Monday, 20 July 2009

Rock Bun Recipe

Rock buns cakesMuch as I love going out for tea there's plenty of pleasure to be had in creating a lovely afternoon tea at home. With that in mind I thought it was about time I let you in on one of my favourite recipes. As you're probably aware by now I am quite a scone fan, but I find they're hardly worth bothering with if you haven't got great jam and clotted cream to go with them. An easier option is the good old Rock Bun (no sniggering from our US readers) - or Rock Cake if you prefer. They are a bit similar to a scone in flavour but can be served just as they are. Better still they can be made with the kind of ingredients you might well already have in your kitchen.

To make 12 Rock Buns100g (4oz) butter
225g (8oz) plain flour
2 level tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
100g (4oz) demerara sugar
100g (4oz) mixed dried fruit (I like the luxury kind but any will do)
grated rind of half a lemon (optional)
1 egg beaten
1 tsp milk (optional)
  • Start by greasing 2 baking trays with a little butter.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar and mixed fruit (and the lemon rind if you're using it)
  • Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the egg and the milk if you need it. Bind the mixture together using a fork - it should be stiff and crumbly.
  • Use two forks to shape the mixture into rough heaps on the baking trays. The mixture will be much drier and more crumbly than a normal cake or biscuit mixture but that's as it should be. It will bind together during baking.
  • Bake in the oven at 200ºC/180ºC fan/400ºF/gas mark 6 for 15-20 minutes
  • Cool on a rack - but not for too long, they're delicious warm
I like to serve them with a malty assam and there we have it, a very respectable home-made afternoon tea ready in about half an hour. Everyone who has tried these Rock Buns loves them. And in these testing financial times they are a real bargain to make too.

With some of the very expensive afternoon teas on offer a recipe like this is enough to make you give up tea rooms and cafes altogether. Well, almost...


  1. I didn't have one today, which is a shame, as they the best rock cakes ever made by human hand! x

  2. Thanks for the recipe. Am in a very short while going to try my hand at this. My friend very kindly brought me back a jar of mixed spice from her recent trip to the UK (I think it's one of those oddly British things that is difficult to get elsewhere - I'm currently living in Canada). So I thought I would make her a rock bun. Fortunately, I'll be able to have my rock bun with a cup of Assam as I brought three boxes of it back with me when I was last at home (again, this is something that's a little difficult to get hold of here, at least in convenient tea bags - and the loose stuff costs a pretty penny). Cheers. JD

  3. Hope the baking went well JD. Let me know! I love how this recipe is so quick and easy - hopefully you'll agree! Had no idea that mixed spice was a British combo. I've actually made them with allspice which turns out just as well. Do you get that in Canada?

  4. Natalie

    Yes, we do get allspice in Canada. I made some bread pudding a little while ago using allspice thinking it was the same as mixed spice, but then found out that allspice (also called pimenta) is one of the spices in mixed spice.

    Anyway, the baking went well. Better than well, in fact! I included the lemon zest and was really pleased with the results. The buns had a lovely moist, chewy consistency. Will definitely bake again. Many thanks!

  5. That's fantastic news JD. I'm glad they worked out well. I have to confess to being slightly nervous that you wouldn't like them. The only trouble I find is that they're just a bit too easy and a bit too tasty...

  6. Thank you thank you thank you!
    i needed this recipe for my 1st yr baking pproject!

  7. You are welcome Kittykat. Hope it goes well.

  8. these were the best i have ever made the taste is perfect
    added everything in the recipe