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Thunder and lightning

utterly divine

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

ingredients 3 ingredients
Prep 3 mins Cooking
user icon Serves 2 people
speech bubble 16 comments


  • 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.


lighthouse scene

Comments (16)

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Stephen Nancledra says: 30 Mar 2021 at 1:54 am

Thunder and Lightening was my treat and thank you for helping my mother in the kitchen especially helping make the clotted cream at home (mid to late 1950's) . The big enamel bowl over the very low heat and just skinning the skin over to one side as it formed and watching the delicious cream slowly thicken. (Sorry Rodda's we were then a very traditional family) The reward was a 1 inch thick slice of still slightly warm bread covered all over with the freshly made clotted cream and then treacle drizzled all over the cream. It brings tears to my eyes even now in 2021, and it was always and always will be a better reward and treat than a bar of chocolate any day of the year. Proper Job.

Stephen says: 09 Oct 2019 at 12:10 pm

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

Mike Marshal says: 19 Sep 2019 at 11:54 am

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.

Ali says: 10 Jul 2019 at 4:13 pm

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

Judy Le Marchant says: 30 Jun 2019 at 2:10 pm

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.

Kimberley Blair says: 05 Mar 2019 at 9:46 pm

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

Stephen says: 17 Mar 2018 at 12:36 pm

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

Denise says: 13 Mar 2018 at 12:36 pm

Why is this called Thunder and Lightning?

Belinda says: 11 Apr 2017 at 1:23 pm

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?

Nerissa Trenear-Harvey says: 20 Mar 2017 at 9:15 am

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.

Bryn Hancock says: 18 Jan 2017 at 2:41 pm

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.

Eva says: 05 Jun 2016 at 7:13 pm

Hi !! I LOVE your LOVELY THICK CREAM… : P 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 !!!

Rich B says: 09 Aug 2015 at 10:57 am

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.

John E says: 01 Aug 2015 at 4:03 pm

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.

Val Marsh says: 10 May 2013 at 8:12 pm

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.

Caroline Beckitt says: 07 Jan 2012 at 2:56 pm

By coincidence 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 proceed 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!

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