“The rock cakes were shapeless lumps with raisins that almost broke their teeth…”
-Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
Looking for an original source for rock cakes online, also known as rock buns, really stumped me. While online recipes alluded to rock cakes being either from Victorian times or being highly recommended during WWII due to the recipe’s lower use of eggs and sugar in the recipe, I couldn’t for the life of me find an original source for the recipe. After turning offline to some vintage cookbooks, I found a version in The Constance Spry Cookery Book (1956).
According to Constance Spry, a ‘good rock bun’ has a crumbly quality, and to achieve this, egg should be the only liquid used. Additionally, when more liquid is required, cream should be used. However as the rock cake has become ‘modernised’, say, to become more economical during war times, milk is often used.