Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rock Bun Recipe

Have you ever heard of Rock Buns? I hadn't until reading Jane Brocket's blog and books. (Her wonderful blog is at Yarmstorm Press.)
Rock Buns are a traditional English tea cake filled with dried fruit and a craggy lumpy exterior. Something akin to a scone, but chock full of dried fruit with lemon and nutmeg. Even though the name is a little off putting, these little cakes are anything like rocks! And they are my new favorite treat! 

Rock Buns
from Vintage Cakes by Jane Brocket

                         scant 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                         2 teaspoons baking powder
                         1/2 teaspoon salt
                         a good grating of fresh nutmeg
                         generous 3/4 cup light brown sugar
                         3 1/2 - 5 1/2 ounces undyed candied cherries
                         3/4 cup raisins
                         scant 1/2 cup golden raisins or 9 - 10 1/2 ounces mixed dried fruit 
                              (according to taste and what's in the cupboard)
                         finely grated zest of 1 lemon
                         3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
                         1 large egg
                         1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the dried fruit. (If you are using candied cherries, rinse, dry and chop. I just used dried cherries.) Mix raisins, cherries and fruit in a small bowl with the lemon zest. (I used a bag of mixed fruit I had in the cupboard; cherries, blueberries and cranberries; along with the raisins.)

In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the sugar and stir a couple of times. 

Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your finger to rub the flour and butter together until the mix resembles find sand with no lumps of butter remaining. Stir in the dried fruit.

Crack the egg into a small bowl or cup, add a tablespoon of milk and mix with a fork until combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour egg mixture in and mix with a fork. Mix quickly and lightly until the ingredients come together in a slightly sticky dough. Do not overwork. If it is still on the dry and crumbly side add more milk very sparingly. Be careful not to make too wet. 

Using your hands or 2 forks, pile the mixture into 12 piles on the prepared sheet. (A parchment lined baking sheet was recommended, but I just used a greased pan and it worked fine.)  Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes until the buns are golden brown, with the tiniest hint of doughiness in the center. They will continue to cook when you have taken them out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and let the buns cool (although they are delicious warm - not hot- with a a glass of milk or a cup of tea!)

I love all the dried fruit in these! And the hint of lemon accented it nicely. (I used a dash of lemon extract instead of the zest. No fresh lemons in the house!)

Ready for Tea?


  1. Yummy! Thanks for sharing. I have some lemon zest in the freezer that I can use up.

    1. What a great idea to keep lemon zest in the freezer! I rarely keep fresh lemons in the house, so that would be the perfect solution. Thanks for stopping and sharing!

  2. Dear Heide,
    What a delicious recipe, I can guarantee my family is going to love it when I make it, yummy! Thanks for sharing!


  3. They look delicious and I can wait to try them! BTW, I read (on your recommendation) Jane Brockett's other book but plan to get more. Very interesting.

  4. These look a lot like scones to me. And I'll take mine with coffee, thanks. LOL I need to whip of a batch, maybe this very day, now that fall is leaving us and winter setting in soon.