Chocolate crackles (also known as chocolate bubble cakes) are a popular children's confection in Australia and New Zealand, especially for birthday parties and at school fêtes. While some might compare them to the US Rice Krispies Treats, apart from being sweet and using popped rice they're not particularly similar - there is no marshmallow, so crackles are crispier and are not chewy, they are also generally not as sweet. The earliest recipe found so far is from The Australian Women's Weekly in December 1937.
The principal ingredients are the commercial breakfast cereal Rice Bubbles, giving it texture, and desiccated coconut, giving it a distinct flavour. The binding ingredient is hydrogenatedcoconut oil (such as the brand Copha), which is solid at room temperature. Since it does not require baking it is often used as an activity for young children.
The recipe is relatively easy requiring only vegetable shortening, icing sugar, cocoa, desiccated coconut and Rice Bubbles (or Coco Pops). The hydrogenated oil is melted and combined with the dry ingredients and portions of the mixture are placed in cupcake pans to set, usually in the refrigerator. Sometimes these are lined with cupcake papers – round sheets of thin, rounded and fluted paper. The hydrogenated oil re-sets to give each cake its form without baking.