Cake Rusk is a popular tea-time snack in Pakistan and India. If you've ever wanted to learn how to make cake rusk at home, this is just the recipe for you! Twice-baked like Italian biscotti, these rusks are easy and fun to make.
Why this Recipe Works
- Better than store bought: If you live outside of Pakistan or India, you can probably relate to the fact that no store bought cake rusk can taste like the ones at the local bakeries back home. You know what I'm talking about. Often the prepackaged rusk here do not taste at all like those at back home, and tea time is not just the same without these delicious snacks!
- Add flavors: You can add a pinch of cardamom powder or cinnamon powder to add a different profile to these rusk. A few strands of saffron would also add a lovely flavor and color to the rusk too!
- Eggless option: If you want to make your rusk eggless, you can certainly use your favorite eggless cake recipe to make them and follow the rest of the recipe instructions in this post.
- Without oven: You can also make these on the stove top if you don't have access to an oven. It will just take a bit longer. I've included the instructions in the recipe card for this no oven method as well.
- Store: You can make a double batch, and store for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Cake Rusk vs Italian Biscotti
Cake rusk and Italian biscotti are similar because both are twice-baked. However, that's where all the similarities end. Rusk is made from yellow cake, while biscotti on the other hand is a hard almond cookie, and is made from biscuit dough.
I also think that biscotti is a harder and crunchier cookie than cake rusk is. Rusk is definitely crunchy, but not super hard if that makes any sense.
Ingredients You'll Need
- All-purpose flour: Just like any yellow cake, we start with all-purpose flour.
- Eggs: make sure the eggs are at room temperature, as they incorporate better when the ingredients aren't cold from the fridge.
- Butter: We need to use softened butter, so leave it out on the counter for it to become to room temperature. If you're in a hurry you can also use this handy trick to soften butter quickly. Take a tall glass, and fill it with hot water. Drain the water. Place the stick of butter vertically on a plate, and then cover it with the hot glass. Wait five minutes. Butter will be at the perfect room temperature and ready to use. Also note that you can make this without butter, and use oil in the same quantity instead.
- Baking powder: It's a cake, so we need a rising agent to make it rise beautifully.
- Granulated white sugar: I use 3/4 cup of sugar for this recipe, but you can reduce it to about 1/2 cup according to your preference.
- Vanilla extract: You can also use vanilla essence, if you do not want to use vanilla extract.
- Yellow-food coloring: This is optional, but gives the cake rusk that iconic bright yellow color.
How to Make Cake Rusk in the Oven
Note: for the full recipe ingredients list and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card.
- Start by sifting the flour and baking powder, and then set aside these dry ingredients.
- Beat the sugar and butter for 3-4 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
- Then add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition, until fully incorporated.
- Now add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Also add the yellow food color, and gently fold in.
- Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan, and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
- Then remove the cake from the oven, and let cool. Remove from the baking pan and cut into 1 inch strips.
- Transfer these cake rusk strips to a baking tray, and bake again for 15 minutes on each side.
- Remove from oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Not that they would last that long! 🙂
Stove Top Option
- Preheat: Place a steaming rack stand in a large pot or nonstick wok (or karahi) on medium-high heat.
- Pour the cake batter into a parchment-lined baking pan.
- Bake: Place a tight-fitting lid on your pot, and bake the cake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Slice: Remove the cake from the oven, and let it come to room temperature. Slice it into the desired size.
- Second bake: Place a foil try or small flat baking tray into your pot, and place the cake slices onto it. Reduce the heat to the lowest point, and bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until the cake slices have become crispy.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Underbaked: If the cake rusk is still a bit soft after twice-baking, you can leave them out for a while. They will harden and become crispy in a bit.
- Double the recipe: You can easily double the ingredients and make a bigger batch.
- Make Ahead: You can bake the cake a day ahead, and then leave it till the next day to bake the cake rusk for a second time the next day.
- Line the baking pan: Always line the baking pan with parchment paper so it's easy to remove from the pan.
It's made of a simple yellow cake that's twice baked.
No, it's baked twice, just like biscotti.
Rusk is made from yellow cake, and milk rusk is made by twice baking enriched bread.
More Cookie Recipes to Enjoy
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Brownie Mix Cookies
- Nutella Stuffed Cookies
- Chewy Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
- The Best Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: This recipe was originally published on November 22, 2018. It has been updated for more detailed recipe instructions, including how to make it on stove-top.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 drop of yellow food colour optional
Make it in the Oven:
- Preheat oven to 180 c and prepare an 8 x 10 in baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour with baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color.
- Add the yellow food color (if using) and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Now add in the flour and mix until just combined. Lastly, add the vanilla extract and fold it in gently.
- Pour the cake rusk batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from oven and let cool. Then remove the cake from the baking pan, and let it completely cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 c.
- Once the cake has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the cake into 1 inch strips.
- Transfer the cake slices to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking tray from the oven, turn the cake rusk sides and bake for another 15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Make on Stove-Top
- Place a steaming rack stand in a large pot or nonstick wok (or karahi) on medium-high heat and preheat for about 30 minutes.
- Pour the prepared cake batter into a parchment-lined pan. Place the pan onto the rack.
- Place a tight-fitting lid on your pot, and bake the cake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the pot, and let it come to room temperature. Slice it into the desired size.
- Place a foil try or small flat baking tray into your pot on the steamer rack, and place the cake slices onto it. Reduce the heat to the lowest point, and bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until the cake slices have become crispy.
- Room temperature ingredients: Always use room temperature ingredients as they incorporate better when mixing the cake batter.
- Butter: You can substitute the butter with oil in the same quantity.
- Food color: It's optional, and you can easily skip it.
- Baking times: Oven temperatures can vary, so you can adjust the time of baking needed according to your oven.
- Double the recipe: You can easily double the ingredients, and make a double of these cake rusk.
- Make ahead: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.