Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chocolate Chips Rock Buns

28 November 2007

I made my first rock buns during the Home economics class when I was in lower secondary. I remembered we were taught to make rock buns to demonstrate the rub-in method. We also had to make rock buns as a class test too. However, I hardly remember its taste now and I have thrown away the recipe of course. I have tried to search the recipe in the new home economics books but I can't find it. So I search the internet for a few recipes and modify here and there and this is how I make it.

Recipe for Rock Buns (makes 14)

200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar (I reduce to 75g)
Handful of chocolate chips (you can add sultanas/raisins instead)
1 small egg
1-2 tbsp milk

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter lightly with the fingers until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.
2. Whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon milk together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the egg/milk mixture in. Stir until the dough comes together into a ball.
3. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper. Scoop a tablespoon of the dough and push it onto the tray with another spoon.
4. Bake at 190C for 15 minutes until the top is light golden brown. Leave to cool.

More tips:
1. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a better taste.
2. Use moist dried fruit like sultanas or raisins if you prefer a more fruity rock bun.
3. If the mixture is too dry to make into a ball because the eggs were smaller than needed, moisten the mix with a little more milk.
4. They will dry out if they bake for too long and become very hard. So do not overbake them.

These rock buns are quite hard and crunchy and my house is filled with nice buttery fragrance. And they are easy to make too without a lot of washing up after baking.

Don't know how to classify it so I will place this under cookies since they taste more like cookies to me.


  1. I have never heard of rock buns but I can certainly tell these look wonderful!

  2. Hi SSB
    Thanks for the rock bun recipe! I'm not the only person searching for it. Anyway, I remember my teacher emphasising that butter for rub-in method has to be really hard so that the butter won't melt in our hands :P But thanks for the recipe anyway, I will def try soon.

  3. Hi, I remembered I made rock buns during Home Econs classes too! That was so long ago, and like you I can't remember how they tasted like? However, I do remember they were really rock hard! must have overbaked them, lolz :)

  4. Thanks Patricia! Sometimes rock buns are also called rock cakes. Here's another recipe from bakingbites:

    Hi adeline, oh yes, no wonder the butter stick to my hands. Thanks for the reminder. Hope u will try it soon!

    Hi HHB, didn't know that so many of us have made them during our home econs class. Hehe. :) Last time our teacher would help us to check the oven, so we didn't have to worry about overbaking at all!

  5. I remember rock buns as well! They're still teaching rock buns for Home Ec after all these years, huh? Hehe :p And like HHB, I've forgotten their texture too. But I do remember not liking all the raisins/sultanas in them. Glad you did a chocolate chip version :) Sounds great!

  6. Hi ovenhaven, I don't like to eat raisins/sultanas, that's why I added the chocolate chips. :p

  7. woah these look good :D
    i've never tried them before though.

  8. Thanks sweet-tooth, u can try it out some day. :)

  9. does it taste like scones? i've never heard of rock buns before too.. but that certainly reminds me of popeyes' buttermilk biscuit!

  10. I find they taste like choc chips cookies. More to the hard and crunchy side. Haha. :)

  11. Hey =)

    They defenitely still bake these in Home Economics - I'm 13, and they made me bake the same rock cake recipe over 3 times! Not that i'm complaining, mind ;)

    They tasted.. um. squidgy? And sort of crumbly too. I can't really remember either to be honest! [but then again, i do have the memory of a teaspoon :p]

    I really like your blogs, you look like a great cook :D

  12. Hi Emily, oh... the rock cake recipe is still taught in home economics class. I remembered I made it a few times too cos they made it as a test!

    I'm not a great cook really. All my bakes are experimental. Everything is trial and error. I'm sure you can do it too. Quite a number of bakers are also as young as u. You want to start baking? :)

  13. purple attic9 June 2008 15:22


    Thanks for the rock bun receipe. yup i did that when i was in secondary one in 1980! that was donkey years ago. now i want to make for my kids, so glad i found your receipe. i'll try to do it this weekend :)

  14. Hi purple attic, there are many versions of rock buns. I hope you and your kids like this recipe. Let me know ok. :)

  15. purple attic17 June 2008 14:51

    Hi SSB

    I have tried out the receipe and made my children two big containers of rock buns :) They loved it :) Thanks :)

  16. Hi purple attic, I'm so happy to hear this. My nephew love it too. :)

  17. i love to cook10 August 2008 21:05

    well i am only year 7 my self well going into year 8 in spetember and i have just done rock buns in my economics group and yes my teacher taught me the rub in method and i hated it is there any other way you could realli do it onstead of having to put your hands in~? thankyou

  18. Hi I love to cook, most of the rock buns recipes use the rub in method.

    Maybe you can try this method using a whisk.
    1. Cream butter and sugar.
    2. Add egg and milk gradually.
    3. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
    4. Add nuts/fruits/extra ingredients.
    5. Mix everything well. If too stiff, add a little milk. But the dough should be stiff enough to hold its shape.

    I hope it tastes good too. :)

  19. wow! i never thought i will able to get this recipe again... yes i remember baking rock buns like 20 over years ago in Sec 3 and somehow still remember the taste. I'm going to make it now. Thanks.

  20. Hi muffin, hope you will like it and will bring back some of your good memories. ;)

  21. i just about remember my mum making these when i was really young and they were amazing, so defiantly gonna have to make these now i found the recipe. thankyou

  22. Hi, now you can make some for your mum. Hope you like this recipe. :)

  23. i've baked my own rock cakes but the look of them leaves a lot to be desired, they normally turn out quite flat. wondering if you could give me some tips on how you got the shape of your cakes. thanks

  24. Hi, I did some search from the internet and found some reasons why cookies spread out too much and become flat.

    1. Baking temperature may be too low.

    2. Too much sugar, liquid, fat, or leavening will cause cookies to spread (measure your ingredients carefully).

    3. Do not over-soften the butter before making the dough (I suggest using cold butter for rub-in method).

    4. Try using butter, margarine or a vegetable oil spread containing at least 65% fat. If a lowfat or nonfat spread with 60% or less fat is used, cookies may spread.

    5. Greasing the cookie sheet when it isn't necessary (esp if you are using nonstick cookie sheets).

    6. Cookie sheet is too warm (allow them to cool between batches).

    7. If the cookes still spread, try refrigerating the cookie dough until well chilled (one to two hours) before forming and baking the cookies. If the dough is still too soft, stir in 1 to 2-tablespoons of flour.

    Hope it helps. :)

  25. This is also in one of my lower sec sch home econs baking lesson... haha... come across your blog while searching high low for rock bun recipe... i must try it again... thanks for the recipe!

  26. Hi sushi, hope u like this recipe and enjoy baking!

  27. I baked my rock buns earlier but the ingredients was different than yours. I was wondering if mine tastes ok. The ingredients are: sultanas, raisins, margarine, moist brown sugar, self-raising flour& egg. I found these following ingredients on the net.
    Ohyes, i was also wondering if rock buns were okay for this question: "You have just learnt to make buns using the rubbing-in method. Use your new found skill to prepare some healthy buns for your family to enjoy at tea-time this week end." This question is for my home economics practical. I need advice. Thank you. Takecare. :D

  28. Hi Teddybear. It will be alright to use the ingredients. I just made a twist by adding choc chips cos I really prefer choc to raisins. Just make sure that you do not overbake them or else they will turn rock hard. I hope yours turn out good.

    As for your home economics practical question, I think rock buns do sound like the answer to this question. I hope nowadays home econs doesn't teach anything more complicated than rock buns. School days were too far away from me. I hope I'm leading you the right way. Good luck! :)

  29. Hi, really overjoyed and thankful to find this recipe yesterday. Similarly, I recalled making these rock buns during home econs class. Tried baking it today. I substituted Chocolate chips with raisin and dried cranberries. Also added shredded cheese. They were great tasting. I was worried that they did not turn out well as I used a toaster to bake them. The base of the buns were a bit charred for my 1st batch as i baked for around 5 mins. My 2nd and last batches were well done when I reduced the baking time to 3.5 mins. Thanks again for the recipe.

  30. Hi Khim, thanks for the wonderful feedback! I'm glad that you like this recipe. Brings back the good memories right? I remember I prefer the baking/cooking than the sewing part. :)

  31. Hi SSB,
    Definitely brings back those fond memories of cooking and baking with my classmates. I surely share the same sentiment as you when it comes to sewing. I was and am terrible at it. Simply love to do some simple baking (because of the limitations with my toaster). Also enjoy cooking. I am waiting to get an oven so that I can try out more of your baking recipes.

  32. Hi Khim, great to have a new oven. Maybe you can also start a blog to share with us your bakes. :)

  33. rock buns! i made them in home econs class too. and that was in 1979. i rmemeber they tasted wonderful!

  34. Wow, seems like rock buns are the favourite for many of us. Do students still learn rock buns in home econs now? :)

  35. Thank you for sharing! I've been looking for this recipe ever since I gave my lower secondary home econs book to a neighbour! Love this little pieces of heaven! And they stopped teaching students how to make these in home econ since 2006... X(

    1. I threw away my textbook. Didn't know I will be interested in baking so many years later. Haha. Oh, why they stopped teaching? I wonder what they are learning now. :)