Rock Cakes (Rock Buns) are a very simple but classic bake. Made with just a few store cupboard ingredients, they are very quick and easy to make and are perfect with a cup of tea!
A fruit studded rock cake is simple, good old fashioned home baking. Chances are they are the first thing you ever baked.
I don’t remember ever making them at home, but I do have a rather vivid memory of baking them in home economics class. They were edible but quite heavy – a sure sign of over mixing the dough. They didn’t go to waste though – my Grandad loved a rock cake in his lunch box.
ingredients you will need to make rock cakes
(scroll to the bottom of the post for printable recipe/ingredient amounts)
- plain flour
- baking powder – make sure it’s in date as stale baking powder doesn’t have any “ooomph” and will give you flat rock cakes!
- ground mixed spice or ground cinnamon – you can omit the spices if you like
- soft butter or margarine
- caster sugar
- dried fruit – I use a mixture of raisins and sultanas
- 1 egg
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling over the top of the buns. You don’t have to use Demerara, but I love it for the crunchy topping!
method for making rock cakes
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and dried fruit.
- Mix one egg and a tablespoon of milk together in a small dish. Pour this into the dry ingredients.
- Using your hands, gently mix until you have a soft but fairly stiff dough.
- Using two forks, form mounds of dough on a lined baking tray. I’ve made my rock cakes fairly small, but if you want to make them into boulders, go for it!
- Don’t flatten the mounds down – you need to keep them rough and craggy to get the classic “rock” cake appearance.
- Sprinkle with Demerara sugar and bake for about 15 minutes (see recipe card below for oven temperatures) Larger rock cakes can take a few minutes longer. Keep an eye on them – they turn brown quite quickly.
- When baked, the rock cakes will be light golden brown and the sugar will be caramelised and gorgeous.
- I love rock cakes slightly warm with a strong cup of tea. Heavenly!
how long do rock cakes keep for?
Rock cakes tend to turn stale quite quickly, so they are best eaten fresh on the day of baking. I often freeze half the batch for another time – once defrosted, they will taste just as good as the day you made them. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
more classic home baking
- 225g Plain (all purpose) Flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice, or ground cinnamon
- 100g soft butter
- 70g caster (superfine) sugar
- 75g mixed dried fruit - I use a mixture of sultanas and raisins
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to180C/160Fan/350F. Grease and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice or cinnamon together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.
- Stir in the dried fruit. Stir the egg and 1 tablespoon milk together in a small dish. Pour this into the dry ingredients and using your hands, mix until you have a fairly stiff dough. If the mixture is dry and you still have lots of crumbs on the bottom of the bowl, add a little more milk.
- Using 2 forks, form "rock shapes" on the baking tray, making sure they are spaced 2-3 cm apart. Sprinkle the tops with Demerara sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the rock cakes from the baking tray and transfer to a wire rack.
Nutrition InformationYield 9 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 185Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 45mgSodium 194mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 19gProtein 2g