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Rock Cakes Recipe

Rock cakes are British, scone-like cakes (also known as rock buns) that are popular to enjoy with afternoon tea. A very simple mix of flour, sugar and butter with added allspice, nutmeg and currants make these, light, crumbly tea-time treats delicious when warm from the oven, spread with softened butter.

Rock Cakes Photo

So-called because of their similarity in appearance to a rock, rock cakes were promoted by the British Government’s Ministry of Food during World War II. They used less eggs and sugar than normal cakes and this helped with food rationing. And since they were very cheap to make, they could feed a large family a lovely treat.

Rock cakes are simply flavored with allspice and nutmeg and are usually dotted with currants but just like scones, any dried fruit can be used.

Rock Cakes Picture

I remember fondly my Nana would always have a cake tin full of these for whenever we dropped by, and of course the kettle was always boiling to make that comforting cup of tea to serve with them.

My preference is eating them with softened butter to let the spice flavors shine. You can always spread them with jam and of course, the ever-popular clotted cream.

Rock Cakes Image
Rock Cakes PIc

People will know rock cakes these days from the Harry Potter novels and books. They are one of Harry’s favorite tea-time treats, fed to him by Hagrid.

Of course, they were not well received by Harry, since Hagrid seemed to take the name literally and made them hard as rocks by over-baking and almost breaking Harry’s tooth.

File 1 - Rock Cakes

This is not the case with these rock cakes. If you try one right out of the oven, you’ll experience a slightly crispy exterior give way to a warm, soft interior dotted with sweet currants just waiting to receive the butter. Just like Nana used to make.

Rock Cakes Photo

Rock Cakes Recipe

Janette Fuschi
Rock Cakes are a sweet and simple snack. Everyone who tries them loves them, and you will too!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine British
Servings 12 1 Rock Cake
Calories 204.35 kcal


  • 2 All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 Baking Powder
  • 0.5 Salt
  • 3 Light Brown Sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling the tops
  • Whole Nutmeg freshly grated (to taste)
  • 0.25 Allspice
  • 4 Unsalted Butter cut into cubes
  • 1 Dried Currants or other dried fruit
  • 2 Egg beaten
  • 0.25 Cold Milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the sugar, nutmeg and allspice.
  • Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the currants, eggs and milk. Mix to form a stiff batter and all the flour is absorbed.
  • Drop palm-size mounds of the batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
  • Sprinkle the tops with sugar.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until they are golden.
  • Transfer to a rack to cool completely.


Calories: 204.35kcalCarbohydrates: 28.17gProtein: 3.58gFat: 8.25gSaturated Fat: 4.88gSodium: 113.48mgFiber: 1.25gSugar: 11.25g
Keyword Baked, Baking, British, Cakes, Desserts, Family Meals and Snacks, Raisins, Snacks
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