Cake rusks. The perfect companion for your morning cup of tea. Or your bed-time cup of tea. Or your anytime cup of tea. Even coffee. Or a warm cup of milk, if you do that (I know I do).
I’ve taken the classic Cake Rusk that is so loved in our culture as a staple chai-time snack and added my own twist to it. I’ve created chocolate chip cake rusks. And I’m excited. So is my daughter. Because chocolate.
As a little kid, I’d always raid our biscuit cabinet (we all have them, don’t we?) and look for something that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I’d find an assortment of tea rusks and other Desi treats, but growing up they just didn’t hit the spot. I wanted chocolatey goodness. Chocolate cream rolls, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, you get the drill. Not almond biscuits or sad looking, empty-feeling coconut slices. Can anyone relate?
I’ve basically just gone and made chocolate chip cookies Desi. You’re welcome.
My taste-buds have definitely refined over the years and I don’t have any qualms with Desi desserts and baked good, the classic cake rusk included. In fact, I enjoy them all thoroughly! But that certainly doesn’t take away from the fact that I love me a good dose of chocolate, and adding chocolate to cake rusks will only make them even better.
What are Cake Rusks?
Cake rusks are a twice-baked biscuit of sorts. It is essentially a standard cake which is sliced into smaller slices and baked a second time, leaving us with a crunchy and larger than average biscuit. It is very similar to biscotti – in fact, this chocolate chip cake rusk is inspired by the biscottis I have baked in the past which would include a variety of add-ins, including nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, lemon and orange zest etc. The cake rusks of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh that I have seen tend to be either plain or with almonds.
I have never followed a specific recipe for cake rusks. I have always simply made my standard vanilla cake which is a recipe I have known off by heart for years with a few amends. The cake is baked until it is just cooked through (careful not to overcook it!) and golden from the top, then it is cooled slightly before being cut into slices and baked again on both sides.
I have added chocolate chips to my cake rusks because chocolate chips are just my most favourite cake add-in ever. If you’d like, you can swap out the chocolate chips for your favourite nuts or dried fruit. I think these chocolate chip cakes rusks would be a total delight to serve to guests as a nice change-up to the regular cake rusks. It’s also a huge bonus that kids will love them too!
Why You Should Bake Home-Made Cake Rusks (Or Any Baked Good!)
Cake rusks are readily available at most Asian shops and food stores, and in the UK they are even available at a lot of my local mainstream supermarkets like Tesco. (Of course, they aren’t chocolate chip, but that’s another issue) But there is just something special about home-baked goods you really can’t compete with. I have made a silent promise to myself to never purchase cake rusks ever again or to let my parents purchase them either.
Home-made cake rusks are so easy to make and take less than 90 minutes to make, most of which is passive time! You are definitely getting a much higher quality when you are baking them at home since you have control over the quality of ingredients you use. You are also getting away from the nasty preservatives and fillers that are added to commercial cake rusks. If cake rusks are something you have on the regular, I definitely think baking these at home is a good investment of your time, with the pay-off being this tasty. It also helps that my little two-year-old LOVES baking them with me and giving them out to our family!
So without further ado, here is my recipe for chocolate chip cake rusks! You seriously NEED to make these, I guarantee you will not regret it!
Enjoy, with love x
- 3/4 cup butter OR 6tbsp oil
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour
- 100g chocolate chips
- Beat the sugar and butter/oil until well combined
- Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each egg until well combined before adding the next
- Add in the self-raising flour. The mixture will be pretty thick!
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Transfer the batter into a greased or lined square shaped cake tin
- Bake at 180 for about 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden and the cake is cooked through. Please do NOT overbake! This will lead to a very dry rusk!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before going on to the next step, otherwise the cake will be crumbly and more likely to break during handling
- Cut the cake into thin slices as shown in the images. Arrange these in a line with the inside of the cake facing upwards
- Bake these at 150 for approximately 10-15 minutes, then flip and bake again for an additional 10-15 minutes
- Allow to cool completely before serving
I've included measurements for both oil and butter in this recipe because I often switch between the two. I personally used oil for this recipe, but butter works great too!