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Better-Than-Hagrid’s Rock Cakes

I had always assumed that when JK Rowling refered to “rock cakes” in her Harry Potter books, she was using an alternate term for scones. I found this to be rather unusual, but not entirely unlikely, so I was satisfied with my explanation. For a while.

I stumbled across a recipe for rock cakes at the Floo-Network and I knew I had to try them. I couldn’t let myself go on believeing that they were scones! Baking and eating were done purely for scientific reasons, you know.

Rock cakes are actually not scones. In fact, they are a bit cookie-like because, though you do cut the butter into the flour, they use minimal additional liquid. Rock cakes are small, round cakes that have a crunchy, sugar coated exterior and the most wonderful, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture you could ever hope to enjoy. If you over cook them, they will turn out rather burnt and rock like since there is little moisture in the dough.

It was easy to cut the butter into the flour and stir in the rest of the ingredients. I don’t really have access to mixed peel, so I omitted that. I decided to use currants rather than raisins, though you could certainly add any type of dried fruit you wish. This is not a recipe where you should worry too much about over mixing; it takes a while for the dough to come together because there is so little liquid. The presence of such a high fat-to-flour ratio will keep the dough from getting tough as you bring it together. They’ll dry out if they bake for too long – probably why Hagrid‘s are inedible – so keep an eye on them and take them out when the tops are a light golden brown.

Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you should definately try these cakes.

Better-Than-Hagrid’s Rock Cakes

adapted from Mrs Weasley’s Rock Cakes at the Floo-Network
2 cups ap flour

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup currants/raisins/sultanas
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and rub in the butter lightly with the fingers until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and currants.
Beat the egg together lightly with the milk and vanilla. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together into a ball.
Shape dough into 2 inch balls, dip the tops in coarse sugar and place on baking sheet. They won’t spread very much, so they can be fairly close together.
Bake for about 13-16 minutes, until tops of cakes are light gold.
Remove to a wire rack to cool, or eat them straight away.

Makes 14-16 cakes

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  • MuggleTiff
    August 11, 2005

    Those sound wonderful. 🙂 A recipe I’ll definitely file away and try sometime…thank you!

    I just wanted to mention that I found your blog yesterday through a series of links, and spent a good 30 minutes reading the archives. I’m not a great cook, but you’ve definitely got some inspiring recipes there, and the photos are all really nice. I’m sure I’ll be trying to make some of these dishes in the near future.

    Anyway, I just thought this morning that I’d peek and see if you’d posted anything new, and lo and behold we got this recipe! The crazy bit? I’m a *huge* Potter fan (have a full costume that I wear to movie releases and other nutty things, hehe) and I was pleasantly surprised to see Hagrid’s name right there. 🙂 Thanks for brightening my day with this fun recipe! 🙂

  • Nic
    August 11, 2005

    Hi Muggle Tiff – I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying my blog and that I could brighten your day with my post. You’ll know why Harry and his friends keep trying to eat Hagrids (because the real thing is great!) when you try these!

  • Cathy
    August 11, 2005

    Hi Nic – gosh these look delicious! They do sort of sound like little scones. Bet they’d be good with some orange rind and dried cranberries!

  • Nic
    August 11, 2005

    Cathy – I was very suprised that they were actually different from scones! They would be good with orange zest… maybe next time….

  • AugustusGloop
    August 11, 2005

    Your photo looks so great I’m almost tempted to eat one. Unfortunately most of the rock cakes I’ve made/eaten tend to taste like rocks. They were probably overcooked though, unlike your beautiful babies!

  • boo_licious
    August 11, 2005

    Nic, my mother used to make rock buns (which look like these rock cakes) when I was a kid. They were pretty popular during the 70s.

  • Joe
    August 11, 2005

    The recipe sounds great! It almost looks like a cross between a scone and a biscotti.

  • the baker
    August 11, 2005

    yummy! it’s been ages since i last baked rock buns. and i don’t think i’ve ever tried hagrid’s rock cakes. yours certainly looks good. i love scones and i’m sure i would love these, though they might be more rock-like. i’ll be sure to try them out sooN!

  • Nic
    August 12, 2005

    AG – These guys can over cook in a short time. They’re worth the few minutes spent watching the oven, though.

    Boo_licious – I think that the buns and cakes are the same thing. Rock buns is definately the more interesting of the two, though. 😉

    Joe – It’s much more crumbly than scones or biscotti. Very unique.

    Baker – I’m sure you’ll fall for them like I did.

  • Niki
    August 23, 2005

    Rock cakes are usually the first thing taught to kids when they start baking bc they’re pretty simple. Unfortuntately, I’ve also never tasted a good rock cake; they’ve always had the texture of floury rocks with cremated sultanas (which I hate). The hot cross buns I made this year looked and tasted like rock cakes…..

  • diva.
    January 3, 2006

    your rock cakes look lovely! thanks for the recipe. i’m gonna try it with dried cranberries so hope it works 😀

  • Jane
    August 11, 2016

    I make this recipe all the time using dried cherries. They’re wonderful

  • Nicola
    November 14, 2016

    Made these today and they turned out absolutely delicious! Added some dried cranberries and strawberries too.
    Mine ended up cooked to perfection at around 13 minutes so any more than that and they may have been a bit too much like Hagrid’s own Rock cakes xD!
    Thank you for the recipe. Will definitely be making these again 🙂

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