A rock cake, also called a rock bun, is a small, hard fruit cake with a rough surface resembling a rock.
Rock cakes originated in Great Britain, where they are a traditional teatime treat, but are now popular in many parts of the world. They were promoted by the Ministry of Food during the Second World Warsince they require fewer eggs and less sugar than ordinary cakes, an important savings in a time of strict rationing. Traditional recipes bulked them with oatmeal, which was more readily available than white flour.
Usually, flour and butter are first mixed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs; then the other ingredients are added to create a stiff dough, which is dropped from a spoon to a baking tray or roughly formed with two forks. The cakes (optionally sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon) are baked for about 15 minutes at 200 °C. retaining an uneven form and contour.
Variations include the Jamaican rock bun, which is similar but can include grated coconut, and the traditional British rock cake, which contains oatmeal.