Rock Cakes

Rubbed in Buns

Rock cakes are so simple, yet you rarely see them as the craze for iced cupcakes. This delicious classic is slightly heavier than my sponge cupcake recipe, it has a gorgeous texture, sweetness of the raisins and a beautiful crumbly texture.  They use a slightly different method to mixing the butter and sugar (and flour) – the rubbing in method. Unlike the creaming method where you are using the back of the spoon to crush the sugar into the butter, mixing it until it’s light and fluffy, then folding in the flour, you add the air into the mixture using the rubbing in method by doing just that – you mix the butter, sugar and flour by rubbing them between your finger tips around 4-6 inches above the bottom of your mixing bowl letting it drop back into the bowl. Although you need to have a basin of hot soapy water nearby for when you’re done (it sticks to your hands like crazy) I find this method really therapeutic and it helps me switch off.

If you fancy making your own, you’ll need:

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 75g dried fruit (I used raisins)

You’ll also need:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Scales
  • Balloon whisk (or fork will do)
  • Measuring jug (if you use a fork to whisk, you could also use a large mug instead of a jug)
  • Paper cases
  • 12 hole bun tin
  • Cooling rack
  • Mixing spoon
  • 2 teaspoons


  1. Put your flour, sugar and butter into a bowl
  2. Mix the dry ingredients by rubbing them between the tips of your fingers and thumbs until they resemble fine breadcrumbs
  3. Mix in your raisins
  4. Lightly whisk your milk and egg in a jug
  5. Make a well in your mixing bowl and pour in your egg/milk mix
  6. Mix it together – if it is too dry, you can add a touch more milk although it will be a stiffer mixture than other cake batters
  7. Spoon into paper cases (I find this is easiest when you use two tea spoons)
  8. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes
  9. Leave to cool on the cooling rack

These are a lovely accompaniment to an afternoon tea and look beautiful on a cake tray don’t they?! You might also like to take a look at my Secret Centre Cupcakes (ssshhh, they’ve got Lemon Curd inside, but don’t tell anyone!) they’d also look gorgeous at afternoon tea.

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