Rock Cakes

Rock cakes. Popular during the Second World War (they weren’t as heavy on the sugar and eggs as other cake recipes), these are the taste of childhoods.

If you haven’t already got a tried and trusted rock cake recipe in your collection, I promise it’s worth adding this one. Super simple to make, quick to bake and properly satisfying to eat - these will delight hungry tummies whilst wafting a delicious scent around your kitchen. Unlike Hagrid’s famously teeth-shattering versions, these ones are light and fluffy, whilst offering a flavoursome chew thanks to spice and dried fruit. They travel well too - fill a Tupperware box and you’ve the perfect snack-on-the-go.

Enthusiastic young bakers will enjoy getting their hands into the mix to rub the flour and margarine into crumbs. Without much to go wrong, it’s a great recipe for the kids to take over from start to finish (with help using the oven perhaps), thereby adding to their kitchen repertoire. Tweaks to the recipe can be made to suit tastes - swap in some dried cranberries to the fruit perhaps, or remove the mixed peel altogether. Maybe add some chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch, a few drops of orange essence or even chocolate chips if that’s what is needed.

We took a box of just-made rock cakes to the park last week and they went down a storm.

Rock Cake Recipe

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

100g (4oz) margarine

100g (4oz) mixed dried fruit

50g (2oz) demerara sugar (caster sugar is just as effective but we love the crunch of demerara)

1 medium egg

A shake of mixed spice (around a teaspoon)

Milk to mix


1. Heat oven to 200℃ and grease a baking tray.

2. Mix the flour and salt, rub in the margarine.

3. Stir in the dried fruit, spice and sugar.

4. Mix to a stiff dough with eggs and milk.

5. Place in rough heaps on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

(Makes around 10-12)