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How to make delicious Air Fryer Rock Cakes. If you love scones and you want to try something different, then you will love old fashioned rock cakes cooked in the air fryer.

Or if you love Harry Potter then you can rest assured that these rock buns will not be burnt like the movies and instead you will want to go back for a second helping!

This rock cakes recipe was originally shared back in 2018 and updating with new photos and better tips and tricks for making the best rock cakes.

air fryer rock cakes recipe
Air Fryer Rock Cakes Recipe
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Rock Cakes

Sorry to upset my eldest son (who is a HUGE Harry Potter fan) I have never really taken to the Harry Potter craze. I have watched the first film and loved it, but never enjoyed any after that.

So, when I was talking to Kyle about my greatest love for rock cakes, he mentioned that they were a big part of the Harry Potter films but they were burnt and inedible so mine better be good!

For me though, rock cakes were a food of childhood. Something my grandma would make every single time she did some baking. They were delicious and reminded me of a split between cake texture and scones and I always had them with some butter and some jam.

Plus, because of their association with rations in WW2 they are also very cheap to make and are great for picnics, parties etc.

Baking With Grandma Kitty

This week on Recipe This is dedicated to what recipes my grandma taught me when I was young.

It would have been her birthday this week and I want to celebrate the amazing old school classic recipes she taught me, that still today feel like they should be cooked in the air fryer.

Her nickname was Kitty to many, and she loved the classic bero little cookbooks that you can still buy today. (Here is one of them for sale)

We also have many readers over 80 at Recipe This that love old school baking, and this is dedicated to anyone that would love to bake in the air fryer with classic recipes that never go out of fashion.

You can follow the full series below:

Are You New To The Air Fryer?

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Grandma’s Rock Cake Recipe

Like I mentioned, growing up it was my grandma that made the rock cakes. She would use the washing up bowl (nicely cleaned out of course) as her giant mixing bowl and make a HUGE batch of rock cakes.

I later learnt that her AMAZING rock cakes were adapted from the Bero rock buns and its my adaption of these to the air fryer, that we are using today.

So, thanks Grandma for inspiring my love for rock cakes.

What Is A Rock Bun?

A rock bun, also known as rock cakes, is a delicious afternoon snack that became fashionable during the rationing era in the 1940s and 1950s.

It is similar to a scone and has similar ingredients to fruit scones but is more like a thick cake batter when you add the rock buns to the air fryer ready for cooking.

But because of the way you just spoon in the batter into the air fryer they are shaped like rocks rather than being perfectly smooth like a scone.

What’s The Difference Between Scones & Rock Cakes?

Scones and rock cakes are very similar. The list of ingredients for rock cakes and for scones are very similar, yet they look somewhat different.

For example, scones are the perfect shape and rock buns are rough around the edges like rock.

The big difference you will find in rock cake ingredients, is that they have double the butter to scones. This makes them even more yummy and gives a rich taste.

Why Are My Rock Cakes So Dry?

This usually happens with rock cakes if you have not added enough butter to the batter, have used low fat spread, or you have cooked your rock cakes for too long.

That is why we recommend making this rock cake recipe with the air fryer because you can control the time and temp so much better and don’t need to waste electric on a preheat.

Would you like easy & amazing air fryer recipes from air fryer experts? Click here and join the Recipe This Newsletter. We will then send you the BEST air fryer beginner recipes direct to your email inbox along with other useful air fryer resources.

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Rock Cake Ingredients

Rock Cake Ingredients

Flour – I recommend using a strong quality flour like Bero and you will need self raising flour for making rock cakes.

Butter – We used M&S unsalted butter, but you can swap this for margarine if you prefer as it can make the rock bun recipe much cheaper to make.

Sugar – Then for sugar we used caster sugar. You don’t need a lot in rock cakes compared to other sweet baking recipes.  

Egg – After the flour, sugar, and butter have been added to your rock bun mix you will need some egg.

Currants – Then you can use a mix of dates, raisins etc or whatever you prefer. We used some raisins that were spare in our cupboard. Plus, you will also want some mixed peel to make your rock cakes more traditional.   

Milk – You don’t need a lot of milk just enough to bind together your rock cake mix and to create a batter that is similar to a thick cake batter.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this rock cake recipe it has just been our Cosori air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How Do You Make Rock Cakes?

air fryer rock cakes step by step
  • Rub. Start by loading into a bowl your flour and sugar and then mixing the fat into the flour and sugar, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add. Next add in raisins, mixed peel and egg and mix well, then add enough milk to make a wet dough.   
  • Line. As this is a sticky batter, add a layer of foil to your air fryer basket ready for cooking your rock cakes on.
  • Spoon. Use a spoon to add two heaped tablespoons of rock cake mix to the foil in the air fryer  and do this until you have four blobs ready to be air fried.
  • Cook. Air fry your rock cakes for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
  • Serve. When the air fryer beeps put to one side ready for serving and work in batches until you have cooked all your rock cakes.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is making rock cakes in air fryer and how you can be doing the same.

Rock Cakes With Jam

Old fashioned rock cakes wouldn’t be the same without jam. Once you have followed our recipe for rock cakes, I recommend that you slice them in half and load them up with a little butter and some strawberry jam. They will then make a fantastic brunch for lazy weekends.

Listen To Air fryer Rock Cakes

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More Old Fashioned Baking In The Air Fryer

I love old school baking. It feels like it never goes out of fashion. I’m aged 40 and the first thing I learnt at school was how to cook scones and now I love air fryer scones.

The same can be said for the following timeless baking recipes that are perfect for the air fryer:

air fryer rock cakes

Your rock cakes recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

Though before you do, don’t forget to subscribe, and grab your FREE VIP Pass to Recipe This. You will get access to our latest recipes first, you will be able to request recipes, you will have access to free mini courses, free air fryer ebooks and useful air fryer cook time charts and so much more.

5 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Rock Cakes

How to make delicious Air Fryer Rock Cakes. If you love scones and you want to try something different, then you will love old fashioned rock cakes cooked in the air fryer.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 7
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Kitchen Gadgets


  • Load into a bowl the flour and the sugar and then add in the butter chopped into chunks.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Mix the fat into the flour and sugar until you have a bowl of coarse breadcrumbs.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Then add in the egg and currants and the peel and mix well.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Next add enough milk to make a wet dough. Adding a little milk at a time until you have a dough that is like overly sticky scone mix or like a really thick cake batter.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Line your air fryer with foil as the rock buns are sticky as you add the mixture into the air fryer.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Then use a tablespoon to add 2 heaped tablespoons of mix onto the foil, spreading it out so that four blobs of rock cake mix will fit in the air fryer basket.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?
  • Then air fry for 8 minutes at 180c/360f doing it in batches if needed. Then serve with butter and jam.
    How Do You Make Rock Cakes?


Milk. I recommend having 60ml/4tbsp of milk for helping bind together your rock buns recipe. Then adding a little at a time. You can always add extra but you can’t take it away.
Currants. I used just 100g of currants and 30g of mixed peel, you can of course double this if you like a lot of them in your dough.
Thanks for reading our best recipe for rock cakes on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious baking recipes in the air fryer, then do check out our air fryer chocolate chip cookies recipe next.


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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air fryer rock cakes @ recipethis

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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hi, I am new to air frying and love to cook but I’m struggling getting things just right in my new Ninja Foodi Flexdrawer. This morning I made a batch of rock cakes and I am very disappointed. Not with your recipe but with the way they cooked. They were a lovely colour on top but their bottoms were still white. I cooked them on the bake setting on parchment at the very bottom of the drawer. I had mixed up one and half times your recipe so did the second batch in a silicon Victoria sandwich size. I put the crisper tray back in for that batch and the bottoms were still the same. Any ideas on where I am going wrong will be appreciated. Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

    1. Hi Maureen,

      We would use the air fry setting for nearly everything and only use the bake setting for very delicate foods like boiled eggs, melting butter, melting chocolate or defrosting food where you do not want it cooked, then i would not be cooking them in the bottom as the tops would just cook, with regards to the crisp plate and putting them on there has the air got enough room to circulate nothing is getting blocked at all, if you are having the same problem with air fry setting can you place them straight onto the crisp plate then that would work 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I was new to air frying and wanted to try baking. I usually make scones in the oven but thought I’d give these a try. Wow, they’re fantastic, so quick and easy, I make them quite often now and everyone loves them.

  3. 5 stars
    My family loves a rock bun. First time air fryer user here and tried these and they were lovely, i changed the recipe slightly but not much and followed your instructions and everyone loved them, so many thanks and i am going to be trying more of your recipes.