Homemade Cake Rusk

I’m always seeing videos of people making cake rusk from scratch. I thought cake rusk might be one of those things that taste the same whether you buy it or make it.

But I wanted to try making it, to see if a homemade version tastes better than store bought cake rusk.

Turns out they taste so much better homemade, I was so wrong.

15 cake rusks on a baking tray lined with baking paper

Video Tutorial

What is cake rusk?

If you’ve never had or tried cake rusk before….you probably wouldn’t have clicked onto the recipe, so I’m guessing you probably already know what it is.

But in case you don’t, cake rusk is a popular snack in Pakistan and India. It’s typically eaten dipped in chai.

It’s essentially cake, that has been baked twice, in order to dry it out and make it crunchy.

I’ve been eating this my whole life. I don’t eat breakfast a lot but when I do, this is usually my go to. 

Which now that I’m thinking about it, it’s literally cake.

So I guess I’ve been eating cake for breakfast, but I don’t know, the fact that it has been dried out made me think it was a healthy snack. 

Strips of vanilla cake on a tray before being placed in the oven

Breakdown of the process

These are pretty easy to make, but there are a few different parts to the recipe. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Make the vanilla cake: you can’t have cake rusk without cake, so this is first thing you are going to do. Cake rusk is usually rectangle shaped, so we’re baking the cake in a rectangle tin.
  • Let the cake cool: after the cake is baked, you want to leave it to cool a little. You don’t really need to let it cool completely, but you don’t want it to be too hot, it will just break apart if it is.
  • Cut the cake into slices: like I said, cake rusk is usually rectangular. I have never seen it any other shape, but you’re making it at home so you could do any shape you want to be honest.
  • Bake these slices: you want to bake these until they’re golden brown on both sides.
  • Leave the cake rusk too cool for 10 minutes: this is important, they will still be soft when you take them out of the oven. So give them a chance to crisp up a little.
Vanilla cake batter inside of a 9x12 inch cake tin before being baked
A baked vanilla cake inside of a 9x12 inch cake tin

Baking the cake slices

Once you have cut your cake slices, you’re going to bake them until they’re a golden brown colour and crispy.

I baked the slices in a 170c/325f oven, for about 25-30 minutes, then I flipped them over and baked them for an additional 10-15 minutes.

The baking time for these varies. So my timing might not be the same for you.

All you are looking for, is for the outside of them to be brown. Once you notice that they are, flip them over and let the other side brown too.

So just keep an eye on them, they might need less time, or they might need longer. 

Making a smaller batch

This recipe makes a lot of cake rusk, if you decide to cut smaller slices than me, then the recipe will make a lot more.

If you wanted to make a smaller batch, I would recommend using this recipe instead:

Vanilla cake with Chocolate Ganache

Then use a smaller baking tin, instead of halving the recipe below.

They’re the same recipe, same method too. It’s just that the quantities I’ve used in this recipe are not the easiest to half.

Cake rusk stores well and lasts for a few weeks though, so for me, I felt like there was no point in only making a few. 

Single strip of vanilla cake before being baked
Single cake rusk after being baked

Storing these

Like I mentioned, these store pretty well.

The best way to store them is by putting them in an air-tight container and then just leave them at room temperature. 

If you store them like this, they’ll last for around 2-3 weeks.

I have also heard that you can wrap them individually and freeze them for up to 3 months. I’ve never tried doing this before though!

Ok now that everything has been said, let’s get into the recipe. I hope you like it!

Cake Rusk

Ingredients

  • 185g softened unsalted butter

  • 185g any flavourless oil (I use vegetable)

  • 375g granulated sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 375g self-raising flour

  • 90ml milk

Directions

  • Making the cake:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 170c/325f. Also grease and line a 9x12 inch cake tin with some baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla. You want to beat these ingredients together, using an electric or stand mixer, on high speed for 5 minutes. You can also make this by hand, just beat for as long as you can.
  • Add 3 of your eggs into this, whisk until smooth, then whisk in the remaining eggs.
  • Now add in half the flour and whisk this in. Add in the milk, whisk, then add the rest of the flour. Whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Pour this batter into your prepared baking tin and bake this for around 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Once baked, leave to cool down.
  • Making the cake rusk:
  • Pre-heat your oven again, to 170c/350f.
  • Once the cake has cooled, cut it into strips. You can cut these to whatever length you want, just make sure they're around 1.5-2cm thick.
  • Place these onto a large tray that has been lined with baking paper.
  • Bake these for around 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip them, and bake them until this side is golden brown too. I've noticed that this baking time varies a lot, they might need less time or they might need longer. Just keep an eye on them, you just want them to be a golden brown colour on both sides.
  • Once baked, leave them on the tray to crisp up for 10 minutes and then you are done!
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