You know, when it comes to a classic like a rock cake, I think the less fiddling with the recipe, the better. These are the little cakes I grew up eating, and the only change my Mum ever made to the original recipe from the 1972 edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook (that she still has!), was to omit the ghastly orange peel.
In most bakeries, rock cakes are the size of large…..rocks. I prefer to make them mini sized so I feel less like I’ve eaten an entire loaf of bread after downing one bread roll size number.
This is the big batched version of the classic recipe. To make gluten free, just use your favourite gluten free flour and consider using 3 eggs instead of two (using two is fine, but the resulting bikkie will be quite crumbly.) If you don’t gag at the taste and texture of citrus rind, then adapt the recipe to 1.5 cups of sultanas and 1/2 a cup of peel. Actually, now I think of it, perhaps if the peel was incorporated as lovely, whispy zest, it would be quite delicious? Try it with either lemon or orange and let me know!
(makes around 48 little cakes when measuring dough with teaspoons)
4 cups self raising flour (or GF flour)
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups of sultanas (or, to use a peel/sultana combo, use 1.5 cups sultanas & .5 cup peel)
2 eggs (3 if GF)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup milk.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line 2 biscuit baking trays.
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients to combine.
Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mix resembles bread crumbs (I loathe this task, so bung the lot in the food processor and let it do the work!)
Lightly beat the eggs and stir into the mix.
Slowly add the milk. Reserving some if the mix seems too damp, or adding a splash at a time if too dry (just don’t go overboard or the cakes won’t hold their shape.)
Use a teaspoon as a guide and scoop the mix onto the biscuit sheet, leaving room for the cakes to spread a little.
I tend to sprinkle over a wee bit more sugar, but that’s an optional extra for the sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) among us.
Bake for about 10-20 minutes or until the cakes are slightly golden.
These will keep well in an airtight container and can be frozen.