Rock cakes are a traditional British bake and they are one of the easiest to make. These sultana and prune rock cakes are a variation of the classic bake, but you can use whatever dried fruit you like. You’ll also find tips on how to make fresh apple rock cakes.
Craggy lumps of stiff cake dough are mounded onto a baking tray and bunged in the oven. The result are these scrumptious little morsels that look a bit like rocks. If you’ve never had them before, don’t worry, they are not rock-like in texture. Although they’re firm on the outside, they are in fact soft and crumbly on the inside. And utterly delicious too.
These sultana and prune rock cakes are a variation of the classic bake, but you can use whatever dried fruit you like. You’ll also find tips on how to make fresh apple rock cakes.
Queen of Puddings
My mother loves her puddings. When I was growing up, crumbles, steamed puddings and custards were nothing out of the ordinary. She was in fact a veritable Queen of Puddings.
She didn’t really go in for cakes though. I always had a birthday cake. And there was Christmas cake of course, but with one notable exception, there was little else. The exception was rock cakes. She always added a mixture of currants, mixed peel and dates to hers and I used to love them.
Sultana and Prune Rock Cakes
Following in my mother’s footsteps, I’ve been making rock cakes ever since I first started baking. My basic recipe is exactly the same as the one my mother used to use, but I tend to add different fruit to ring the changes. Sometimes I even add bits of chocolate. Apple rock cakes are one of my favourites, but this time I went for sultana and prune rock cakes.
As I’ve already mentioned, these cakes are both simple and quick to make. It’s just a case of rubbing butter into the dry ingredients, stirring in the sugar and fruit, then adding the wet ingredients.
Rather than use plain milk, try using sour milk instead. If you don’t have any sour milk, you can make an easy cheat’s version. Head over to my recipe for Cornish hevva cake to find out how. Or you can use kefir. I often have more kefir than I know what to do with and it works brilliantly in baking. So that’s what I used to make these prune rock cakes.
Another plus point to these near traditional British bakes is that they keep really well. You can store them in a sealed container for up to a week and they still taste good.
Surprisingly, for such humble cakes, my rock cakes get rave reviews from all who try them.
Nutritional Benefits of Prunes
Prunes are incredibly good for you and no, I don’s just mean they help to keep you regular. They contain a significant amount of boron and potassium, which helps to stabilise and possibly even build bone density.
This makes prunes super helpful to post-menopausal women and people like me, who have osteoarthritis in the family. Apparently astronauts are encouraged to take 5 a day when they’re in space to keep their bones strong. Prunes also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they’re doubly good for those with arthritis.
On top of their high fibre content and bone strengthening abilities, prunes also contain calcium and iron, making them particularly good for vegans. Having said all that, beware. Please don’t go overboard as too many consumed in one sitting can be positively harmful. The recommendation is to take 5-6 a day.
Other Prune Recipes You Might Like
- Black chickpea & red quinoa burgers with prunes
- Prune porridge topped with toasted walnuts
- Spiced prune chocolate pots with Amaretto
- Spicy chocolate & prune gingerbread
Apple Rock Cakes
When apples are in season, do try and bake some apple rock cakes. They are really good. Follow the recipe for prune rock cakes, but use fresh apple instead of prunes and replace the mixed spice with one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Peel, core and finely chop one cooking apple and stir this into the dry ingredients before adding the wet ones.
These have become such a favourite with one particular friend that she requests them whenever the opportunity arises. I first took a plate of them to her when she ran the local independent bookshop in Liskeard. It’s a marvellous place which somehow manages to keep going whilst many shops are closing around it. The staff always give excellent service and are friendly and knowledgeable. It may be small, but CT hasn’t found a book yet that they haven’t been able to order for him and he orders some rather obscure items.
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these sultana and prune rock cakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Prune Rock Cakes. PIN IT.
Prune Rock Cakes – The Recipe
Sultana and Prune Rock Cakes
- 8 oz (250g) wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 4 oz (125g) unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 2 ½ oz (75g) demerara sugar
- 2 oz (60g) sultanas, raisins or currants
- 2 oz (60g) dried prunes chopped
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tbsp sour milk or kefir
- First set the oven to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
- In a large mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour, baking powder and mixed spice with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and mixed fruit.
- Make a well in the centre and add the egg and 2 tbsp of milk. Stir with a flat bladed knife until the mixture comes together into a ball of sticky dough. Add more milk as necessary. The dough needs to be stiff enough to hold it's shape, but not so dry that you can knead it.
- Spoon 12 craggy mounds onto a baking sheet, spacing a little apart. They will spread a little, but not hugely if you're mixture isn't too wet.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cakes are risen and golden, but not too dark. Set onto a wire rack to cool.
I’m sharing my sultana and prune rock cakes with Jo’s Kitchen Larder for #BakingCrumbs, with JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake, with Mummy Mishaps for #BakeOfTheWeek and Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.