• Cornish Cream Tea
  • Cornish Pasties
  • Hevva Cake

Mother’s Day Treats: Traditional Cornish Recipes To Make For Your Mum

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate that wonderful person in your life, whether it’s your mum, a mother figure or in memory of someone special.

Maybe you are looking for a way to spoil your mum on Mother’s Day? Remember how mums always love home-made gifts from their young children? We are not suggesting you get out the glue and glitter for the first time in years, but how about baking her something special?

And for those spending this special day reminising on the wonderful memories learning to cook with a loved one, we have gathered together our favourite Cornish recipes, which we are sure they would have enjoyed.

Cornish Pasties

What could be better for a Cornish mum, or a mum on her Cornwall holidays, than a home-baked pasty? A proper Cornish pasty is the ultimate in comfort food and because it is a whole meal in one, it is perfect to pack for a Mother’s Day outing.

We realise that any pasty recipe conversation can get quite heated, ever seen a group of Cornish grandmas discussing their own family recipe? Stand well back. So, to remove any doubt, we recommend using the Cornish Pasty Association version.

If time is tight, or you are cooking in an unfamiliar Cornish holiday cottage kitchen, you might want to buy your own shortcrust pastry. As long as you remember to crimp the side and not the top, a bit of pasty cheating is fine.


Stargazy Pie

If you want a luxurious treat for your mum, this prince of pies is sure to impress. Stargazy or Starry-gazy pie originates from Mousehole, where it is eaten on Tom Bawcock’s Eve (23rd December) in honour of the fisherman who cast his nets into stormy seas to save his community from starvation. The unusual name comes from the fish heads, which peep out through the pastry, supposedly gazing at the stars.

This recipe from The Cornish Fishmonger is surprisingly easy, not least because they use shop-bought pastry. You’ll need sardines for the signature fish heads; however, you can choose the rest of the filling yourself. A real centrepiece.

Cornish Raw Fry

This dish isn’t as famous as the previous two, but if you come from Cornwall, it’s just as much part of your culture as the pasty. Cornish Raw Fry is a hearty dish made from potatoes, swede, bacon and onions, cooked together, from raw hence the name, in the same pan.

Raw Fry makes a filling informal lunch or comforting supper dish. And if you were thinking about making breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day, forget croissants or smoked salmon: this is the real way to start your day. We like the version recommended on the App for Cornwall. Ideal if you have an action-packed day planned.

Hevva Cake

Main courses done, it is now time for pudding…Hevva cake is not that well-known out of county, but it is a treat steeped in Cornish tradition. Hevva cake was baked by wives for their fisher husbands to welcome them home after a successful catch.

Although it is often also known as “heavy cake”, it actually gets its name from the word “Hevva”, which was shouted by the lookout, the “Huer”, to alert the fishermen to a shoal. Mind you, “heavy” is a pretty good name for this particular cake, which is baked with no eggs and is sometimes made with lard. It is a satisfying slice of comfort food, which is perfect with a cup of Cornish tea.

We went upcountry for this recipe, as the BBC Good Food website has a lovely simple version. Do you have a Cornish mum who no longer lives in the county? Send her some Hevva cake in the post as a special Mother’s Day surprise.

Saffron Buns

Saffron buns, also known as revel buns, are a sweet and spicy treat that is a bit like a tea cake, except with the addition of saffron. These moreish buns are often eaten at Easter, and are traditional part of Sunday afternoon tea, often called “tea treat buns”.

Saffron seems like an exotic ingredient for this land of miners, fishers and farmers. It is thought that saffron came to Cornwall thousands of years ago, when traders from Europe exchanged spices for Cornish tin. Since then, saffron has been grown in Cornwall’s mild climate.

Because Mother’s Day is a special occasion, we thought this rather luxe version of the saffron bun recipe was the most appropriate, from Padstow’s Rick Stein.

Cornish Cream Tea

And finally, the special treat that every Cornish mum deserves: a traditional cream tea. You could take your mum out to one of the many lovely local cafes that will be serving Mothering Sunday tea. Or you could make your own.

Like pasties, there are numerous recipes for scones, or the subtly different “split”. We went to cream tea gurus Rodda’s for a Cornish scone recipe. It’s an easy one for your Cornwall holiday cottage kitchen and will make the whole house smell heavenly.

You could also buy the ingredients for a cream tea and assemble it yourself. Buy the scones from the local bakery, add Halzephron jam followed by Rodda’s clotted cream and serve with a pot of Tregothnan tea, which is actually grown in Cornwall. Trade up to a bottle of Camel Valley Brut and serve the cream tea with a bunch of Cornish daffodils.


Treat Your Mum To A Holiday In Cornwall

If your mum loves Cornwall, what could be more special than a holiday in her favourite spot? Take a look at our last minute holiday cottages in Cornwall to find the perfect spot.

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