Cornish Fairings

Cornish Fairings are a traditional sweet and spicy ginger biscuit from Cornwall. Perfect for dunking in your cup of tea!

Cornish Fairings on cooling rack

If you are a fan of ginger biscuits, then you will love Cornish fairings. These biscuits have been a favourite in Cornwall for over 100 years. 

Lightly spiced, gingery biscuits that are crisp on the outside and meltingly chewy on the inside. This recipe is an adaption of one my grandmother used to make.

step by step Cornish fairings

Why are they called Cornish Fairings?

Cornish fairings have a rich history that is closely tied to fairs in Cornwall. In the past, fairs were held all over Cornwall, and they were a significant part of Cornish culture. 

At these fairs, vendors sold a variety of goods, including gingerbread. Cornish fairings were a popular treat at these fairs, and they quickly became a staple of Cornish cuisine.

The recipe for Cornish fairings has evolved over the years. In the past, they were made with treacle, which gave them a dark colour and a rich flavour. Today, most recipes use golden syrup instead of treacle. 

One of the most famous producers of Cornish fairings is Furniss. Furniss has been making Cornish fairings since 1886, and their recipe has remained largely unchanged since then. 

Furniss Cornish fairings are still made using traditional methods, and they are a favourite of locals and tourists alike.

Stack of Cornish Fairings

Key Ingredients

When it comes to making delicious Cornish fairings, the key ingredients are what make all the difference. Here are the essential ingredients you'll need to make this traditional treat:


Sugar is an essential ingredient in Cornish fairings, adding sweetness and texture to the biscuits. Caster sugar is usually used in this recipe, but you can also use granulated sugar if you prefer.


Unsalted butter is the preferred choice for Cornish fairings, as it gives a rich and creamy flavour to the biscuits. 


Plain or all-purpose flour is used in this recipe, providing the structure for the biscuits. It's important to measure the flour accurately to ensure the biscuits have the right texture.

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is used to add a lovely caramel flavour to the biscuits. Golden syrup is a key ingredient in Cornish fairings, giving them their distinctive taste.

Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda

Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are used to help the biscuits rise and become light and fluffy. It's important to use these ingredients in the correct quantities to achieve the perfect texture.

Ginger and Spices

Ginger is a key ingredient in Cornish fairings, giving them their signature flavour. Ground ginger, cinnamon, and mixed spice are also used to add warmth and depth to the biscuits.

The biscuits are created by mixing the dry ingredients with the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then adding the sugar and syrup before forming the dough into biscuits.

Baked cookies


Cornish Fairings - a delicious gingery biscuit from Cornwall UK #biscuit #gingerbiscuit

The dough is quite dry, so in order to create that crispness you need to add enough golden syrup to form a dough.

Cornish Fairings Biscuit Dough

Walnut sized pieces can be then rolled into balls and placed on a baking sheet ready for baking in the oven.

Unbaked cookie dough on baking sheet

Can you freeze them?

The biscuits can be frozen for up to 3 months although you will lose the crispness slightly. The taste is still amazing though.

Cornish Fairings

Try this next


A quick and easy egg free cookie recipe. These golden syrup and oat cookies are sweetened with syrup which gives them a lovely chewy texture.

Golden syrup and oat cookies

How do I make them?

easy bake cornish fairings

1 comment

  1. My friend always got me these from UK but now that I have the recipe, it's time to give her a surprise.