If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…I would pour you a cup of Earl Grey Blue Flower tea from tLeafT and serve you up a freshly baked rock bun. You say you haven’t had one of those in years, and I say neither have I, but I was reminded of them over at Ruth Blogs Here, and so picked up my old retro baking book to check on the recipe. Apparently, they were promoted by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War as they use fewer eggs and less sugar than ordinary cakes.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…I would tell you that I couldn’t find any mixed peel today for the rock buns, so substituted some little dried apple bits I had in the cupboard with a bit of lemon peel. You say everyone must be buying up peel for Christmas cake and I laugh and say you could be right.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…we would talk about the results of Super Saturday and the push for vaccination uptake here in Aotearoa New Zealand. We agree it seems to have been successful,

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…we would talk about the forthcoming film festival and what we would like to see, about what we have watched recently (the Danish drama series Equinox on Netflix, the second series of Guilt).

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…you would ask for the recipe for rock buns and I would say well, the book is so old the measurements are in ounces. You smile and say how did you measure things out? And I say I still have a set of scales in ounces, but let’s try and convert the quantities anyway.

You need:

  • 8 oz or 225 g self-raising flour
  • 4 oz or 115g sugar
  • 4 oz or 115g butter (my book actually says margarine…anyone else remember those hard blocks of margarine?)
  • 3 oz or 85g currants
  • 1 oz or 25g mixed peel (or emergency substitute as above)
  • 1 egg and a little milk to mix

Mix flour and sugar in bowl, and rub in the butter. Mix in currants and peel. Mix to a stiff dough with beaten egg and a little milk. Place in rough heaps on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400F or 200C.

Entered into Natalie’s weekend coffee share.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. Rock buns takes me back to the home economics lessons at my Grammar school! I was quite disappointed at what we were given to make as I had been baking since I was about 8 years old and rock buns, apple crumble, pastry and cakes were things I already knew how to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could be knocking at your door for Earl Grey Blue Flower tea and Rock Buns – two of my favourites! My tea like that came to an end about a week ago (I have eked it out for a long time) and Rock Buns were my father’s favourite, so were among the first things I learned to bake. Your post has reminded me to dig out my recipe and give them an ‘outing’. I love the way you too happily find a substitute for ingredients not at hand – apple bits sound an interesting variation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mother was no baker (or cook), so rock buns were a Sunday tea regular. These were good, but I personally missed the peel. Next time! They were new to my Swedish husband, so he didn’t notice at least. They are so easy to make – I am sure there is a whole generation whose first forays in the kitchen involved rock buns.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My brother (now not with us) said Mother (not with us either) made the best rock buns – what he couldn’t understand when I showed him Mother’s handwritten recipe book that there was no recipe in it anywhere for his beloved rock buns!
    Which leads me to my MIL’s trifle…my ex said that my trifles were never as good as his Mothers, which was fine because she lived on the other side of the world. Well then she came to NZ and for Christmas day I made a trifle. The ex said you’ve going to be in trouble…but I soldiered on as you do…Verdict: a big fat tick…in fact MIL growled at her son…
    Regarding Super Saturday – it was certainly good to see that a great deal of people got the “shot bro” – but will it be enough to help us Aucklanders move along on the “roadmap” ….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Delicious and lovely, as always. Thanks for showing the retro cookbook. Love it! I’m also glad you mentioned the Danish series on Netflix. Another friend had told me about it and I’d forgotten the name. And yay, Kiwis! Keep up the great vac’y pace.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yum ,rock buns with two shots of covid vaxs . πŸ™‚ but alas if you invited me for a cuppa i’d have to decline as i’m just another jafa in level 3 lockdown πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember when my 3 children were growing up and money was sometimes tight, as it often is not having eggs for baking and found out that apparently you can substitute white vinegar instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi T&K,
    You may recall that Earl Grey is just about my favorite tea. I use almost exclusively, Harney & Sons, a tea exporter from New York which claims to add extra bergmont oil — ummmm.
    Each Sunday night, we have our son and new daughter in law over for dinner and I over-eat.
    The next morning (right now) I try to undo the gastronomic mess I made of myself the night before by going very light on food to get things back into balance.
    I’m going to have to be more careful about when I read your posts – your goodies are making my mind and mouth water. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi and thanks for stopping by! This particular Earl Grey is really good, and the company also make a French Earl Grey which is a little more fragrant. Happy to hear my posts make your mouth water,,,,even on the wrong day πŸ™‚


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