Cornish Fairings Recipe

January 15th, 2021

Immerse your senses in a small, but rich piece of Cornwall during the covid-19 restrictions. Here at The Valley, we want to share a wonderful piece of our heritage for you to enjoy at home.


Cornwall may be widely recognised for its pasties and clotted cream, but it is also the proud birthplace of Cornish Fairings. Cornish Fairings are traditional spiced ginger biscuits and are recorded back as far as the 1100s. 


Once the lockdown rules have eased, you will be able to make these crunchy yet slightly chewy biscuits as a family using the self-catering kitchens provided in our child-friendly cottages in Cornwall.


The History of The Cornish Fairing

The term fairing descends from taking something home from a festival food line. At Cornish fairs, visitors would purchase souvenirs or treats for them to enjoy at a later date.


Spices were traded at medieval fairs as they were an efficient means to broaden their clientele. This is where it is believed that the fairing slowly began to evolve from.


During the late Victorian era, a Truro baker by the name of John Cooper Furniss caught sight of this and developed the biscuit into what we widely recognise and love to this day.


Biscuits laid out a grey background


220g of plain flour

2 tsp of baking powder

2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of salt

1 tbsp of ground ginger

2 tsp of allspice

1/2 tbsp of finely chopped mixed peel

110g diced salted butter

100g of caster sugar

4 tbsp of golden syrup



Step 1: Preheat the over at 200ºC / 180ºC fan-based ovens / gas mark 6.

Step 2: Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Step 3: Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and the mixed peel into a mixing bowl.

Step 4: Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingertips. A great tip for this is to try to keep the palm of your hands clean. The mixture should shortly resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

Step 5: Stir in the sugar.

Step 6: Gently warm the golden syrup in a pan and stir into the mixture.


These biscuits will keep for 3-4 days, but we can’t imagine they’ll be left around for that long.


Let us know how your Cornish Fairings turned out; we’d love to hear from you!


For more information about the stunning county of Cornwall, check out our blog. It’s full of fascinating facts and helpful information that we hope will inspire your future visits.