Rock Cake Recipe – Simple Baking
Baking cakes can be intricate and time consuming, or simple and quick. And the latter can produce lovely cakes that are just as tasty, if not more so than the fancy. And as my cooking is mainly about easy and low cost recipes, then the easy and quick is more important to me. Rock cakes are probably one of the simpler baking recipe but many people really enjoy them. It is also possible to do a few variations without taking a big risk of failing, too! The good thing is that the lumpier and craggier they look the better! No need to get them smooth or even – a positive refuge for the more slap dash type cook!
Rock cakes have had a varied image through the years but are still an easy to make, tasty tea time or lunch box treat
A Cake With History
Wikepedia tells me they are of British origin and were particularly popular in the war because they required only one egg, as eggs were rationed. It also says that they are popular in many parts of the world too. Who would have thought the humble rock cake should get such fame!
But the rock cake has survived way beyond the war and is still available to buy in bakeries today – so its attributes are not just that it is easy and economical to make – but that it’s tasty and enjoyable to eat.
Rock cakes also remind me of my sister and making rock cakes in cookery lessons at school. She was never renowned for her prowess in the kitchen and alas her rock cakes were no exception! Rock cakes are supposed to describe the appearance, and not the texture of of the cakes. In her case however it was an apt name for both!
Famous (or Infamous!) Rock Cakes
Rock cakes have achieved some sort of fame but perhaps not good reputation in Harry Potter as Hagrid offers his home cooked versions to the youngsters although they found them less than appetising. Also, it is a rock cake that brought on the demise of Benny Hill’s ‘Ernie’ (if you are not to young to remember that 1970s hit) when his rival in love, a baker, threw one at his chest. If you wish to be reminded see the video below.
Simple, Tasty Cakes
So rock cakes are the product of cookery classes, war time rationing and the butt of jokes in books, films and television jokes, but nevertheless the rock cake still stands proud – and tasty. I regularly make them for a local craft and cake fair at a community hub in Exeter, and they always sell out. More filling and less sweet than some cakes they are popular with children and adults alike. They are a simple treat to add to a lunch box as an elevenses or 3.00 tea time snack.
Make Your Rock Cake Recipe Your Own!
You can vary the ingredients to suit your own tastes and what you have in the cupboards. I use sultanas in mine but you can use currants and raisins or mixed fruit. I have flavoured them with mixed spice and cinnamon. If you want to add an extra flourish add the rind and juice of a lemon or orange. This recipe makes nine quite large rock cakes – you could make tweleve smaller cakes. Its up to you how big you make your cakes – just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- 225g / 8oz self-raising flour
- 110g / 3oz butter or margarine
- 110g / 3oz caster sugar
- 110g / 3oz sultanas
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C
- Sift the flour into a bowl
- Rub in the butter or margarine until it looks like breadcrumbs
- Stir in the sugar and spices
- Add the egg and milk and stir into a dough
- Stir in the sultanas
- Grease a baking tray
- Using two teaspoons make a 9-12 blobs of dough – use one spoon to scoop up the dough and the other to scrape it off the spoon on to the baking tray
- Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown
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