Kalter Hund Is A Simple Chocolate Cake Like No Other!
Are you looking for a rich chocolate cake that is smooth and crispy? You need Kalter Hund!
This classic German recipe goes by a few different names. Lisa knows it as Kalter Hund (cold dog), but it is also known as Kalte Schnauze (cold snout) or Kellerkuchen (basement cake)!
For the English speakers, you might know a similar version called a “hedgehog slice” – which is close but not always the exact same as a Kalter Hund.
It’s important to know that there are different versions of the recipe. Some include eggs but since this cake is not baked, we prefer to make it without eggs – and this recipe will also not include any eggs.
Speaking of variations, a hedgehog slice (the version mentioned above) can even include nuts or puff rice pieces – but we made a classic Kalter Hund.
This no-bake cake brings back many memories for Lisa. When she was a child growing up in Germany in the 90s, this was always a popular cake for children’s birthday parties.
That said, it’s also popular with adults! In fact, you can add a little bit of rum into the chocolate mixture if you so choose. Then you have a “tipsy Kalter Hund” (just kidding, that’s not a thing).
The key to creating Kalter Hund is getting the biscuits/cookies used for the layers right. These are technically butter biscuits – a very crunchy biscuit with a simple, almost “hint of vanilla” flavor.
For you, “butter biscuits” might be something different – but this is what Germans are referring to when they talk about classic “Butterkekse” (German for “butter biscuit”).
They can be found in lots of different countries but in Germany, popular brands are Leibnitz or Bahlsen. No-name brands will do the job as well, though!
In Canada, think of the bottom part of “Celebration Cookies” – made by Leclerc – if you removed the chocolate logo. If you’re Canadian, you will know what we’re talking about here.
We don’t know if there is a specific brand in the USA that is very similar – so let us know about that!
Overall, this cake is very easy to make. Keep in mind, it is definitely not healthy – but it is delicious.
Another thing to consider is the prep time before eating. Kalter Hund really should sit in the fridge for quite a few hours.
So even though it doesn’t take long to make, you should then be patient for a few hours before you can eat it. This was (and still is) always the hardest part for Lisa!
If you liked Kalter Hund, you’re going to be interested in these other great dessert or cake recipes!
- Easy Carrot Cake – Classic recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese icing
- German Oatmeal Cookies – Delicious, easy to make soft oatmeal cookies
- Simple Lemon Cake – A zesty recipe for sweet cake with signature white glaze
- Nussecken – German nut bars with the corners dipped in rich chocolate
Kalter Hund (No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake)
- 10.5 ounces Dark Chocolate
- 7 ounces Milk Chocolate
- 2/3 cups Whipping Cream
- 1/2 cups Coconut Oil
- 4 ounces Butter Biscuits, approximately (popular brands are Leibnitz or Bahlsen)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, optional
- a splash of rum, optional (if only for adults)
- Break the chocolate into small pieces.
- Add the chocolate, cream, and coconut oil into a small pot to melt on low heat. Do not stop stirring. If your coconut oil is solid, you could heat it in a hot water bath beforehand to make it easier to measure the correct amount.
- Once everything has melted and becomes a smooth chocolate mixture, remove it from the stove. If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil that much, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can also add a splash of rum if it is an adult-only cake.
- Line your loaf pan with parchment paper if you don’t use a silicone loaf pan.
- Add a thin layer of chocolate mixture to the bottom of the pan. Smooth it out with a spatula/spoon as needed.
- Add one layer of biscuits on top of the chocolate mixture. To give the cake an even look at the end, the biscuits should not touch the loaf pan (there should be a tiny gap/border around). You can cut your biscuits as needed to fit your pan.
- Spread another thin layer of chocolate mixture onto the cookies and smooth it out as needed. Add another layer of biscuits and repeat until you have used up all of the chocolate mixture. It’s important that the last layer is chocolate – so keep that in mind. Our cake (which is on the smaller side) usually ends up having four biscuit layers.
- Cover the loaf pan and put it in the fridge for at least 5 hours to make sure that the chocolate has solidified nicely. You can also put the cake in the fridge over night.
- After the refrigerating time, take your cake out of the fridge, remove the cover and try to carefully loosen it from the pan. Turn it over onto a serving dish, remove the parchment paper (if you used any) and serve immediately while chilled! Be careful when cutting slices so the biscuits don’t break.
- This recipe works fine with chocolate chips or solid chocolate bars (without any additions such as nuts, caramel, etc.). However, if you have access to cooking chocolate or chocolate coating (called Kuvertüre in German), then you can use some of that, too. Usually, we mix dark cooking chocolate and milk chocolate.
- 4 ounces butter biscuits should be around 16 cookies. If your loaf pan is wider, you might need more biscuits.
- We used a silicone loaf pan with dimensions of 9.5 × 4 inches. We’d recommend a silicone pan as this makes it easier to remove the cake when it’s done. If you don’t have one, it’s important to line your loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In our subjective opinion, the cake tastes better when refrigerated overnight before consumption. However, five hours in the fridge will certainly give it enough time to solidify.
- The slices you cut should be on the thinner side since this cake is really heavy.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.
14 thoughts on “Kalter Hund (German No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake)”
My mother learned to make Kalter Hund in the ‘60s when my father was stationed in Heidelberg. She has had to adapt the recipe to ingredients available in the U.S., and now uses Lorna Doone shortbread cookies instead of butter biscuits, and we think they work just fine.
Thanks for sharing Bryan, that’s really helpful! I know finding butter biscuits can be a challenge sometimes, so this is a great alternative. /Lisa
Are the biscuits chocolate coated
Usually the biscuits I use for this recipe are not chocolate coated, but since this is for a “chocolate biscuit cake” you could totally use chocolate coated biscuits if you have trouble finding some without chocolate (this is a struggle for me sometimes). Hope that helps! /Lisa
My Oma used a little instant espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor – I now use a short shot (ristretto) of espresso instead of the rum for the same reason.
Thanks for sharing, Thomas! That sounds tasty, we’ll have to try that when making it next time!
I was wondering if you could help me figure out how to make a vegan version. My mom used to make this when I was a kid and I’d love to make it again – but vegan and maybe a little healthier.
Hi Monika, unfortunately I have never made a vegan version of Kalter Hund so any suggestions from my side are not tried and tested – sorry! You could try using just dark chocolate instead of dark and milk chocolate if you want to cut down on the sugar. You could try it with either store-bought vegan chocolate or make your own at home (https://minimalistbaker.com/easy-vegan-chocolate/). Veganz has vegan butter biscuits/cookies but I’m not sure if they are available where you live. As for the whipping cream, I’m not really sure how to make that healthier but there are lots of vegan versions available. I also remember my mom sometimes making Kalter Hund without any whipping cream and just melting chocolate so you could try that as well. I wouldn’t change any proportions of the ingredients for the first try, but you might want to tweak it some after the first try. If you give it a try, please let me know how it goes! /Lisa
Hi. I’m planning on making this but I’m not sure what you mean by normal chocolate. Can I use chocolate chips?
Hi Ursula, Yes, you can use chocolate chips. We meant solid chocolate bars (without any nuts, caramel, or other additions) like you’d buy in the store. They are common in Canada and in Germany. This is an older recipe so we will go back and update it so it’s clearer! /Eric
Thank you for the reply. I made it for Christmas and it was just like mom’s. Mom made it every year. Everyone snatched it off the plate and it was gone instantly lol
I’ll be making this every year now.
We’re so happy to hear that – thanks for sharing that with us! /Lisa
I use Tennis biscuits, Aldi has them in stock at the moment
Aldi sometimes have these biscuits.