Cornish heavy cake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

It’s not certain when this cake came into existence, but Cornwall locals claim it’s an age-old cake. This recipe comes from a booklet from around 1920 that contained Cornish recipes. It’s a flat, rough cake with currants that actually looks more like a Rock cake.


  • 50 g ( oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 50 g ( oz) lard
  • 340 g (11¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 50 g ( oz) white sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) milk or water
  • 180 g (6 oz) currants
  • 50 g ( oz) candied citrus peel
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash
  • white sugar, for dusting


For a 22 x 33 cm (8½ x 13 inch) baking tray

Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F) and line the baking tray with baking paper.

Roughly mix the butter and lard with the flour, sugar and salt.

Add the milk or water and knead until combined. Add the currants and candied peel and knead to distribute them throughout the dough. Cover the dough and set aside for 1-2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto the baking tray and gently push it into a large rectangle. Use a knife to lightly score the portions into diamonds. Brush the egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with some sugar.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-50 minutes.