Cornish Fairings

A traditional Cornish Fairings recipe hailing from the West Country. Flavoured with candied lemon, orange peel and spice, the golden syrup adds a chewy texture.

From the book

The Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking by
The Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking
120 original recipes from GBBO's judges and contestants
Learn to make showstopping Bake Off recipes
Perfect for baking aficionados and GBBO fans


These traditional West Country biscuits were sold at country fairs (where workers were hired and livestock bought and sold) as edible souvenirs. They are flavoured with chopped candied lemon and orange peel as well as spice. The golden syrup gives them a lovely, slightly chewy texture, but measure it carefully and don’t put too much in if you want a nice cracked surface.

Makes 18


100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground mixed spice
40g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 tbsp mixed peel, finely chopped
3 tbsp golden syrup (flat, not rounded), gently warmed

Essential kit

You will need 3 baking trays, well greased with butter.


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture, using the tips of your fingers, until it looks like fine crumbs. Mix in the peel, followed by the syrup, to make a stiff dough.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into 18 marble-sized balls. Set them on the prepared baking trays, spacing them well apart to allow for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes, until a rich golden brown – it’s a good idea to turn the trays round in the oven halfway through baking so the biscuits cook evenly.

Leave to cool on the trays for a minute until firm, then lift on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

See more recipes »

More Biscuit and bar Recipes

See more recipes »

More Quick Recipes

See more recipes »

More British Recipes