These Rock Cakes are much better than Hagrid's which are similar in texture to actual rocks. Harry Potter would definitely approve of these raisin-filled drop biscuits.
(This recipe was originally published in August 2017, but was updated with new photos and content in 2020).
Harry Potter's birthday is July 31st. Every year I like to plan a menu inspired by the books in honor of the occasion. There's usually a savory and sweet component (dinner and dessert).
While Hagrid's rock cakes are reminiscent of actual rocks, and are quite unpalatable, these are lovely in comparison. Traditional British rock cakes or rock buns are essentially free-form scones. These are somewhat cinnamony, and studded with a plethora of plump raisins.
This recipe is extremely simple and straight-forward. It reminds me a bit of American drop biscuits in the sense that it's a scone/biscuit type of dough, but it's dropped by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
This saves you from having to pat out the dough and cut it into shapes for baking. It also yields a rustic look (not unlike rocks).
How to make them
In a large mixing bowl combine all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon and kosher salt. Add cold cubed butter (PHOTO 1). Cut the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until crumbly (PHOTO 2).
Make a well in the center and add an egg beaten with milk (PHOTO 3). Combine to form a stiff dough (PHOTO 4). Fold in the raisins (PHOTO 5). Mix until just combined into a cohesive mass, but don't over-mix (PHOTO 6).
Use a large spoon to scoop mounds of dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You should yield 12 roughly equal-sized blobs.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the bottoms and edges are golden. Cool before serving.
Much like scones or American biscuits, the texture of these cakes is best the day they are made, however you can still enjoy them for a few days afterward (and they will not taste like rocks).
Other British recipes to make for a Harry Potter party
- Chicken and Mushroom Pies
- Individual Beef and Mushroom Pies
- Bangers and Mash
- Individual Cottage Pies
- Cherry Bakewell Birthday Cake
- British Afternoon Tea Scones
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
Whether you are celebrating dear Harry's fictional birth, or simply seeking a delicate and easy-to-make sweet treat, these rock cakes blow Hagrid's out of the water. Chances are you already have all of these ingredients in your pantry, so grab a mixing bowl and get cracking!
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture reaches the consistency of wet sand.
- Beat the egg together with the milk and pour it into the flour-butter mixture. Fold it together using a spatula to form a stiff dough (you can get in there with your hands too). Fold in the raisins. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet, dividing the dough evenly into 12 mounds.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bottoms are golden, rotating the pan midway through baking. Cool before serving.
- For rock-hard rock cakes like Hagrid’s, just bake them for too long and eat them a week later at your own risk!
- These are best the day they are made (crusty edges, soft interior), but still very good for several days afterward.
- This recipe uses kosher salt (aka cooking salt, kitchen salt, coarse salt outside of the US). If you are using table salt, definitely scale down the salt as that is a saltier type of salt! The type of salt will make a big difference in how salty your food tastes, so keep that in mind.
- Adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*