A Delicious Chocolate Cracknell Recipe: School Edition

Updated on January 6, 2020
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Mom 24-7 is a mum of two beautiful, cupcake-loving daughters, figuring out parenting one day at a time!

This article will show you how to make Chocolate Cracknell, just like the kind made for school dinners.
This article will show you how to make Chocolate Cracknell, just like the kind made for school dinners.

The Real School Chocolate Cracknell Recipe

If you grew up in the UK in the 1970s like me, there's a good chance you've already tried Chocolate Cracknell during your school dinners. If you haven't, you're in for a treat!

My children love this recipe, and I'm sure that yours will too. It may not look very appetizing, but this dessert is like the cake version of chocolate crisps (crispie cakes in the UK) but better! You don't have to deal with crumbs dropping on the floor, and you can slice it just like a cake!

Chocolate Cracknell is great for small children, because although they may believe they're eating real chocolate, the truth is that it's a mixture of cocoa powder and dried milk powder. Whilst that might sound revolting, I can assure you that it tastes good!

This is a great recipe to make with children, as there is no actual cooking. But there is a lot of mixing and weighing to let little people get involved!

My mother even made this for my birthday cake when I was a child. I was distraught when I asked her for the recipe and she told me that she had lost it. Fortunately, I managed to find it through a friend, and here it is! It tastes just as I remember it.

Chocolate Cracknell ingredients (Rice Bubbles are called Rice Krispies in the UK and US.)
Chocolate Cracknell ingredients (Rice Bubbles are called Rice Krispies in the UK and US.)


  • 200 grams golden syrup
  • 120 grams margarine
  • 75 grams dried milk powder
  • 25 grams cocoa powder
  • 85 grams Rice Krispies/Rice Bubbles

Note: Rice Krispies are little bits of puffed toasted rice that make a popping sound when you put milk on them. This crispiness is very important, because it is what makes Chocolate Cracknell so satisfying to eat! Do not use sugar puffs. They will not work!

Making the margarine and golden syrup mixture.
Making the margarine and golden syrup mixture.

How to Make Chocolate Cracknell

  1. Grease a round tin. I like to use a deep pie dish.
  2. Weigh all of the dry ingredients and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the margarine and golden syrup together, taking care not to boil the mixture. Keep it on the stove until the butter is all melted. Then, immediately remove it from the heat.
  4. Pour the melted margarine/golden syrup into the Rice Krispies and stir everything with a wooden spoon. It will seem like there isn't enough liquid, but keep mixing it until all of the cereal is coated with the chocolate concoction. There shouldn't be any light-coloured Krispies left. If the mixture seems to have too much liquid, add more cereal to thicken it up. It should be a sticky mixture, but there shouldn't be liquid remaining that isn't coating the Rice Krispies.
  5. Tip the mixture into your well-greased tin. At first, it may seem like there is too much mixture. You'll see that there isn't as you compress the mixture. This step is very important: if you don't press it down enough, you will get a crumbly mess rather than a firm cake. Having put everything into the tin, use a palette knife or the back of a dessert spoon to firmly press the mixture into the tin. This usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes of working the mixture. The spoon or knife will likely become too sticky the more you use it. If this happens, wash and dry it, and then carry on. When you are finished, you should have a smooth-topped cake that cannot be further compressed.
  6. Put your dessert in the fridge to set. This takes a few hours, so try to be patient! If you remove it too early, it will crumble and break when you cut it, so try to wait!
  7. When you have waited at least three hours, take your Chocolate Cracknell from the fridge. Use a sharp knife to cut yourself a slice, and enjoy!

Tip: Store the dessert in the fridge.

Do you remember the artificial cream that went on the top of Chocolate Cracknell? If you find a recipe for it, please post it in the comments below so I can add it to this recipe!

Do you remember school dinners?

See results

© 2010 Rachel Thomas

What are your favourite school recipes?

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    • profile image

      Tea Jeanie 

      2 years ago

      The artificial cream was Dream Topping made by Birds, (similar to Angel Delight).

    • Spiderlily321 profile image


      7 years ago

      I'd never heard of this before. It seems pretty cool though. Wouldn't mind trying it sometime :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think it was called mock cream that went on top of the chocolate cracknell

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      8 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I can answer your question. Golden Syrup is the British version of Karo Syrup, only it isn't made of corn, but instead of sugar cane, so it is like a very very pale molasses. Looks like honey. In the mouth it feels a bit like Karo Syrup - if you know that - but the taste is like a very pale caramel syrup or very very pale molasses. This is a fun lens for those of us who know nothing about British school meals. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Einstein profile image

      Jennifer Einstein 

      8 years ago from New York City

      Question from the uninitiated: What is golden syrup?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      never heard of this but I'm definitely digging it! thanks

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This looks like I might need to try it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have never heard of chocolate cracknell before so I had to check out this lens. It looks yummy! I had to giggle a bit a bit when I saw the Rice Bubbles. Here in the US, we call them Rice Krispies. I had no idea they would have a different name in other countries.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      9 years ago

      Forgot to say lensrolling this to my Pumpkin Scone Recipe Lens :)

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      9 years ago

      I remember it well, thumbs up from a fellow Pomme :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Well I never! I grew up in the UK in the 70s.. in fact I am still here trying to grow up... but I have never heard of this. My kids will love it! Going to have to use butter instead of margarine though!


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