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Jamaican Rock Buns!
Make Your Own Batch With This Simple Recipe!

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Jamaican Rock Buns | (Photo Credit: Pinterest)Jamaican Rock Buns | (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Rock Bun is one of Jamaica’s favourite snacks, especially on the go. It is versatile too! You can have it with cheese, jam, milk, you name it! It is one of the first pastries that Jamaican kids learn to make in high school home economics classes.

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Maybe you knew how to make it before, but you forgot a few steps or you’ve never seen this sweet treat and would love to try it. Either way, here is a quick and simple recipe for Jamaican Rock Buns.

Jamaican Rock Buns Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 limes/1 lemon
  • 1½ tablespoon milk
  • ½ cup grated coconut


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add baking powder to your flour and sift.

  3. Using the rub in method, incorporate your butter into your flour until it begins to look something like breadcrumbs. Your butter should be at room temperature.

  4. Add your raisins, freshly grated coconut and brown sugar to your mixture, then use your hands to combine all the ingredients.

  5. Grate the rind from your limes or lemon to add a tablespoon of lemon zest. Avoid grating the pit of the fruit as it will make your buns bitter.

  6. To your egg, add a tablespoon of milk and combine until all the flour is mixed into the dough. You can add more milk to the mixture but you shouldn’t need much more than ½ a tablespoon. By now your dough should be ready, it shouldn’t be soft but sticky.

  7. Using a spoon, scoop and shape your Rock Bun mixtures into loosely formed balls and place them on a greased baking tray.

  8. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown.

Allow your rock cakes to cool and then enjoy, with a slice of cheese, a cup of milk (if you are in Jamaica, a cup of Lasco) or on its own. Be sure to save some for tomorrow as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jamaican Rock Buns

1. Where did rock buns originate?

This pastry originated in Great Britain as is still a very popular item at tea time in many homes. Rock Buns are also called Rock Cakes in some areas of Great Britain. Because Jamaica was once under British rule, many of our pastries come from or are inspired by English delights.

They were especially popular during WW2 since they required fewer eggs, milk and sugar than other pastries.

2. Why are rock cakes called rock cakes?

They are called just that because of their shape, look and texture. They are hard, crumbly and resemble regular rocks.

3. What is the difference between rock buns and scones?

While they do look similar, they are actually quite different. First of all,  the rock cake’s dough is stiffer and the cakes are smaller. A scone’s dough is gently rolled out and then cut into shapes before it is baked.

4. Why are my rock cakes dry?

There are quite a few reasons your rock cakes might be dry.

  • Your dough might not be mixed well enough - The butter needs to be rubbed into the flour properly, if not it might make your rock buns dry.

  • You may have added too much liquid - This recipe does not call for a lot of liquid ingredients. Depending on the size of the egg in the recipe and the size of the egg you're using, you may need to adjust the amount of milk slightly.

  • You may have overcooked them - If you keep your buns in the oven for too long, as with everything else it might become dry.

  • You may have used incorrect measurements - Not using proper measurements can also cause your Rock Cakes to go flat.

5. Should I use plain or self-raising flour in my rock bun dough?

Plain, all-purpose flour should be used. Remember you’ll be adding baking powder in your mixture, so there is no need for self-raising flour.

6. How are rock buns stored?

Rock buns can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week, however, they are best had by the third day. They can also be frozen and reheated whenever you need them.

I hope this answered all your questions and you feel confident in your abilities to make Jamaican Rock Buns. Happy baking!

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References & Sources For Jamaican Rock Buns

  1. Rock Buns | Everyday Cooks,,the%20amount%20of%20milk%20slightly  
  2. Morris Time Cooking | JAMAICAN COCONUT ROCK BUNS \ CAKES | Hawt Chef | S:5 E:4,
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