Traditional Rock Cake

Traditional Rock Cake

 The Spruce

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 12 medium-sized (12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
168 Calories
9g Fat
18g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 medium-sized (12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 398mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 4g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rock cakes are simply the easiest British bake to make—they are so easy, anyone can make them. Children love to make them too; 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, depending on where you live in the United Kingdom. The recipe, however, is always the same.


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  • 8 ounces/225 grams self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces/110 grams butter (or margarine, soft)
  • 2 ounces/55 grams of sugar
  • 4 ounces/110 grams of mixed dried fruit
  • 2 ounces/55 grams currants
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 to 3 tablespoon milk
  • Optional: demerara sugar for sprinkling

Steps to Make It

How to Make the Traditional Rock Buns

  1. Gather The Ingredients

    Traditional Rock Cake Recipe ingredients
    ​The Spruce 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  3. 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.

    Butter melted in a pan
     The Spruce
  4. Add the sugar and the dried fruit and mix so all ingredients are well incorporated.

    Rock cake mixture
     The Spruce
  5. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon of the milk and mix to create a stiff dough. If the mixture is still dry, add milk a tablespoon at a time until required consistency.

    Rock cake batter mix
     The Spruce
  6. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

  7. Using a tablespoon, divide the mixture into 12 mounds evenly spaced on the 2 baking sheets. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

    Rock cake batter balls on a baking sheet
     The Spruce
  8. 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.

    Traditional Rock Cake
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Dried cranberries (craisins) made a good addition, as do a few chopped nuts, a teaspoon of honey, or a few chocolate chips added in just before cooking.
  • Some reviewers have suggested adding a teaspoon of mixed spice. Try both and see which you like. If you can't find mixed spice, try using pumpkin pie spice. It's a lovely substitute.