Rock cakes inspired by Pear Tree Cottage

As mentioned previously, we just spent a week in a cottage on a working farm in North Cornwall. We were made to feel at home by Greta (our hostess), her family and all the animals on the farm… meet Tuppence, a particular favourite of ours.


Me, Jarod and Tuppence, early morning (note the puffy eyes) outside Pear Tree Cottage

It’s the small touches that make Pear Tree Cottage an experience over a stay; none more so than the welcome plate of rock cakes, made by Greta. A simple gesture, a simple recipe yet it made us feel at home. They also tasted amazing.

I’ve not made rocks cakes since secondary school – I’m the proud holder of a ‘B’ in Home Economics – and this recipe harks back to that era and follows the baking mantra ‘whatever the amount of flour, you need half the amount each of fat and sugar’. So here you are…

Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’ by Belinda Carlisle 


  • 350g plain flour
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • Big pinch salt
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g dried fruit (for this recipe I used cherries, I wanted a mix but couldn’t find dried pears)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Splash milk (if needed)


  1. Heat your oven to 190C.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together (not the dried fruit just yet).
  3. Add the butter in pieces to the dry mix and rub until the results look like fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add your dried fruit and mix through.
  5. Now you need to add the egg and mix to form a firm dough. It needs elbow grease so dig in. If it’s not coming together, add a splash of milk (really only a small amount).
  6. Once mixed, create 10 – 12 mounds on a greased and lined baking sheet and ‘spike’ with a fork.
  7. Bake for 20 mins – watch carefully as they cook quickly and catch easily
  8. Remove and let cool completely.

A humble and tasty cake deserves a treat, drink with Vin Santo di Montepulciano Crociani from Waitrose.

It’s not cheap, but it tastes great… here’s what they look like.


The finished result… simple, not very elegant looking but tasty (the cakes, not me)

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