Rock cakes 

I have recently been reacquainted with rock cakes. The humble tea-time treat which, along with chocolate rice crispie/cornflake cakes and fairy cakes, really are the epitome of childhood baking.

CM’s two favourite things are baking and painting. Both of which require a significant amount of prep, make a lot of mess and requires mummy’s assistance. I’m sensing a pattern! I wouldn’t mind except she always wants to do them at the most inopportune moments. Like when we’re getting ready to leave the house, or about to make dinner or better yet just before bed! I hate saying no all the time so I gave in. With exactly an hour before we had to leave for swimming the only thing that came to mind were rock cakes.

I haven’t made these for years, probably since I was her age, but they really are the perfect childhood cake because they are so incredibly forgiving. You can do anything to these cakes and they will still work. Mainly because they get their name from looking like a piece of rough earth! All you need are simple ingredients, no fancy equipment or techniques and a quick bake. Just mix it up, plonk it on a tray and pop it in the oven. Teatime sorted in the blink of an eye. They went down a treat.

There was one rock cake left in the tin this morning. CM and I both looked at it. I know it is probably the most unmotherly thing to do, to take the last cake from your child but it just looked too tempting. So I asked. ‘Can I take the last rock cake to work sweetheart?’ And the reply…’Of course you can mummy, it will be nice with your tea. And we can always make more rock cakes’. My heart melted. When did she become so wise!

Rock Cakes (makes 10-12 | total prep and baking time 40 mins)

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 115g butter
  • 60g caster sugar
  • splash of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 60g raisins or dried fruit

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees fan
  2. Grease a large baking tray (or 2 small ones)
  3. Sieve flour into a bowl
  4. Add the butter and rub it together with your fingertips until it looks like fine bread crumbs
  5. Add sugar, fruit  and egg and stir
  6. Add just enough milk to make a stiff dough (add the milk slowly)
  7. Place onto tray in heaps and bake for around 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through

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