Mary Berry’s Cornish Fairings


Last Friday the small child and I were heading out for an afternoon play date so I decided that we should make something to take along. As there was no way I was going to the shops in the morning (in my defence, we’d been shopping on Thursday afternoon) I had to make do with what was in the house. So what follows is a genuine store cupboard recipe.

I first made Cornish fairings a few years ago but never blogged the recipe and, of course, couldn’t for the life of me remember which one I’d used. However, Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes offered a recipe and one for which I had all the ingredients. I was a bit concerned because her biscuits looked nothing like Cornish fairings (in my opinion) should.

However, you can never really go wrong with a ginger biscuit, can you?

My biscuits turned out looking exactly like Berry’s, so a big tick there. However, I’ve done some research and have some ideas what needs to be done differently to get a much more distinctive cracking pattern on the biscuits. Disappointing, because last time I made them they were picture perfect … but it’s provided me with an excuse to make more.

These biscuits are full of ginger spice and are hard and crunchy, so they’re perfect for dunking. A big hit at home, with the small child demanding a biscuit for breakfast on Saturday.

Rest assured, he didn’t get it!

Mary Berry’s Cornish Fairings


  • 100g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g butter (I used salted as that's what I had)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 75g (roughly 2 generous tablespoons) golden syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients with the butter until crumbly. Add the golden syrup (warmed, if it is very cold weather) and mix to a soft dough.
  3. Either divide into 24 or, using a teaspoon, scoop out small walnut sized portions, roll and gently flatten on a baking sheet (lined with baking paper).
  4. Cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, remove and tap the tray firmly on the bench before returning to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  5. The biscuits should be golden.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. They will easily last 3-4 days.

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