Rock Cakes are a sweet and simple snack. Everyone who tries them loves them, and you will too!
Rock cakes are British, scone-like cakes (also known as rock buns) that are popular to enjoy with afternoon tea. A very simple mix of flour, sugar and butter with added allspice, nutmeg and currants make these, light, crumbly tea-time treats delicious when warm from the oven, spread with softened butter.
So-called because of their similarity in appearance to a rock, rock cakes were promoted by the British Government’s Ministry of Food during World War II. They used less eggs and sugar than normal cakes and this helped with food rationing. And since they were very cheap to make, they could feed a large family a lovely treat.
Rock cakes are simply flavored with allspice and nutmeg and are usually dotted with currants but just like scones, any dried fruit can be used.
I remember fondly my Nana would always have a cake tin full of these for whenever we dropped by, and of course the kettle was always boiling to make that comforting cup of tea to serve with them.
My preference is eating them with softened butter to let the spice flavors shine. You can always spread them with jam and of course, the ever-popular clotted cream.
People will know rock cakes these days from the Harry Potter novels and books. They are one of Harry’s favorite tea-time treats, fed to him by Hagrid.
Of course, they were not well received by Harry, since Hagrid seemed to take the name literally and made them hard as rocks by over-baking and almost breaking Harry’s tooth.
This is not the case with these rock cakes. If you try one right out of the oven, you’ll experience a slightly crispy exterior give way to a warm, soft interior dotted with sweet currants just waiting to receive the butter. Just like Nana used to make.
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