Rock cakes recipe

These old-fashioned Rock Cakes are a favorite British classic. They use simple ingredients and can be made quickly.

This small, single-serve cake is named for its rock-like appearance. But don’t be put off by that. These simple rock cakes look like rocks but are sweet and crumbly!

How to make rock cakes?

Even the children can make these English rock cakes. Below is a recipe slide show.


Rock Cakes – Old Fashioned Recipe Play Video

Use the link below to go straight to the recipe!

Printable recipe card for Rock CakesHistory

The rock cake was famous during World War 2. It used less rationed items like sugar and egg than other English cakes.

Families could enjoy a sweet treat despite the strict rationing during wartime. Sometimes oatmeal was used in place of flour.

Hagrid has made them many times in Harry Potter, but they could have been more enjoyed due to his poor cooking skills. They were just too complicated!


Rock cakes can be made with plain flour, baking soda, mixed spice (salt, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves), butter, sultanas, or sultanas in syrup, as well as egg, milk, and butter.

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Our rock cakes are made with plain flour and baking powder, which gives them a slight rise.

For a similar outcome, you could also use self-raising or self-rising flour. If you use self-raising, there is no need for baking powder or any salt (since it’s already in the flour).


You can replace the mixed spice with a mixture of your favorite spices.

Dried Fruit

Use a bag of mixed dry fruit in place of the sultanas. You can use any dried fruit you like, including apricots or cranberries.

You can substitute the dried fruit with chocolate to make Chocolate Rock Buns.

The mixture for the rock cake should be thick and sticky. The combination makes nine large cakes.

These do not have to be neat, smooth, or tidy.

You can roughen them with a fork and bake them for a rocky texture. Once cooked, sprinkle sugar on top!

You can cook your sultana rocks cakes on parchment paper or a greaseproof sheet on a baking pan.

Sets for OVEN

I recommend that you cook rock cakes in your conventional oven. If you have a fan-assisted range, set it on the traditional setting.

You will get the crunchy outside and the soft, crumbled middle of rock cakes.


Cook for 15-20 minutes at 190degC/375degF. If you have to use a fan, 170degC is fine. They should be a golden color and have grown slightly.

Do not burn the dried fruits or sultanas! About 18 minutes is the perfect amount of time!


The rock cakes are expected to be soft when they come out of the oven. As they cool, the rock cakes become firmer.

Transfer them to a wire rack so they don’t get a soggy bottom! Transfer to a wire rack so they don’t have a soggy bottom.

It’s time to add some sugar to these rock cakes before they cool down. This will get into the cracks and grooves.

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