Rock Cakes

I was trying to think of something wonderfully British for us to eat while we watched the highly anticipated Royal Wedding. Since it’s an early morning affair for us (6 a.m.), I was leaning towards a breakfast type food. We’ve eaten a lot of scones in the past and don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we’ll eat a lot more. They’re a definite favourite. But I was looking for something a little different and that’s when I remembered Rock Cakes. Rock Cakes are a traditional British tea time treat.

Not to mention a particular favourite of none other than Harry Potter! Apparently, Mrs. Weasley’s cakes are much tastier than Hagrid’s, which resemble an actual rock a little too closely! I’ve wanted to make these for quite a while now, so I got busy. These little treats are very easy to make. They are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee as you prefer.

These tasty gems are crumbly, buttery, sweet and spicy. YUM! Served slathered with butter. You can’t go wrong!

Thankfully mine were closer to Mrs. Weasley’s than Hagrids!

Rock Cakes

Serves 12

Recipe adapted from Mrs. Maged’s Kitchen

1 cup (225g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup (110g) butter

1/4 cup (55g) granulated sugar

1 cup (115g) sultanas

1/4 cup (55g) chopped crystalized ginger

1/2 teaspoon zest from lemon

2 medium-sized eggs

1-3 tbsp milk

A pinch of salt

Demerara sugar for sprinkling


Pre-heat the oven to 400° F (200C/180C fan/Gas 6) and grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place sultanas in bowl and cover with hot water. Allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes and then drain and pat dry.

Place flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in food processor. Pulse to mix together. Add butter, cut into small 1″ cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add sugar and pulse until combined.

Lightly beat one of the eggs. Remove flour mixture from food processor and place in large bowl. Add egg to flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Add sultanas, crystallized ginger and lemon zest to bowl. Stir gently until just combined.

Add milk one tablespoon at a time until a stiff batter is achieved.

In a small bowl, lightly beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of  milk.

Drop the batter 1 heaping tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheets. Create 12 equal-sized portions, evenly spaced out on the sheets. Paint the top of each cake with the egg/milk wash. Rough the top of each cake with the prongs of a fork. Sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes until they’re lovely and golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.

4 Responses to Rock Cakes

  1. Fitz says:

    Great shot of the tea with the Brit flag reflecting. Very nicely done!

  2. spoonwithme says:

    These sound delicious! I wish I could have had some while I was watching the royal wedding. Just curious–what are sultanas? I haven’t heard of them…

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Jenny-
      Sultanas are what raisins are called in the UK and Ireland. I always thought they meant the golden raisins when they were saying it, though my friend who is living in Ireland currently says “sultana” can refer to either dark or golden raisins.
      Once again, I love your blog! Are you a formally trained photographer? If you don’t mind me asking, what type of camera and lens do you use for your food shots?

  3. spoonwithme says:

    Hi Lea,

    Interesting. Good to know about the sultanas, in case I ever come across a recipe that calls for them.
    No, I’m not formally trained (but I’m flattered you would ask!). My mother-in-law is an amazing nature photographer, so she helped me learn the basics, and I took a food photography workshop last summer. Besides that, it’s trial and error. I probably take about 80 to 100 pics for every blog post, trying different things, and then whittle down the selections. I use all natural light, and white foam board (poster board) is my friend. I use it to bounce light from the window. I shoot on a canon digital rebel and a canon 50 mm 1.8 fixed lens (which is very affordable!). Sometimes I use a close up lens which screws onto my normal lens to do detailed shots of textures. If you want to see some amazing food photography, go to Tartelette (a blog). She just wrote a book on food styling and photography that I’m dying to have!
    Well, that was more than you asked for, but I hope you find it useful!


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