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Wholesome pumpkin rock cakes for happy snacking

Wholesome pumpkin rock cakes for happy snacking

Right now, pumpkin is not in season, so you might be wondering why I’m sharing this pumpkin rock cake recipe. Firstly, it’s just so yummy that I can’t wait for Autumn. And secondly, you can actually make these pumpkin rock cakes very un-pumpkiny by substituting other fruit and vegetables. Or feel free to leave it out entirely.

So, really, this is just a really versatile rock cake recipe. Though do make it with pumpkin at some stage!

Pumpkin substitutes

This recipe works well with any of these added in place of the pumpkin, in same quantity:

• Apple sauce (fresh or jar)

• Sweet potato (roast and mash as per pumpkin in recipe)

• Carrot (roast and mash as per pumpkin in recipe)

• Full-fat Greek yoghurt (use same quantity as pumpkin in recipe)

• Leave out the pumpkin altogether and just add ½ tablespoon more milk

As you can see, this is a very versatile almost-pumpkin rock cake recipe. 

Rock cakes are retro

Rock cakes have been around forever. They are the kind of snack that Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven took along on excursions, along with hard boiled eggs and lashings of ginger beer. Hagrid was also particularly fond of rock cakes.

They were apparently invented by the Victorians, but rock cakes were particularly popular during the Second World War. They use less sugar and eggs than traditional cakes so they were a saviour in times of strict rationing.

Their appeal is enduring probably because they last for ages and taste so good with a cup of tea. Plus they are remarkably filling – which is great news when you’re trying to fill kids up at school.

Wholesome pumpkin rock cakes

Pumpkin rock cakes for happy snacking

Makes 12
Takes 10 minutes
Bakes 20 minutes

1 ½ cups wholegrain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sultanas
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 large egg
¾ tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin, mashed

Preheat over to 180ºC and line a flat biscuit tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sultanas and mix through.
In a separate bowl, cream together the remaining ingredients.

Add to wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix!

Drop generous tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden on top.  Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool – the rock cakes will be soft until fully cooled.

Serve with a cup or tea or in a lunchbox, ready to line hungry tummies.


See above for pumpkin substitutes.

You can add choc chips instead of sultanas for a tasty treat.

You can add pepitas or sunflower seeds instead of, or alongside, sultanas. Cranberries or chopped apricot bits are also nice.

You can swap out the melted butter for room-temp coconut oil.

Rock cakes will keep well for up to a week in an airtight container in the pantry, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pumpkin rock cakes for happy snacking