Indian cake rusk makes a perfect snack, especially paired with a cup of tea or latte. Cake rusks are like twice-baked biscotti, but with an Indian bent. And yes, once you've tried an eggless homemade rusk, you'll never go back to store-bought rusk cookies again.
Tea calms my soul. Tea with cake rusk vaporizes all manners of problems. But there is an art to dunking rusks and achieving that soft but not soggy consistency. And people who grew up on cake rusks, like me, know it.
Even today, when I sit down with my evening cup, I still want to bite into a crisp, buttery rusk that tastes like the start of winter’s grip despite all the biscuits, biscotti, scones, and muffins I bake.
WHY TRY THIS RUSK RECIPE AT HOME?
Scrumptious for an early and quick breakfast
Better control over ingredients
Reduce the amount of sugar
Play around with flavors
Superior quality than the store-bought ones
WHAT ARE INDIAN CAKE RUSKS?
Rusks are extremely popular in India and are a staple tea-time snack in our homes. So, it was a surprise to learn that rusk recipes abound in Europe. Essentially, rusk cookies are twice-baked, crunchy biscuits that shatter in your mouth.
When you bake cake batter two times, you get cake rusks. When you bake bread dough twice, you get bread rusks. They’re very similar to thicker and shorter Swedish biscotti, so a lot of people call the cake rusk Indian biscotti.
HOW TO MAKE CAKE RUSK?
Step 1: Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and some milk powder in a bowl.
Step 2: In another bowl, beat softened butter with sugar (a handheld whisk will work just fine, you don’t need an electric one) until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Combine the yogurt and the beaten butter.
Step 4: Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix in a hefty amount of coarsely ground fennel seeds.
FIRST BAKE CAKE RUSK
Step 5: Pour the batter into an 8-inch greased baking pan. I should have also lined the pan with parchment paper, but oh, well, we live 'n' learn.
Step 6: Level the batter, make sure it is evenly spread, and bake at 170 °C for 30 to 35 mins (a skewer inserted in the center should come out clean).
Step 7: Take out the cake and let it cool completely (this is important).
Step 8: Cut the cake in half and then into thin slices (the cake is soft, and a few slices may crumble, but don’t let that bother you).
SECOND BAKE CAKE RUSKS
Step 9: Place each slice on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes at 160 °C.
Step 10: Halfway through, flip the cake rusks so they are evenly baked on both sides.
Final step: Allow the rusks to cool before serving with piping hot mugs of tea.
CAKE RUSK RECIPE NOTES
Baking: Oven temperatures differ. I recommend keeping an eye on your rusk cookies during the second bake. You want them crispy and a deep golden brown, not burnt. Also, keep this in mind: Indian rusks crisp further as they cool. So, bake accordingly.
Storage: Homemade rusks have a long shelf life and keep really well as long as you store them in an air-tight container and only after they have cooled entirely. Store them while they’re still warm, and come at tea time you’ll have mushy cake rusks.
RUSK RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Flour: Whole wheat flour is a fantastic alternative to all-purpose flour for this cake rusk recipe. For those who love an extra crunch to their rusks, I suggest replacing 1/4th cup of flour with semolina.
Milk powder: You can skip it, but it lends more dimensions to the cake rusk flavor and a richness that I’ve found is hard to replicate with any other ingredient.
Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt works well or homemade hung yogurt, just make sure the latter is thoroughly drained, so the batter is not watery. My Indian cake rusk recipe is eggless, although you can substitute the yogurt with 2 eggs.
Spices: Along with fennel, cardamom powder would be wonderful to enliven the homemade rusks.
Sugar: I haven’t tried the rusk recipe with jaggery, but it may add a melody of flavors. Drop me a comment if you try the cake rusks with it.
LOVE CAKE RUSKS? DON’T FORGET TO TRY THESE TEA-TIME RECIPES
The Easiest Indian Cake Rusk Recipe ( Eggless)
- 1 1/4 cup ( 160 gms) All-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 3 tbsp Milk powder
- 1/4 cup ( 60 gms) Butter softened
- 1/2 cup ( 100 gms) Caster sugar
- 1/2 cup ( 130 gms) Greek yogurt, plain
- 2 tsp Fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- Preheat your oven at 170 C. Grease an 8" pan very well. You can line it with parchment paper too.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and milk powder in a bowl.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light.
- Whisk in the yogurt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold in the fennel seeds.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and level the batter.
- Bake at 170 C for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Cut the cake in half and then into thin slices.
- Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes at 160 C or until the rusks are golden and crispy.Halfway through the baking time, flip the rusks so they are evenly baked.
- Cool completely and serve with hot mugs of tea. Enjoy!