Rock cakes


When I was working, as with most people, I was time poor.  Weekends would come and go with the blink of an eye lid.  They were, usually, filled to bursting point with activity but, sometimes, on a rare occasion, we would wake up to a leisurely Sunday morning.

On these mornings, I would like to get up and make scones or rock cakes (or on even rarer occasions, Maus would make pancakes).  It was amazingly wonderful (and decadent) to have a freshly made scone or rock cake for breakfast.  It is how I dreamed retirement would be.  I would have the time, and the inclination, to make whatever I liked, whenever l liked.  Well, I have been retired four years and these are my first rock cakes.

Another thing that has changed since I retired is my cookbook habit.  When I was working, I would scour bookshops during my lunch break for the latest and greatest cookbooks.  Now I prefer to scour Op Shops for my purchases.  It’s not that I can’t afford to buy the latest and greatest, it is just that they have lost their appeal.  I don’t need any more cookbooks so now it is more the satisfaction of finding a bargain.

Today’s recipe comes from one such find.  The cookbook in question is The Country Show Cookbook (Award-winning recipes from country shows).  It is a 2010 publication by the Agricultural Society of NSW.  If I had seen it in a bookshop, I probably would have bought it and it would have cost me $29.95.  My copy cost $2.00.  Now, that is my kinda price.

Rock cakes are amazingly easy to make.  I was surprised today just how easy they are.   They took no time at all.  They are also exceedingly yummy.  Eat them as is, or slathered with butter.  They will not disappoint.

The recipe is by Helen Wotton, Morisset/Lake Macquarie Show.


  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour (or 2 cups plain flour/ all purpose flour and 2tsp baking powder)
  • ⅓ cup raw sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup currants
  • ¼ cup mixed peel
  • ⅓ cup milk (approximately)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • raw sugar, extra
  1. Line a tray with baking paper and preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl, then add the sugar.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the currants and peel.  Stir to distribute.
  4. Pour in the melted butter and egg.  Mix well then add sufficient milk to make dough the consistency of scone dough – about ⅓ of a cup.
  5. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared tray – make them as big or small as you like.
  6. Sprinkle your rock cakes with extra raw sugar.  Don’t skip this bit.  It really makes a difference.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes.



15 thoughts on “Rock cakes

  1. These have been on my gunna list for ages; you have inspired me I will transfer them to my ‘to do’ list and hope I get to the bottom of it. I love them, more than scones (hard to replace scones, long as they have loads of cold butter on them) and with a good cup of tea on a cool day…perfect.

    • Robyn, they take no time at all to make and are very good, especially when just out of the oven. I usually make an old WW recipe but that book was in Perth and I was in B’town when I wanted to make them. This recipe was just as good. The only significant difference I can see is the use of raw sugar rather than white sugar and I doubt that makes a difference. I used it only because I had some in the cupboard. I wouldn’t have gone out and bought it specially.

  2. Mention rock cakes and my father springs to mind straight away. His rock cakes are memorable because you could have made a garden border with them. He cooked a mean sponge cake and his Eccles cakes were to die for, but, for whatever reason, his rock cakes were rock hard.

    • Hi Yvonne, maybe that is where they get their name from. 🙂 Your dad must have been a good cook to be able to make sponge and eccles.

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