Let Them Eat Rock Cakes

Dorothy, who is much more glam than this photo suggests, allowed out to play with Kate Flora and Kaitlyn Dunnett

Dorothy, who is much more glam than this photo suggests, allowed out to play with Kate Flora and Kaitlyn Dunnett

Dorothy Cannell here, hoping you’ll forgive me for not doing a longer post, but the fact is that I’ve got a book due very soon and I’m a bit behind. Indeed, I’m in that place that some of my fellow bloggers here at Maine Crime Writers refer to as “Book Jail.” It’s a self-imposed imprisonment that’s necessary to get the book done on time. Hard on me, since we’re having a lovely summer here in Maine. But our publishers don’t really care if the weather outside is frightful or delightful. They want us to produce. And I’m on track to produce Death at Dovecote Hatch, U.K. pub date Feb. 15.

So, while I’m slaving away here in a dark basement, getting my meals on a tray, I hope you’re going to be cooking up a storm, and making these delicious Rock Cakes.


These cakes are a cousin of sorts to scones and are traditionally English. They are mentioned by Mrs.Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.24.28 PM MacDonald (the cook) in Murder at Mullings as being favorites of the young master of the house. They are especially good accompanied by a cup of tea. I will be posting this recipe and others from the book on Facebook later this year.


3/4th stick of butter

1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tbsp of baking powder

1/2 cup of sugar

2/3 cup of raisins

1 medium egg

1 tbsp of milk

glace’ cherries for decorating

To be baked 15 to 20 minutes, oven 400 F.  Makes 12 rock cakes

Grease two baking sheets, or preferably use parchment paper.

Combine flour and baking powder; and then rub or cut-in butter until you have a crumb-like texture.  Stir in the sugar and raisins with a knife until you have a well-mixed speckled mixture.

Beat the egg with a table spoon (or more) of milk and work into the mixture with a fork until it is rather stiff.  Divide into twelve portions, decorate each with half glace’ cherry, and place them on baking sheet. When lightly brown remove from oven and transfer to a wire tray to cool.

The above is my adaptation of the traditional recipe. My husband Julian loves them hot right out of the oven. I often make them on grey, dreary days to cozy things up.

Happy baking! And wish me luck.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.25.12 PMDorothy





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2 Responses to Let Them Eat Rock Cakes

  1. Monica says:

    Good luck! I’m going to try these rock cakes at the inn.

  2. Barb Ross says:

    Good luck in Book Jail, Dorothy. I just got out July 1, with extra time served for bad behavior. I’m enjoying my summer, but September 1, it’s back to the rockpile.

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