Super easy and so delicious; refrigerator cake or Arretje Nof
This delicious and super easy cake is known throughout the world under different names; refrigerator cake, arretje nof (here in the Netherlands) or sometimes rocky road.
You have a kid party and want to bake something easy, delicious and something probably all kids will love. This soft, crunchy and totally decadent refrigerator cake will help you out. And not only kids will love it, the adults will be lining up for a slice as well!
Arretje Nof or refrigerator cake
Isn’t it funny how certain foods can transport you right back into your childhood? When I was a little kid I already loved to bake, but we never really got much further then the standard (but tasty!) apple pie and this Arretje Nof or refrigerator cake.
Now as far as I have been able to tell, this is a very typical and old fashioned Dutch cake. We used to make it for just about every kids party and I loved making it, as it was soooo simple and soooo good. I hadn’t thought about arretje nof in ages but when I was looking for Christmas desserts I ran into another recipe which reminded me of arretje nof. So I said something to Tom about it and he looked at me with one of those blank stares… “Arretje.. who???”
Famous Dutch Chocolate cake
Turns out he never even heard of this!! So naturally I just had to make it again. It had been roughly 30 years ago that I last made this famous Dutch refrigerator cake and I was a little curious where that weird name came from, which is also impossible to translate by the way…
Apparently Arretje is the name of a cartoon character that was invented by the Dutch Oil Factory (Nederlandse Olie Fabriek) later to be known to many as Calvé. Arretje, a brave little Turkish boy, born and raised in Baghdad was featured in a series of 5 little booklets around the year 1926 (!) and was a big hit. In those books the company was only referred to with the letters NOF, so before you knew it; Arretje was called Arretje Nof.
I haven’t been able to find out why then this cake was called by that name but my guess is that it might have had something to do with the original ingredients which were deep frying oil and I am guessing that mr. Calve produced that in those days.
Replaced by butter
I am happy to report that the frying oil has been replaced by butter, although technically I am not sure how much more healthy that is. This is a delicious cake and Tom had to agree even though he keeps calling it my Ivan Rebroff cake. (I guess he thinks the name sounds similar…)
It doesn’t require any baking; a few hours in the fridge (hence the name refridgerator cake) is all you need and you can be sure that kids will absolutely love it (and so will grown ups by the way!) It’s almost like a firm chocolate mousse cake with crunchy biscuits in between. It’s about time that Arretje goes international!
You can use just about any cookies you like. I like to use crunchy plain biscuits, but you can use other ones as well. Do try and go for the cookies without filling. So no chocolate chip cookies. Although technically that would work as well. I just think it might become a bit much?
Well, I think you possibly can, but this is not – in any way – a healthy cake. So just go for the original. And take a very small slice.
You can substitute the raw eggs for pasteurized eggs. Or you can leave them out. It will be a lot less creamy if you do though. If you’re pregnant or unsure, don’t make the cake or try and find pasteurized eggs.
Arretje Nof or refrigerator cake
- 1 cake tin of around 25 cm length
- 4 eggs
- 250 g sugar
- 125 g cacao powder
- 375 g butter melted
- 275 g biscuits (just plain crunchy cookies)
- Let the butter melt very slowly on low heat. Break all the biscuits in small pieces. Line a cake tin with baking paper.
- Mix the eggs and sugar together. Carefully add the cocoa powder through a sieve into the egg/sugar mixture. Pour in the melted butter. Do this one step at the time to make it easier to incorporate the butter into the mix. As soon as the butter is entirely incorporated into the mix add the biscuits and stir everything together so all biscuit pieces are coated with chocolate. Put everything in the cake tin
- Put in the fridge and leave to stand at least 4 hours or preferably overnight to become solid enough to cut.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.