Rock Cakes for Harry Potter

June 15, 2020 (Last Updated: July 29, 2020)
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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.

Antique plate topped with rock cakes, Harry Potter DVDs are arranged next to it

(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.

close up of baked British rock buns on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

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).

an antique plate piled high with British rock cakes

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 (STEP 1). Cut the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until crumbly (STEP 2).

Make a well in the center and add an egg beaten with milk (STEP 3). Combine to form a stiff dough (STEP 4). Fold in the raisins (STEP 5). Mix until just combined into a cohesive mass, but don’t over-mix (STEP 6).

step by step photos of how to make dough for British rock buns

Use a large spoon to scoop mounds of dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You should yield 12 roughly equal-sized blobs.

Dough for rock cakes scooped out into 12 mounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

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).

A baking sheet of 12 baked rock cakes with raisins

Other British recipes to make for a Harry Potter party

close up of a raisin filled rock cake broken in half to show the inside

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!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave me a comment below. Thanks!

an antique plate piled high with British rock cakes

Rock Cakes

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.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Servings 12 cakes
Calories 281 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 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.

Notes & Nutrition

  • 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
Servings 12.0 * calories 281 * Total Fat 8 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 36 mg * Sodium 73 mg * Potassium 268 mg * Total Carbohydrate 50 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 28 g * Protein 4 g
*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.*

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a pile of homemade raisin-filled rock cakes on an antique plate

1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 22, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I’ve made it so many times, and they’re so good. I love the rustic feel to them – they actually look like rocks!

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