A "Great British Bake Off" inspired Nutella dessert — with no baking

Ruby Tandoh's chocolate hazelnut bars are a no-bake, "GBBO"-worthy dessert

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published August 13, 2022 4:30PM (EDT)

No-Bake Nutella Bars (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
No-Bake Nutella Bars (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

When you don't feel like baking, you can find some really good ideas from a baking star.

It was Season 4 of "The Great British Baking Show" that made me truly fall in love with the show — the technical precision of Frances Quinn, the innovative flavor combinations of Kimberly Wilson, and the natural, improvisational talent of Ruby Tandoh. Tandoh, a university student back in 2013, was always candid when she was having a rough time, was always up front that she didn't usually work with expensive equipment in ideal conditions. And I always appreciate the bakers who who know how bake in the real world.

In Tandoh's new book of essays and recipes, "Eat Up! Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want," she is as frank, inquisitive and playful as ever, exploring the ethics and power of food and serving up evocative recipes both sweet and savory. And in a section of the book in which she urges us to "take our budgets, our kitchens, and our skills as they are, and from those things cook something wonderful," she offers a Nutella fudge bar, perfect for those days the thought of heating up the kitchen seems appalling.

The beauty of this recipe is multi pronged. You don't have to actually bake — but you also barely have to measure or clean anything up. It's ideal for when feeling like a low-effort task, and tailor made for when you're staying in a vacation cottage somewhere and making do with an unfamiliar space. I have tweaked Tandoh's recipe slightly to adjust for our American lack of inclination to weigh things, but otherwise kept the deliriously plush vibe.

Inspired by Ruby Tandoh's "Eat Up! Food, Appetite, and Eating What You Want"

No Bake Nutella Bars
 12 servings
Prep Time
 5 minutes
Cook Time
 10  minutes, plus chilling


  • 7 ounces of graham crackers (half a standard box)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (one stick)
  • 3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate (one standard Lindt bar; I like the 85%.) 
  • 1 3/4 cups of sweetened condensed milk (1 small can) 
  • 1/2 cup of Nutella or similar chocolate nut spread



  1. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor, or stick them in a bag and bang into crumbs with a rolling pin or similar.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs until well combined.
  3. Press the crumbs into an 8" x 8" tin.
  4. Using the same saucepan, because why not, gently heat the condensed milk, stirring constantly so as not to scald it. When it's just simmering, remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the Nutella to thoroughly combine. Break up the chocolate bar into the mixture and stir until melted.
  6. Pour the mixture over the graham cracker base and smooth out.
  7. Chill at least one hour, then cut and serve. These are meant to be gooey and fudgy, not firm, so don't stress. They're best straight from the fridge.

Cook's Notes

I think these would be equally incredible with peanut butter swapped out for the Nutella.

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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No Bake Nutella Quick & Dirty Recipe Ruby Tandoh