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Hevva Cake Recipe from the Cornish Chef

"If you’re into scones and shortbread, then this Cornish classic is definitely for you..."


A Hevva Cake is a traditional treat enjoyed across Cornwall year-round: a spiced dough mixed with dried fruit baked into a warming, crumbly cake that’s perfect with a cup of tea on Christmas afternoon.

It takes its name from one of Cornwall’s fishing traditions. In times gone by, a ‘huer’ would stand on the cliffs above the sea to look out for schools of fish. When they spotted the rippling or slick of a shoal, they would raise the cry of ‘hevva hevva!’ (‘shoal shoal!’), and then direct fishing boats towards it.

This version of the classic cake is from The Cornish Chef. An anonymous cook, born and bred in Cornwall, he creates delicious dishes with the finest local ingredients.

My Hevva cake sits somewhere between a classic fruit scone and a festive spiced shortbread – it’s slightly crumbly but not at all heavy like many people believe, but neither is it light and airy!’

The Cornish Chef


 Makes 10 -12
  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt – Cornish Seasalt
  • 150g butter, room temperature –Trewithen Dairy
  • 4 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g golden castor sugar
  • 150g currants or sultanas
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • 100ml milk – Trewithen Dairy
  • 1 tbsp castor sugar



Cooking time: 30 minutes

  1. In a bowl combine the flour, butter, baking powder and salt. Rub with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add in the sugar, mixed spice, currants and the chopped peel. Fold this mix together until well combined and then pour in the milk. Use a spoon to stir this through, you will then have a thick sticky dough.
  3. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and place the dough on top. Flour your hands and press the dough out into a large disk about 3cm deep. Dust with a little flour and use a knife to score a fish net pattern on top of your disk.
  4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes then remove before scattering over the tablespoon of castor sugar. Enjoy warm with a cup of tea.

Find The Cornish Chef on Instagram. We’d love to see what’s cooking at your house. Share what you’re baking with us @SeasaltCornwall using #SeasaltNourish.

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