fbpx

Why Is The Rubbing In Method Used?

The rubbing in method is used for cakes, scones, shortcrust pastry, and some biscuits.  It is used for plain cakes, that is cakes that do not have a large amount of fat compared to flour, for example, rock buns, which have 75g fat (margarine) and 200g flour. Recipes which are more than half the weight of fat to flour are made by another method as they would be too sticky to rub in.  Block margarine is superior to soft for rubbed in mixes as it is less sticky.

Basic Method

The fat is cut up into small pieces, then lightly rubbed into the flour with the fingertips until it looks breadcrumbs.  The other dry ingredients are added in, then the liquids (egg and/or milk) are put in.

These mixtures are baked in a fairly hot oven, gas 5 or 6 (190-200 degrees Celsius).  They will keep fresh for a few days but not longer because of the fairly small amount of fat they contain. The more fat used in a cake recipe, the longer it will keep fresh.

Examples of Cakes Made With the Rubbing in Method

As well as the recipes below, the rubbing in method is used for shortcrust pastry, scones, apple crumble and shortbread, lemon and digestive biscuits.

Rock buns

  • 200g/8oz S.R flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g/3oz margarine (from a block, not a tub)
  • 75g/3oz sugar
  • 75g/3oz dried fruit
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Light the oven, gas 7, 220 Degrees Celsius. Place the shelf just above the centre. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl, rub in the margarine, stir in the sugar and dried fruit
  3. Beat the egg lightly and add it to the mixture. If necessary, add the water. The mixture should be strong enough to stand in heaps.
  4. Divide into 10 and place in rough heaps on the baking sheet. Cook for around 15 minutes till firm and golden brown.  Cool on a wire tray.

Cherry bun: make and bake as above, but leave out the dried fruit, and add 50g/2oz of cherries which have been washed, dried and chopped.

Chocolate chip buns: leave out the dried fruit and add 50g/1oz chopped chocolate.

Coconut buns: Leave out the dried fruit and add 50g/2oz coconut.

Date buns: Leave out the dried fruit and add 50g/2oz chopped dates.

Raspberry buns: Leave out the dried fruit.  When the buns are on the baking area, make a minor dent in the middle of each and add half a teaspoonful of raspberry jam.

Fruit loaf

  • 150g/6oz S.R. Flour
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g/3oz margarine
  • 75g/3oz sugar
  • 100g/4oz dried fruit
  • 25g/1oz peel, chopped nut or cherries (optional)
  • 1 egg +5 tablespoons of water

Method

  1. Light the oven, gas 4 180 degrees Celsius, position shelf in centre
  2. Grease a small (1lb) loaf tin. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper
  3. Put the flour, spice and salt into a mixing bowl. Grease in the margarine, stirring in the sugar and fruit
  4. Mix the egg and water, add to the mixture, mix well, put into the tin
  5. Bake for 1-11/4 hours, test with a skewer. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before cooling on a wire tray.

Cherry cake: make the same way as the fruit loaf but leave out the spice and dried fruit and add 100g/4 oz cherries instead.  Clean and dry the cherries, slice them into four and add them when you add the sugar.

Wholemeal fruit cake:  make in the same way as the fruit loaf, but instead of 150g/6oz S.R. flour, use 75g/3oz S.R flour + 75g/3 oz wholemeal flour and 1 level teaspoon of baking powder.

Granny Loaf

  • 200g/8oz S.R Flour
  • Pinch of slat
  • 25g/1oz sugar (preferably soft brown sugar)
  • 50g/2oz chopped walnuts or dates
  • 75g/3oz raisins or sultanas
  • 1 rounded tablespoon golden syrup
  • 100ml/1/4 pt milk

Sugar glaze

1 tablespoon each of milk, water, sugar

Method

  1. Light the oven, Gas 4, 180 Degrees Celsius, position shelf in centre
  2. Grease a small loaf tin (1lb), line the bottom with greaseproof paper
  3. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the nuts and fruit. Add the syrup and milk and beat well; the mixture will be very soft.  Put into the tin and bake for 45-60 minutes
  4. Make the sugar glaze when the cake is ready. Put milk, water and sugar into a small pan, warm gently to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 2 minutes.  Brush the loaf with the glaze while both are warm.

Serve sliced and buttered

Fruit Tea Bread

  • 225g/8oz S.R. flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g/2oz margarine
  • 75g/3oz dried fruit
  • 1 level tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg + 6 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Light the oven, gas 6, 200 Degrees Celsius. Position shelf just above the centre.
  2. Grease a small loaf tin( lb size), line the bottom with greaseproof paper
  3. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt, rub in the margarine, and stir in the dried fruit and sugar.
  4. Beat the egg and milk, keep back a teaspoonful to brush the top, pour the rest into the flour.
  5. Knead lightly and shape to fit the tin. Place in the tin and brush with egg and milk.  Bake for about 40 minutes until well risen, firm, and golden brown.
  6. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire tray.

Serve sliced and buttered.  This loaf does not keep well, so should be eaten the day it is made.  If it is to be eaten the next day, it is delicious toasted and buttered.

Bran Tea Loaf

  • 50g/2oz bran or all bran
  • 100g/4oz dried fruit
  • 100g/4oz soft brown sugar
  • 200ml/7 fluid oz milk
  • 100g/4oz S.R. flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder

Method

  1. Put bran, dried fruit and sugar into a mixing bowl, pour the milk over them and leave to soak for about 20 minutes
  2. Light the oven, Gas 5, 190 degrees celcius, put the shelf in the centre of the oven.
  3. Grease a small (1lb) loaf tin, line the bottom with greaseproof paper
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder thoroughly, stir into the mixture
  5. Put into the tin and bake for about 1 hour. Test with a skewer.
  6. Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Serve sliced and buttered.

Sweet Potato Cake

 A recipe from the West Indies for a moist, spicy cake, made without flour.

  • About 500g/1lb sweet potatoes
  • 25g/1oz butter or margarine
  • 75g/3 oz dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 rounded teaspoon all spice or cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Method

  1. Light the oven, gas 4, 180 degrees Celsius. Apply oil 20cm/8” on a sandwich cake tray or deep cake container.
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes. Place into a pan, just cover with boiling water, and cook for 20 minutes till soft.  Drain all the water off, then mash.
  3. Beat the eggs together. Wash the lemon and grate the rind.  Slice it into two and squeeze out the juice.
  4. Add all the other ingredients to the mashed sweet potatoes and beat well. Put the mixture into the container and smooth the top.

Cook for about 40 mins.  Test by putting in a knife, which must come out clean.  Cool down in the container for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire tray.

What else did you love about this rubbing in method post? Share and comment below. Don’t forget to check our cake making methods article.

Visit our cake galleries to see our services.

WANT MORE CAKE BAKING TIPS?
I agree to have my personal information transfered to AWeber ( more information )
In this FREE NEWSLETTER guide, I show you how to start selling cakes from home.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.