This recipe for Cornish fairings, or ginger biscuits, will help you create this traditional British cookie in just about 10 minutes!
Inspired by Paul Hollywood’s recipe, this ginger biscuit or Cornish fairing recipe will make you feel like you’re enjoying an afternoon of tea with the Queen.
While it’s a popular cookie in Britain, you can make them anywhere in the world.
If you’re making them in the US or other countries, I’ll talk more about the alternative ingredients below, as there is one that can be harder to find in America – but not impossible.
Enjoy the full Cornish fairing recipe and tutorial.
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What You’ll Need
To make these cookies, you’ll need:
- plain/all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- baking powder
- ground ginger
- unsalted butter
- sugar (caster or regular)
- golden syrup (buy it here)
Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)
- Silicone baking mats – I use this brand and my cookies slide right off without burning!
- a cookie scoop – get this one. It makes the perfect rounded cookies every time!
- silicone spatula – try this set. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dough and batters
- rolling pin guides – I use this one. Genius way to roll your dough out evenly!
History of Cornish Fairings
The word “fairing” was a word for edible souvenirs sold at fairs around England, and Cornish fairings were traditional cookies (or biscuits, as they’re known in the UK) found in Cornwall.
These are ginger biscuits, with some of the same texture and qualities as gingerbread, and they would be bought by young men to bring to their partners back home.
The Cornish fairing rose in popularity once it started being sold in mail order catalogues in the late 1800s and spread outside of the Cornwall area.
Why is the Top Crackly?
There’s something about a crackling top that many people love about cookies.
The crackly top on these cookies is created because of the baking soda (called bicarbonate of soda in the UK).
Baking soda creates a reaction that helps the cookie to spread, darken, and get that iconic top.
You’ll also find a crackly top in my red velvet cake mix cookies.
Can I Freeze Ginger Biscuits?
Yes, you can freeze ginger biscuits if you can’t eat them all at once.
Freeze indvidually wrapped in saran wrap for up to 3 months.
What if I Don’t Have Milk?
You will use a bit of milk in the recipe to get the dough to come together, but if you don’t have any, substitute with a bit of water and a bit more syrup.
Can I Use Maple Syrup?
This recipe calls for golden syrup.
Golden syrup is not the same thing as maple syrup, and while it is a staple in British baking, it can be harder to find in the US.
However, you should be able to find it on Amazon here, in bigger grocery stores, and in international food sections.
Don’t use maple syrup in these cookies if you want the traditional flavor – yes, you will still be able to create a cookie out of it, so go ahead and test if you want, but it isn’t the same due to the maple flavoring!
How to Make Cornish Fairings
To make these ginger cookies, heat the oven to 180C.
In a large bowl, throw in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, and ginger.
Mix it all together.
Add the butter, softened and diced, into the mixture and rub it into the mixture with your fingertips.
Keep going until it is all mixed in and the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar.
Then, in a separate bowl, mix the milk into the golden syrup and then add it to the mixture.
Mix until well combined.
Gather tablespoon sized portions of dough and roll them into balls.
Place on a baking tray, allowing room for them to spread.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they are a dark golden brown color and have flattened out – they will puff up at first in the oven and then settle into their final, more flat, shape.
Let cool and enjoy!
- 1 and 2/3 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C.)
- In a large bowl, throw in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Mix it all together.
- Add the butter, softened and diced, into the mixture and rub it into the mixture with your fingertips.
- Keep going until it is all mixed in and the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix the milk into the golden syrup and then add it to the mixture.
- Mix until well combined
- Gather tablespoon sized portions of dough and roll them into balls.
- Place on a baking tray, allowing room for them to spread.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they are a dark golden brown color and have flattened out - they will puff up at first in the oven and then settle into their final, more flat, shape.
- Let cool and enjoy!
The butter should be softened, but not so soft that it is melting or you can squish your fingers all the way through it.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g