I received some requests in the comments on my Youtube channel to make Rock Cakes. These were a popular, old-fashioned cake available since the 19th century. They gained even more popularity during World War II when food was rationed in the UK. However, the cakes were easy to make with readily available ingredients. The recipe required less rationed ingredients compared to other sweet treats, making them a favoured choice. I have made thesecakes before, but not with an accompanying video. So the requests I received prompted me to do that.
These cakes consisted of:
flour – plain flour, though self-raising could be used, leaving out the baking powder
butter – margarine would also be fine
light brown sugar – caster or granulated work well too
egg – just one egg with enough milk to form a batter
milk – up to 2 tbsp of milk, though only enough to form a batter
dried fruit – mixed dried fruit(sultanas, raisins, currants and chopped mixed peel) is common
salt – just a pinch
nutmeg – optional
mixed spice – optional.
Those ingredients create a quick and easy batter that yields a good amount. As mentioned, the mixed dried fruit usually included sultanas, currants, raisins, and chopped mixed peel. But any available fruit could be used. The spices were optional, depending on the desired flavour. I used light brown sugar, but caster or granulated sugar also worked well.
These cakes were not only easy to make but also required little time. The mixing process took less than 10 minutes, and baking only took about 20 minutes. Whether you preferred them warm or completely cooled, they were ready to enjoy in less than an hour.
I divided the mixture into 75g portions, making 12 cakes. But larger or smaller cakes would be fine too. I baked the cakes for 18 minutes. They spread out during baking, resembling rocks (hence the name). After cooling the cakes on a rack, I tasted them. What a delightful treat they were too. The cakes evoked many memories. They had a lovely buttery taste blended with the spices and the delightful combination of dried fruits.
Store the cakes in an airtight container. They keep for a few days. The cakes freeze well too. Of course, thaw the cakes out before eating them.
Another very easy recipe, with fruit, is Light Fruit Tea Loaf.
Rock Cakes – Quick & Easy RecipeCourse: CakesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
350g(2 1/3 cups, base on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
8g(2 tsp) baking powder
175g(3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown sugar
175g(12 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
1 medium egg(large in USA)
up to 30ml(2 tbsp) milk – you may not need it all
125g(1 cup) mixed dried fruit
pinch of salt
.5g(1/4 tsp) nutmeg
1g(1/2 tsp) mixed spice
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F, and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper, or silicone mats.
- Mix together the flour, salt, nutmeg and mixed spice.
- Add the butter and rub into the flour until a fine breadcrumb like texture is achieved(I did this in a processor).
- With the breadcrumb-like mixture in a large bowl stir in the sugar and the dried fruit.
- Beat the egg and pour it into the bowl, then stir everything until the mixture begins to clump into a batter.
- Add milk, if necessary, a little at a time and mix until the batter is fully formed.
- Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions(about 75g) and place on the baking trays, leaving a good gap between each. Don’t smooth or pat the mixture, it is supposed to be rough to resemble rocks.
- Bake the cakes for 18 to 20 minutes, until they have spread and have coloured well on top.
- Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.