Mary Berry Rock Cakes

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With a legacy that spans cookbooks and television screens, Mary Berry rock cakes have emerged as a treat synonymous with British baking charm. These small, dome-shaped delights boast a crumbly texture akin to their namesake and are studded with dried fruits for bursts of sweetness.

Exceedingly simple to bake, they are a staple for afternoon tea and serve as a delightful homemade snack that pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea.

mary berry rock cakes
Mary Berry Rock Cakes

The ingredients are humble, typically including flour, sugar, butter, dried fruits such as currants or raisins, and often a hint of spice, bringing warmth and depth to the palette.

The dough for these rock cakes doesn’t require the finesse of other pastries, which makes it ideal for novice bakers or as a culinary adventure for children.

Their rugged appearance, quite contrasting the delicate nature of many tea-time confections, adds to the rock cake’s vintage appeal. The nostalgic value is deepened by their long-standing place within British food heritage, often being one of the first recipes a young baker might learn. Despite their simplicity, rock cakes remain a beloved dessert, retaining their place in the pantheon of British baked goods through generations.

Why You Will Love Mary Berry Rock Cakes Recipe

One shall find the rock cake an enduring British classic, particularly delightful for its sweetness and buttery, crumbly texture.

Traditionally served with tea or coffee, they present a splendid treat for a snack or with a cup of tea.

Firstly, the simplicity of making these treats is matched only by their delicious taste. Even those with little experience in baking can prepare rock cakes with ease.

The ingredients required are often staples in one’s pantry, making them a convenient choice for a last-minute treat.

Additionally, the crumbly texture that rock cakes are known for, combined with the rich notes of butter, creates mouthwatering morsels that are hard to resist.

Imagine bitting into the golden-brown exterior to find a soft and pleasantly sweet interior – an experience that evokes nostalgia and comfort with every bite.

Moreover, they are highly adaptable to one’s taste. You may incorporate various dried fruits, nuts, or spices to personalise each batch.

Such versatility allows for a new experience with each iteration, ensuring that the palate never tires.

Lastly, the universal appeal of these sweet snacks extends to their role in social gatherings, whether paired with tea in the afternoon or served as a snack for guests.

They are, indeed, woven into the tapestry of British culinary tradition, offering a taste of classic baking at its finest.

How to Make Mary Berry Rock Cakes

This section provides a clear guide for baking Mary Berry Rock Cakes, a traditional tea-time treat. Follow these instructions to create a dessert that is as delightful to look at as it is to eat.

rock cakes
Rock Cakes

Mary Berry Rock Cakes Ingredients

  • Self-raising flour: 200 g
  • Baking powder: 1 tsp
  • Softened butter: 100 g
  • Caster sugar: 75 g
  • Dried fruits: 100 g (such as currants, cranberries, and raisins)
  • Large egg: 1
  • Milk: A few tbsp (as needed)
  • Optional: Demerara sugar for sprinkling
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Mary Berry Rock Cakes Instruments

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Tablespoon
  • Small bowl
  • Wire rack

Step by Step Making Process for Mary Berry Rock Cakes

  1. Preparation: Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C in a fan oven). One should lightly grease the baking tray and line it with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
  2. Mixing Dry Ingredients: Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. The addition of baking powder ensures a slight rise, which complements the crumbly texture.
  3. Incorporating Butter: Add the softened butter. Use fingertips to rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Avoid overworking it to keep the texture light.
  4. Adding Sugar and Fruits: Stir in the sugar and dried fruits. Ensure these ingredients are evenly distributed through the mixture.
  5. Combining Wet Ingredients: In a small bowl, beat the egg with enough milk to create a mixture that is fairly stiff.
  6. Forming the Dough: Add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until a rough dough forms.
  7. Shaping: Dollop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking tray. Space them well apart; they will expand as they bake. Optionally, sprinkle with a little demerara sugar for added crunch and sweetness.
  8. Baking: Place them in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. A golden brown colour is the goal – it heralds the perfect bake.
  9. Cooling: Once baked, let the rock cakes cool slightly on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack. It is important not to rush this step; proper cooling enhances the texture.

These rock cakes are best enjoyed warm, making them a satisfying, fruity, and comforting dessert.

Mary Berry Rock Cakes Recipe Tips

When baking Mary Berry rock cakes, achieving the perfect crumbly texture is essential. To do this, one must cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. A light touch is best here; overworking the dough can lead to denser cakes.

In terms of customisation, rock cakes are quite versatile. One may add a variety of dried fruits, nuts, or even chocolate chips.

To ensure an even distribution of these sweet additions, it’s best to sprinkle them into the mixture as you fold in the dry ingredients.

Here’s a brief guide on how to store these delightful baked goods:

  • Room Temperature
    • Place in an airtight container
    • Store for up to 3 days
  • Freezer
    • Wrap individual cakes in cling film
    • Store in an airtight container or freezer bag
    • Keep for up to 3 months

Finally, reheating these cakes can restore their freshly-baked taste. Briefly warming them in the oven will help maintain that desired crisp exterior. Always monitor the cakes during reheating to avoid overdrying.

Mary Berry Rock Cakes Ingredient Substitute

Making Mary Berry Rock Cakes allows for flexibility when it comes to ingredients, particularly with regards to currants, sugars, and other add-ins. Here are some straightforward substitutions that can be made without compromising flavour or texture.

Currants: They are the traditional choice for rock cakes, but one might opt for other dried fruits if currants are not available or desired.

Both cranberries and blueberries can provide an exciting tang or sweet burst, respectively.

Sugar: Mary Berry’s recipe calls for caster sugar and occasionally demerara sugar for sprinkling on top. If these are out of reach, they can be swapped with alternatives:

For demerara, a type of raw cane sugar, brown sugar is a close match though it’s slightly moister. It brings a similar caramel-like flavour.

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As for caster sugar, fine granulated sugar is nearly identical though it may take a little longer to dissolve.

When altering ingredients, ensure measurements are equivalent to maintain the intended texture and integrity of the rock cakes.

These substitutions serve as a guide for bakers to maintain the quality of the bake while offering room to personalise their creations.

Serving and Reheat

Mary Berry Rock Cakes are best enjoyed freshly baked, with a rough, golden exterior offering a delightful texture. They are usually served at room temperature and make an excellent accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.

For a morning treat, they are a fine choice for breakfast, providing a delectable start to the day. Alternatively, they may be enjoyed as a snack at any time.

When it comes to reheating, Rock Cakes can be warmed to restore some of their original texture.

Place them in a preheated oven at 150°C for about 5 minutes. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make the cakes tough.


  • Tea: A traditional pairing, especially during afternoon tea.
  • Coffee: A robust coffee complements the sweet and fruity notes.
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside a Rock Cake transforms it into a dessert.

For optimal enjoyment, consume them within a day or two. Otherwise, store them in an airtight container to maintain their freshness.

Rock Cakes can also be frozen and defrosted at room temperature when ready to serve.

How to Store Mary Berry Rock Cakes

Storing Mary Berry rock cakes correctly ensures they maintain their delightful texture and taste. Here’s a guide for keeping them fresh:

Short-Term Storage:

Immediately after cooling, place the rock cakes in an airtight container. Insert a sheet of kitchen paper at the bottom to absorb any excess moisture. They can stay fresh like this at room temperature for up to three days.

  • Day 1 to 3: Room temperature in an airtight container with kitchen paper.

Long-Term Storage:

For longer storage, freezing is an effective option. Wrap each cake individually in cling film or place them in a single layer inside a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. They can be frozen for up to three months.

  1. Wrap cakes individually in cling film.
  2. Place in a single layer inside a freezer bag.
  3. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  4. Label the bag with the current date.
  5. Freeze for up to three months.

When one wishes to enjoy the rock cakes, defrost them at room temperature. For a fresh-baked sensation, a brief warming in the oven is recommended.

Whether stored at room temperature or frozen, retaining the cakes quality hinges on keeping them away from moisture and air exposure.

Mary Berry Rock Cakes Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: Mary Berry Rock Cakes typically contain about 200-250 calories per serving.
  • Protein: Each rock cake offers roughly 3-4 grams of protein. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Fat: These treats are expected to have about 10-15 grams of fat. A portion of this is likely saturated fat due to the butter content.
  • Carbohydrates: On average, one rock cake has about 30 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Sugars: Sugar content will vary, but they can contain around 10-20 grams. Most of this comes from added sugars and dried fruit.
  • Fibre: The cakes provide a modest amount of dietary fibre, typically around 1-2 grams per cake due to the flour and dried fruits.
  • Sodium: A rock cake has a low sodium content, generally under 100 milligrams.
  • Saturated Fat: The use of butter in the recipe contributes to the saturated fat content, which may average around 5-7 grams per serving.
mary berry rock cakes

Mary Berry Rock Cakes

Enjoy the classic British charm of Mary Berry Rock Cakes, featuring a crumbly texture and sweet dried fruits. Perfect for tea time or as a snack!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine british
Servings 4
Calories 220 kcal


  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Tablespoon
  • Small bowl
  • wire rack


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C in a fan oven) and lightly grease the baking tray. Line with parchment paper.
  • Sieve flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub in the softened butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in caster sugar and dried fruits.
  • Beat the egg in a small bowl and add enough milk to create a fairly stiff mixture.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients to form a rough dough.
  • Dollop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared tray, spacing them apart. Optionally, sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.


Nutrition Facts for 1 Serving:

  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Fibre: 1g
  • Sodium: 90mg
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
Keyword Mary Berry Rock Cakes, Rock Cakes

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you will find answers to common queries about making Mary Berry rock cakes, ensuring your baked treats are both delicious and authentic.

What are the key ingredients for a traditional rock cake?

Traditional rock cakes feature plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder, and unsalted butter. They also include dried fruit, such as currants or sultanas, and an egg to bind the mixture together.

How can I ensure my rock cakes are moist and not overly dry?

To keep rock cakes moist, do not over-mix the dough. Also, make sure they are not left in the oven for too long. The right balance of wet to dry ingredients is crucial.

Can you provide tips for achieving the perfect texture in rock cakes?

For the perfect texture, rock cakes should have a rough surface yet remain crumbly. Lightly rub the butter into the flour and sugar mixture to help achieve this effect. Additionally, a gentle hand when mixing will prevent the dough from becoming tough.

What distinguishes a traditional British rock cake from a scone?

Rock cakes are distinct from scones in their rougher texture and denser crumb. Unlike scones, they are not usually served with cream or jam. Their dough is also drier and does not include leavening agents like cream of tartar.

How long do rock cakes keep fresh once baked?

Rock cakes are best enjoyed fresh, ideally within a day of baking. They can be kept for up to 3 days in an airtight container. For prolonged freshness, avoid storing in a humid environment.

What variations can I add to a basic rock cake recipe for added flavour?

One can add various dried fruits, such as chopped apricots or cranberries, to the basic recipe. Spices like cinnamon or nutmeg may be introduced for extra warmth and complexity.

Citrus zest can also provide a refreshing note.


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Meet Daisy, the food-loving writer from London who's crazy about cooking! With a degree in journalism and a huge appetite for all things tasty, Daisy brings you yummy recipes inspired by British cuisine and culture. She loves exploring the flavors of famous chefs from the UK and beyond, putting her own spin on their delicious dishes. From classic British favorites to exciting new creations, Daisy's recipes are sure to make your mouth water! Join Daisy on her culinary adventures as she shares easy-to-follow recipes that celebrate the best of British food. Get ready to cook up a storm and taste the magic of Daisy's kitchen creations!

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