Arretjes Cake – my grandmother called it “Arretjenof” – is an archetypal Dutch chocolate cake that doesn’t require an oven. According to the original recipe, it can be “made in a jiffy without an oven. The taste of this delicious cake takes me back decades to when grandma used to make it in her kitchen. How glad I am that this cake suddenly popped into my mind, because I really wanted to try this again. Incredibly powerful, sweet and fatty, but also so delicious and easy to make.
I found the original recipe as released in the 1930s in a free promotional booklet from the Nederlandse Olie Fabrieken (NOF). This booklet contained recipes to promote the products Delfia (a type of coconut-based frying fat) and Delfrite (a type of margarine). Arretje Cake is recipe number 100. In case you are wondering where the name Arretje comes from, it is a cartoon character from booklets you could save in 1925 and 1926, again at the Nederlandse Olie Fabrieken. The booklets were not for sale in stores and were very popular at the time.
Arretjes cake recipe – the original method of preparing arretjenof
- 250 g butter, margarine or Delfia;
- 200 g sugar;
- 50 g cocoa;
- 1 to 2 eggs*;
- 200 g cookies (e.g. Maria’s or Petit Beurre);
*Arretjescake recipe without egg: both for Arretje cake and Chocolate Cake, you can, without objection, replace each egg with 3 tablespoons of milk. The taste is not much affected, but you have to stir a little longer. If you use only milk, first mix the sugar with the cocoa and then add the milk.
“Arretjescake can be made in a jiffy and does not require an oven”
Arretjescake making – preparation method
- Beat the eggs with the sugar until frothy and add to this, spoon by spoon, the cocoa, possibly with a spoon of coffee extract.
- Melt the butter (or Delfia) over low heat, add it to the mixture and keep stirring until everything has become a perfectly even mass. Then stir in the cookies – broken into small pieces. Put this mixture into a cake tin and let it set. Loosen the cake by holding the tin for a moment in warm water, just the way pudding is loosened from a form.
- You can also pour out the mass onto a sheet of buttercream paper and use a knife to form a letter, cake, heart or star.
For a festive appearance, you can glaze the cake.
My grandmother made the cake a little differently (even more delicious) and I translated her version back to the modern world (without raw egg, deep-frying fat and with the ideal cookies, left whole). It is a delicious recipe for a Christmas dessert or a children’s party.
The ALL-lovely arretjescake recipe from grandma
A delicious cake with layers!
- 250 g cream butter;
- 200 g white caster sugar;
- 50 g cocoa;
- Shot of vanilla custard or milk;
- 200 g tea cookie (I use Verkade Nizza Coconut);
Grandmother’s cake – method of preparation
- Stir together the sugar and cocoa in a small bowl.
- Melt the butter over a gentle heat, then add the mixture to it and keep stirring it together with a small dash of vanilla custard until everything has become a perfectly even glossy mass.
- Take a container or mold that the cookies you are using will conveniently fit into. We won’t break the cookies, so it’s nice if you have to cut them to size as little as possible. Put a clear bag in the mold and start with a layer of cookies, covering the entire bottom.
- Add a thin layer of chocolate mixture on top with a tablespoon and spread it out.
- Layer another layer of cookies on top and continue layer upon layer. Finish with a layer of chocolate mixture.
- Place the mold and its contents in the refrigerator or freezer and let it set there. In the refrigerator this takes 10 hours, in the freezer it goes faster.
- Cut the cake into nice pieces so that the stripes come out well and enjoy it!
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Supermarket near you
Would you like to make arretjescake but don’t have all the ingredients yet? Then head to your local supermarket now. Check the map below for the nearest store.