If your kids are fans of Harry Potter, chances are they’ll recognize one of his favorite tea time treats: the rock cake. They’re named for their big craggy exterior, and not for their texture. Inside, they’re a tender fruit scone popular throughout the British Isles.
And here’s the best part: They’re so easy, anyone can make them. Children love to make them too, and from start to finish they can be made in half an hour flat—the perfect late afternoon snack or Sunday breakfast that captures the spirit of Irish cookery. Serve them while they’re warm, slathered with butter and jam and accompanied with a hearty tea.
I scanned several recipes and decided on one I found in David Bowers’ Real Irish Food.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 stick butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups golden raisins
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Course sugar for sprinkling
Start by heating your oven to 425 degrees. Kids can help by greasing a large rimless baking sheet. Then, in a large bowl add the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter. (I recommend using a special pastry cutter – and that’s another good task for your helper).
Once the dough resembles crumbs, stir in the raisins. Beat the egg with the buttermilk (I don’t often have buttermilk on hand, so I create my own using a half cup of half and half, half a cup of skim milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice.). Stir in the mixture with the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.
Then drop 12 healthy size scones on the baking sheet and sprinkle the sugar on (another kid task). Bake for 15 minutes, monitoring closely, until golden brown.
A few parting thoughts: One reason this is a great for kids is they truly get to roll up their sleeves and play in the flour, while cutting in the butter. And because you don’t have to pat them out, they’re ready to go in a flash – only minutes later ready to be served. Try replacing the raisins with currants or glace cherries!