Rock Cakes



Anyone that is at least 25 years old and grew up in Australia will probably remember rock cakes.  The might sound scary but they’re actually quite a tasty biscuit filled with sultana’s and mixed peel, with a slightly crunchy shell and a softer inside.  Rock Cakes are a baked treat I remember having as a child, perhaps made by either my Mum or Nan. We didn’t have junk food or lollies very often so these were something that have stood out in my memory, along with delights such as home made pikelets, nut loaf and coconut bread.

I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the source of that recipe was from the very cookbook that I’ve grabbed this recipe from.  We just happen to be cooking from Margaret Fulton’s Cookbook as part of this month’s The Cookbook Guru. It’s a golden oldie, originally published in 1968 and the first of many books written by a woman who is a foodie icon in Australia long before being a chef was cool.

None of the recipes in the book would be groundbreaking for foodies of today, we are exposed to so many different cuisines and ingredients that would have been rare to find back then.  Certainly some recipes date themselves obviously, recommending the use of MSG, or tinned tomato soup and asparagus.  Perhaps I’m a food snob, but I think it would be very rare to see these kinds of suggestions in books being published today.   On the other hand there is some absolute classics, and some wonderful recipes that only need small tweaking to turn into something quite modern and still tasty by today’s expectations. When I saw this recipe in particular I had to give it a go, if only for nostelgia’s sake to see if they were as I remembered.  And the good news is that they are exactly as I remember.


Rock Cakes

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbl sp. mixed peel
  • 4 tbl sp. sultanas or half sultanas/raisins
  • 4 tbl sp. milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200c. Sift the flour with the baking powder.  Rub in the butter until well mixed. Add the sugar, mixed spice and dried fruit and combine. Beat the egg with the milk and then add to the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.

6Place teaspoon sized balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper.


Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling tray.


These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Shared With Love, Leah


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Rock cakes are a very old fashioned British thing, too. Sometimes the store-bought ones resemble rocks in more ways than one. Fulton’s cakes look easy to do, not so rock-like in texture and I bet they were delicious. Always good to go down that nostalgia path from time to time – connects us to the past in a good way.


  2. ladyredspecs says:

    I haven’t eaten or made rock cakes for eons! They look delish Leah! The recipe I used to make, and that’s still in the blue folder was from my high school cookery text book, Cookery the Australian Way, which predates this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leah says:

      They’re pretty yummy, in fact I think I like them more now than I did as a kid. And next time I make them it’s with dried apricots as I think they would be awesome! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Feast Wisely says:

    Great recipe Leah – I didn’t grow up in Australia but have lived here for 8 years and haven’t heard of Rock Cakes until now……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leah says:

      Thank you. They are a bit of a vintage treat (showing my age probably) but as delicious as I remember if not better with an adult palate. They’d also be awesome with dried apricots.


  4. Leah says:

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:

    I missed sharing these biscuits with you earlier but they are a wonderful trip down memory lane and another sweet treat to share in the winter months.

    Happy Reading,



  5. Glenda says:

    Leah, I love rock cakes. I have my mum’s Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbook and I normally make that recipe. Maybe I should check out the MF version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leah says:

      These really were a lovely trip down memory lane. I’ll definitely make them again as they were honestly better than I remembered them… probably my grown up palate. I’m sure you’d find that the recipes are very similar from the WWC to Margaret Fulton 🙂


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