Cornish Hevva Cake aka Heavy Cake

Cornish Hevva Cake (aka Heavy Cake)

A traditional Cornish cake made by fisherfolk. It's a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients, but it's absolutely delicious.
Course Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British, Cornish
Keywords cake, currants, simple, traditional
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 248 kcal


  • 175 g (6oz) wholemeal spelt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea or rock salt (I used Himalayan pink rock salt)
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) golden caster or granulated sugar1 lemon - zested or 1 oz mixed peel
  • 60 g (2oz) currants (can substitute with raisins or sultanas)
  • 60 ml sour milk or kefir (I used kefir)


  1. Turn the oven on to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).

  2. In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour, baking powder and salt with your fingertips until you get the consistency of rough breadcrumbs. Don't be too particular about this, bits of butter will help to give a flaky texture to the cake.
  3. Stir in the sugar, lemon zest or peel and currants.
  4. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sour milk or kefir. Mix with a flat bladed knife until a dough forms. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead briefly.
  5. Place on a lined baking tray and form into an oval with your hands and flatten to about 2 cm thick. You can use a rolling pin if you like, but hands work perfectly well for this bake.
  6. Mark a criss cross pattern across the top with a knife and bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake is risen and nicely browned on top.
  7. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar if liked.
  8. Allow to cool a little, then cut into pieces along the markings. Delicious eaten warm or cold, but best consumed within two days.

Recipe Notes

Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.

Nutrition Facts
Cornish Hevva Cake (aka Heavy Cake)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 102
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.3g 17%
Saturated Fat 6.8g 34%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 105mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 34.2g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g 13%
Sugars 14.4g
Protein 4.6g 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.