when.  I know it as Chocolate Tarmac, or just plain old Tarmac.  If you’ve not experienced this cake before then you’ve missed out.  The only way I can describe it like a chocolate shortbread but less biscuit like, and more cake like – great description huh!!

What you need:

1 greased and lined 8″ sandwich tin
200g plain flour
200g granulated sugar
50g cocoa powder (don’t be tempted to use hot chocolate powder)
100g butter



What you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°c.
  • In a mixing bowl mix the flour, sugar and cocoa.
  • Melt the butter (either on a hob or in microwave) and add to your dry ingredients.
  • Using your fingers rub in the butter until you have a crumble consistency.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and pat it down so it becomes compacted.
  • Bake for 20 mins.
  • Sprinkle on a little extra sugar, if required, straight out of the oven.

Serve as a dessert à la school with chocolate or pink custard or on its own with a nice cup of tea!

Not gonna lie this is the one of the best things I’ve baked in flippin’ ages and got the thumbs up from my overly cake fussy daughter!

Do you remember having this at school? If so, what did you call it? 

Until next time…Happy Baking!


  1. 11th March 2018 / 10:24 am

    No, I’m not familiar with this at all Lindsay! Looks delicious …

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      11th March 2018 / 6:09 pm

      Oooh Shaz, if you like chocolatey things then you’ve definitely missed out!

  2. 11th March 2018 / 10:38 am

    I don’t remember this from my childhood, but it does sound like chocolate shortbread. I have made shortbread before and this recipe just adds the cocoa. Sounds delicious, think I will have to make this. Perfect with a cup of tea.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      11th March 2018 / 6:10 pm

      It is really lush but quite sickly – you just a little bit at a time! x

  3. 11th March 2018 / 12:39 pm

    My absolute favourite school dinners pudding. We called it Chocolate Crunch and it was always served with pink sauce/custard.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      11th March 2018 / 6:11 pm

      Oh Jill, I’m so glad someone else remembers it! One of the better things about school dinners 🙂

      • 11th March 2018 / 10:42 pm

        Absolutely. I rave about this all the time. I’ll definitely be trying your recipe x

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      11th March 2018 / 6:11 pm

      It is delicious and very easy to bake!

      • 11th March 2018 / 6:13 pm

        Perfect for me! I also like that it doesn’t have a million ingredients or really special items !

        • Lindsay | Bookboodle
          11th March 2018 / 6:15 pm

          Exactly! Nobody wants their baking to be hard work or cost a lot of money 🙂

  4. 11th March 2018 / 9:06 pm

    We called it Chocolate Crunch, and often had it served with “mint” sauce

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      11th March 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Ooh, now that would be nice!
      Do you remember having it from Bridgnorth college canteen?

  5. 11th September 2019 / 5:09 pm

    We had a desert at school called tarmac, but it wasn’t this. It was like chocolate cracknell with rice crispies in.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      21st September 2019 / 5:16 pm

      I guess it must be a regional naming thing! 🙂

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