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Rock Cakes Recipe

Rock cakes – sometimes called rock buns – are a popular treat in the UK. They’re also a favourite recipe in our house! The kids love to make them, and rock cakes are an easy recipe that requires minimal preparation.

How To Make Rock Cakes

Making rock cakes doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or preparation. But don’t let the simplicity fool you into thinking they will taste any less special.

The recipes calls for ingredients that are found in most kitchen cupboards; self-raising flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter, egg and sultanas (or your choice of mixed fruit). Adding a little sprinkling of cinnamon adds a little twist to the taste, but this is entirely optional.

For step by step instructions and exact measurements please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom.

What Fruit Should I Add To A Rock Cake?

 We like to use sultanas but you can use either mixed dried fruits, or just sultanas/raisins on their own.

Tip: If you leave the sultanas to soak for 10 minutes in boiling water they will soften up and become much juicier. It will also help to stop them burning when they go in the oven.

sultanas soaked in water for rock cakes

Whilst the sultanas are soaking you can start mixing together the other ingredients.

Combine all the dry ingredients together; the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add in the butter and using your hands mix it up until you get a breadcrumb like texture.

After the sultanas have finished soaking you can stir those in.

sultanas in mixture for rock cakes

In a separate bowl/jug, beat the egg then add in the milk and vanilla essence. Pour this in to the above sultana and flour mix and stir until you’ve got a gooey and doughy mixture. 

rock cakes on baking tray

On a lined baking tray, use a large spoon to divide the mixture into about 8 small balls (about the size of golf balls). Cook in the oven until golden brown.  

rock cake just out of the oven


rock cake just out of the oven

Rock Cakes

Yield: 8 Cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Rock Cakes are a British favourite. They are very simple to make - and even easier to eat!


  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 85g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 135g butter, cubed
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 125g sultanas
  • 1tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5
  2. Put the sultanas in a bowl, and fill up with boiling water until submerged. Leave to soak for around 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Rub in the butter with your fingers until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  5. Stir in the sultanas (having let them soak for approx. 10 mins).
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk and vanilla essence.
  7. Stir into the sultana dough mix, until it gathers into a lumpy, slightly sticky dough.
  8. Place on a lined baking tray in golf-ball sized balls and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.


Soaking the sultanas in boiling water helps to soften them up, and makes them much juicer and less likely to burn while cooking.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g

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Saturday 21st of August 2021

I haven’t got any fresh milk today but will add milk to my Tesco delivery tomorrow morning. Tomorrow I don’t need to make a dinner, so will make rock cakes for the first time in years.

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