Rock cakes are simply the easiest British bake to make; they are so easy, anyone can make them. Children love to make them too, as from start to finish they take no time and this recipe is pretty foolproof, so there is a great sense of achievement as you take them out of the oven. In a flash, they are on the plate, all warm and ready to be eaten. Children also have a fondness for rock cakes as they also happen to be one of Harry Potter's favorite tea time treats.
Rock Cakes are also known as Rock Buns, it just depends on where you live in the UK. The recipe, however, is always the same.
- 225 grams/8 ounces self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 110 grams/4 ounces butter (or margarine, soft)
- 55 grams/2 ounces sugar
- 110 grams/4 ounces mixed dried fruit
- 55 grams/2 ounces currants
- 1 medium egg
- 1 to 3 tablespoon milk
- Optional: demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
How to Make the Traditional Rock Bun
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large baking bowl, add the softened butter or margarine, and lightly rub together with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and the dried fruit and mix so all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add the egg and 1 tbsp of the milk and mix to create a stiff dough. If the mixture is still dry add milk a tbsp at a time until required consistency.
- Lightly grease two baking sheets.
- Using a tablespoon divide the mixture into 12 mounds evenly spaced on the 2 baking sheets. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins or until golden brown and well risen. The rock buns should be firm to the touch, but they harden up properly once cold.
How to Ring the Changes with Traditional Rock Buns
The recipe above us a standard rock bun. However, there is a reason why you cannot change the fruit to your liking, or even add a few chocolate drops. Dried cranberries (craisins) made a good addition, as do, a few chopped nuts, a teaspoon of honey, or as I said before, a few chocolate drops added in just before cooking
Some reviewers have suggested adding a tsp of mixed spice. I quite like this but it really is optional. Try both and see which you like. If you can't find mixed spice outside of the UK, I am told pumpkin pie mix is a good substitute. Enjoy.