Cornish Hevva Cake

Jan. 2018, update to the below: Stick in mixed spice and chopped up crystallised ginger for n extra punch!

It’s been a while since we posted a recipe, and we can’t believe we haven’t posted this one before. A staple food while growing up in West Cornwall, Heavy Cake is still loved by my ‘East Midlands’ kids today.


AJ said “can we bake something?” Hummm… “No eggs”…
“Heavy Cake?”
“Ohhhh yus!” She said.
So here’s the recipe…

1lb of Self Raising Flour
1/2 lb Butter
6 oz Caster Sugar
3/4 lb Currents
Grated rind of a Lemon
A pinch of Salt – 1/2 tsp
Enough Milk to mix to a stiff dough. About 1/4 pint.

Roughly mix by hand the flour, salt, sugar and chopped up butter. Don’t rub in the butter too much. Add the fruit and mix to a stiff dough adding a little milk.
Don’t make it too wet. It should be a stiff (heavy) dough.
Purist mess around with rolling and resting and stuff but hey, life’a too short.
Put it in a greased parchment lined baking tray, with mixture about 3/4 inch deep and fork the top to a rough finish. Sprinkle the top with regular sugar and bake at 200 for 30-40mins.
When baked add a little caster sugar to finish .

OK I am not a purist and no doubt some Cornish cousins will want to correct me but, hey that’s the way we do it.

And of course we always do it our way; mushrooms in pasties; we put cherrys in our heavy cake!


Oh yes, the Cornish call it “Hevva Cake”, pilchards and all that. See here: Hevva

By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…