good old fashioned rock cakes

Nee remembers making rock cakes in her very first home economics class back in highschool (just a couple of years ago) and I have very fond memories helping Mim make these every school holidays at the farm. Pa loved them and so did I; just as long as I could pick out the sultanas.

These days, now that I’m all grown up – I don’t dodge the dried fruit. Rock cakes are so ridiculously easy to cook, taste delicious and make the perfect accompaniment to a hot cuppa for an afternoon pick me up. This recipe is a real oldie but a goodie – coming from the ever trustworthy Australian Womens Weekly, it’s one that the kiddies can help you with.

I really like the subtle flavour of citrus that you get from the orange and lemon rind, but by all means leave this out if it doesn’t appeal to you. Similarly you could replace the sultanas with dried cranberries, currants or raisins instead.

Roll them out to be as big or as little as you like, store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh for a couple of days or wrap some up in some cellophane and gift them to your neighbour, postman, teacher or grandparent for Chrissie.

Just as simple and just as good as they would of been back in the day in my mother-in-laws classroom, give the old rock cake a go.





good old fashioned rock cakes

NB: If you’re making these rock cakes for kiddies, you can leave the zest and juice out altogether. I would add a tablespoon of water to the mixture instead of the orange juice. 

2 x cups of plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 cup of white sugar
125 grams of butter, chilled
1 x cup of sultanas
The zest of 1/2 a lemon
The zest of 1/2 an orange
The juice of half an orange
2 x large eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line a large baking sheet (or two) with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Cut the butter up in to small cubes and add to the flour mixture.
  • Using your fingertips, rub the butter in to the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir through the sultanas and zest of both the lemon and orange.
  • Add the juice and eggs and mix well. (I start by using the wooden spoon and then get my hands in there to get it really nicely combined).
  • Using two teaspoons, spoon the mixture with one teaspoon and then scrap it out on to the tray with the other teaspoon. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Be careful to leave a good amount of space around each rock cake as they will rise and expand quite significantly during the cooking process.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool and sprinkle with a little sugar.


If you make these rock cakes, please leave your comments below. xx


  1. What a lovely little recipe. I was sceptical at first about the lemon and orange rind but they absolutely made it! Tasted so good they made me miss my Grandma. Just as I remember them x

    Liked by 1 person

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