thunder and lightning

thunder and lightning

a wonderfully simple, and utterly divine, traditional Cornish teatime treat!

  • 113g Cornish clotted cream
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 slices thick-cut bread

Thickly slice two pieces of good-quality bread.

Spread a generous helping of Cornish clotted cream onto each of the slices, and drizzle with plenty of golden syrup.


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  1. Caroline Beckitt says:

    By coinicidence I bought a pot of your wonderful clotted cream this week in order to eat it on scones with golden syrup, having been told whilst on visits to your gorgeous county that this combination is known as Thunder and Lightening and did in fact preceed the version with strawberry jam! Now I have accessed your website to tell you how wonderful it was and found that the version with bread is already there. In any case – it was just wonderful!

  2. Val Marsh says:

    Yummy. However, I have always put my golden syrup on first and the cream (Rodda’s of course) on the top. Just as I do with the jam!

    It’s also extra yummy with Cornish splits.

    By the way, I am Cornish.

  3. John E says:

    Putting the jam or treacle on first, what barbaric thing to do to wonderful ingredients. No, first split the scone (or bread), then apply the clotted cream thickly and dab the jam(strawberry being my favourite), or drizzle treacle n top. That the way I was taught, but that was in London.

    1. Rich B says:

      So far as I’ve known, John E, the Cornish way with jam and clotted cream is different than the one with golden syrup (or honey) and clotted cream. With jam (blackberry my favourite), the split is errr, split, then the jam put on, then as much clotted cream as will stay there is piled on top. I hear “townies” and folks from Deb’m do it t’other way around, but that’s daft – who wants more jam than cream? With Thunder’n’Lightning, the only way I ever saw it prepared was to spread the bread with clotted cream and then drizzle lines of golden syrup across the top. The photo at the top of the page is a good indication and gets a thumbs-up from a Cornishman in Cornwall my ‘ansum.

  4. eva says:

    one of the BEST !! UK…
    : ) I’ve ever tried !!!
    quite expensive – £ 2 for this small yummy yumm : ) : P
    but worth of this 2 quid !!!!
    It’s the best with pancakes and honey on the top instead of golden syrup !!!

  5. Bryn hancock says:

    I don’t want to upset you but as a cornish man we were always brought up to put lashing golden syrup on first and then smother it in the clotted cream. And yet here at the start of your description is a photo of a Devon style of cream first and golden syrup second. I feel that this needs to be addressed asap.
    Many thanks.
    Greedy cornishman.

  6. Nerissa Trenear-Harvey says:

    My mother from Marazion always covered her bread with a very thick layer of cream, ‘right to the edges mind you’! Then drizzle the golden syrup in a specific way … A line all round the edges, to form a square, then four bars horizontally, then one across on the diagonal. “A five bar gate” the finished article known as “thunder and lightening”. Scones, were spread with jam first, also to the edges and a full dessert spoonful of cream on top. Her other delight was a bowl of junket, made with full cream milk, topped with nutmeg and when set a large dollop of clotted cream. She lived to 100 years and 11 days, and had no problems with pure cream, whole milk and butter in her eating habits.

    1. belinda says:

      Thanks for those great memories Nerissa! A lot of us here at Rodda’s are well known for enjoying the occasional Thunder and Lightning recipe. Have you seen our video introduction to this little pleasure?

  7. Denise says:

    Why is this called Thunder and Lightning?

    1. stephen says:

      Oooh, a good question! We’ll get back to you.

    2. Judy Le Marchant says:

      Golden Syrup was only marketed from 1885. Before that the “thunder” part of the treat would have been black treacle (the stuff supposedly found in treacle mines). With white clouds of cream dashed across with dark lines of treacle it could be seen as the exact reverse of thunder clouds crossed by lightning.

  8. Kimberley Blair says:

    My mum sometimes makes pikelets for Sunday tea time and we have cream and golden syrup on them… far the best!

  9. Ali says:

    As kids, we were given these as a treat, but with syrup it was called sparky cow and with strawberry jam it was fruity cow.
    My mum spent a few years in Barnstable, as a child during the war. Which is where she had been given these herself. I still eat them now occasionally

  10. mike marshall says:

    just had a look at the website and it reminded me of my childhood in Cornwall over 70 years ago, thunder and lightening comes to mind as well as pasties, saffron cake and Hogs pudding and much more! A dollop of cream in the pasty filling works well, keep up the good work.

    1. stephen says:

      Ah that’s really lovely to hear, thank you Mike.

Time: 3 minutes
Makes: 2 portions

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