Cream Teas: Devon vs Cornwall

April 13th, 2018

While a cream tea is enjoyed by many up and down the country, no one loves a scone more those in the South West; namely the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Cream teas are an issue of much contention in these counties, with arguments rising over which is the real home to this afternoon treat, and whether or not jam or cream should touch the scone first.


What is the difference between a Cornish and Devon cream tea?

The only real difference between the two counties take on a cream tea is the order in which the jam and cream are placed onto the scone. In Cornwall, the jam is smoothed on first, before being topped with a heaping spoonful of cream. Devon, on the other hand, puts the cream on first like butter, before adding a dollop of jam to the top.

While this may seem like a fairly uncomplicated issue, the ordering of the scone toppings is treated very seriously in the South West. In 2018, the National Trust had to issue an apology following an advert run in the Cornish property Lanhydrock House, which depicted a scone with jam on top! Cornish locals branded this marketing error as ‘disgusting’, ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’, with some even threatening to cancel their National Trust membership!

Cream teas from the South West, however, are similar in one respect that differs them from those served in other parts of the country. This comes in the form of the use of clotted cream, a yellowish cream with a harder crust on the top. Clotted cream originates from the South West, with other areas of the UK simply using whipped double cream instead.


What are the main arguments for both ways?

For Cornish Cream Teas:

– It is easier to spread the jam on first and then add cream.
– The jam doesn’t slide off the cream.
– You can taste the cream better.
– You usually put cream on the top of other desserts, e.g. pie, fruit, cake.

For Devon Cream Teas:

– The cream is like butter for the scone.
– The jam will lie flatter on the cream, making it a bit easier to eat.
– You are at less of a risk of getting cream on your nose.

Scone with jam and cream

Recipe for Cornish Scones:


500g plain flour

100g caster sugar

100g butter, diced

250ml milk

3 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

Egg wash (made with 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk)


1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.

2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips.

4. Slowly add in the milk, mixing well, until it sticks together like dough.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface and gently knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.

6. Roll the dough out until it is around 2.5cm thick, and cut into 5cm circles with a cutter or cup.

7. Place them on the baking tray and brush the tops of each with the egg wash.

8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. Serve with jam on first, then the cream; the proper Cornish way!

Which way do you think is the right way to serve a scone? Let us know in the comments or via our social media channels! If you’d like to try a proper Cornish scone in Cornwall, come and enjoy a luxury family holidays in Cornwallfor the best experience!