CAKE RUSK is a South Asian version of English Biscotti. Rusks in South Asian Countries are a favorite tea time snack. From kids to oldies, everyone loves to dip the crispy rusk or biscuits in their tea. The cake rusks are an all-time favorite when it comes to dipping, though.
Nowadays many South Asian brands are making cake rusks but most of them are not up to the standard. Sometimes they look great but taste stale. Being a South Asian living abroad, I terribly miss the authentic cake rusks, hence I would always request my parents to bring them whenever they visited us. I always wanted to try my hands on baking them up at home and finally after a lot of trials and errors, I got hold of this perfect recipe.
A Basic Sponge Batter
Making the sponge batter is as easy as ABC of baking because it requires just a few basic ingredients that are easily available at home. Just gather everything, whip them together, drop it in the pan, and slither it in the oven. However, it’s the baking time that might test your patience, if you are in a hurry to eat them.
From a Cake to Rusk
This recipe has multiple stages until the final slice of crunchy cake rusk; two trips to the oven and one slicing stage in between the trips. It may sound tedious but in fact, it’s not at all, instead, it’s fun as it does not involve any fancy equipment or challenging tasks. The best part is sneaking the crunchy trimmings off the baked cake. 😉
First, bake the basic cake in a rectangular pan. Once it’s ready, let it sit for a good 10-15 mins to cool. Sliver the sides finely and then slice the cake lengthwise into half, then cut thin slices of each slice like shown in the picture above.
Layer these slices again in a pan (you may need more than one pan at this stage). Bake them again for another 10-15 mins or until golden and crispy.
Using the Right Temperature
Since the second baking requires crisping, make sure to lower the temperature of your oven and let the cake slices bake on a slow heat for a longer time.
You will need to flip the side of the cake slices after the first 10 mins then bake again for the next 8-10 mins or until golden and crispy.
Butter VS Oil
It is mandatory to use butter (room temperature) for this recipe. Please do not replace it with oil as the crunchiness and richness will not be obtained with oil.
Always remember that oil makes things soft and moist while butter does the contrary. So, whenever you are targeting a crunchy result for any recipe then use butter.
I have completely and blindly moved on to oil for my cake recipes. As a child, I remember learning to bake cakes with butter and making them creamy and light before adding anything to them. I have overcome that extra effort with my experience and believe me the result of cakes with oil is remarkable. Just remember that the quantity of oil is always reduced to three quarters of what the quantity of butter was in any recipe.
Prep time: 10 + 15 mins
Cook time: 30 + 25 mins
Yield: 24-26 Cake Rusks
Unsalted Butter 100 gms/1 stick (room temperature)
Fine or Powdered Sugar 1 Cup
All-purpose flour 1 Cup
Baking powder 1 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Yellow food color ¼ tsp (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. In a medium-sized bowl add butter and sugar, whisk well until well combined.
3. Add eggs one at a time and whisk well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla essence.
4. Now add the all-purpose flour and baking powder and mix until a slightly runny batter is formed. Add yellow food color and mix well.
5. Grease a 7” x 9” inch (approx.) baking tray and place a butter paper over it, pressing it down with hands.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap it 2-3 times to let all the air bubbles out. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
7. After baking, allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Finely trim out the edges of the cake then cut into thin slices. (as shown in the pictures)
8. On the same baking tray, place butter paper again and arrange the slices on it. No need to leave any space between the slices.
9. Bake again at 150 C for almost 20 minutes flipping the sides after 10 mins to bake the other side. You may bake for a longer time if the rusks have not become golden.
10. Allow the cake rusks to cool completely. Once cooled, the rusks will be crunchy & crispy. Store them in an air-tight container.
Shelf Life: The best thing about these rusks is that they remain fresh and crunchy for a good 3-4 days (if stored in an air-tight container).
Yellow Color: Adding color is completely optional. If you don’t have it then just simply forget about it. Don’t worry, you will not regret it!