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Cornish pasty on beach

The Devon pasty is a perfect picnic in itself – they are tasty, filling, reasonably priced and available in a huge number of bakeries and shops, especially here in the West Country. Of course, our Cornish cousins make the most famous variety, but we Devonians make a pretty mean pasty ourselves.

Traditionally, a ‘pasty’ has always been a generic name for a particular shape of pastry that contains a variety of fillings including steak, stilton, vegetables and even chicken tikka. Sometimes you will find sweet pasties too, jam packed with ingredients such as apple and fig, or chocolate and banana! Read on for our comprehensive overview to the perfectly sumptuous delight that is the Devon pasty…

What is the difference between a Cornish pasty and a Devon pasty?

Cornish pasty and Devon pasty in bakery window

There will always be great debate about the origin of the pasty, but one easy way to detect the Devon pasty from the Cornish is that the Devon pasty has a top-crimp and is oval in shape, whereas the Cornish pasty is semi-circular and side-crimped along the curve.

For those after the finer details, the recipe also changes a little between the counties, but only with small variations between each. Mostly, pasty recipes are passed down between families, and as with all types of cooking, everybody has a slightly different way of doing things.

In 2006, one historian even claimed that the Devon pasty could have been the true original, with records from Plymouth mentioning pasties as early as 1509 and 1510. Cornish historians quickly retorted that there are cave paintings from Cornwall that depict pasties, meaning they were consuming them even in ancient times. Nevertheless, we’ll leave that debate to the experts and focus on the task at hand, which is all about the Devon pasty.

With over 700 years of practising the art of the pasty behind us, it’s safe to say that Devon is a great place to pick up a tasty pasty from a local producer.

Where to find the best pasty in Devon

Devon pasty on beach

It is no secret that Devon is a food lover’s heaven with a wealth of eateries to enjoy, ranging from award winning restaurants to sumptuous beachside cafés and bistros, not forgetting the popular traditional bakeries.

As you would expect, the Devon pasty is a firm favourite amongst both local residents and visitors, and lucky for us, there is an abundance of places to buy them. It can be a tough job finding the perfect Devon pasty, mostly because it’s highly subjective and depends entirely upon personal preference. At Coast & Country Cottages, we like our Devon pasty with crumbly pastry and chunky steak flakes in a thick juicy gravy – mouth wateringly delicious!

There are so many producers of the delicious Devon pasty, so to help navigate the Devon pasty scene, we want to share with you a few of our favourite establishments – the list below is in no particular order! Rest assured though, there are plenty of other options, and we are only including a small sample of delights on offer in Devon.

Dartmouth Bakery

Location: Dartmouth

You will find the popular Dartmouth Bakery and the Sloping Deck Restaurant on Duke Street in the centre of Dartmouth, and the majority of their food, including their popular fresh bread, is made in their own bakery. Check the Dartmouth Bakery Facebook page for regular updates or to get in touch ahead of your visit if required.

Fullers Pasties

Location: Brixham

An extremely popular establishment, especially with local fishermen, the pasties at Fullers are baked fresh on the premises daily. Should you fancy something a little different, you can also purchase baguettes and baps that are made to order, alongside homemade cakes and delicious Lavazza Coffee. With takeaway options available, be sure to arrive early as customers with rumbling tummies tend to queue in their hoards to purchase the lion’s share. Follow the Fullers Pasties Facebook page for regular updates.


Location: Kingsbridge

Mangetout Café and Delicatessen has been serving customers in Kingsbridge for over 40 years, and you will find them situated towards the top of Fore Street. They also have an establishment in the market town of Totnes, and it is truly thriving. Their traditional pasties are sourced from Chunk of Devon based in Ottery St Mary.

The Bake House

Location: Salcombe, Kingsbridge and Dartmouth

A family run establishment, The Bake House on Salcombe’s Fore Street is best known for its wonderful fresh bread, croissants and perfect pasties – a must-have for foodie holiday makers staying in the town. There’s also a branch in Kingsbridge, towards the bottom of Fore Street.

Butterworth’s Family Bakery

Location: Kingsbridge

Halfway up Fore Street in Kingsbridge you’ll find ‘Butterworth’s’, a friendly, family-run bakery with a tempting range of reasonably priced cakes, pastries and much more. Their traditional pasties are extremely reasonably priced, and are simply perfect for picking up a bundle to take home.

Devon pasty recipe

After all this talk about the delicious Devon pasty, we wouldn’t be surprised if your mouth is watering and your tummy rumbling. Below we’ve detailed our tried and tested way of making a traditional Devon pasty, and once you feel confident with this recipe and technique, you could perhaps try different fillings such as seasoned meats or sweet fruit, or even both. The pasty world is your oyster and once you have mastered a good pasty recipe, be sure to indulge!

Devon pasty ingredients

1 x large potato
1 x large onion
Half a medium swede
500g British skirt beef
450g plain flour
225g unsalted butter
Beaten egg to glaze

How to make a Devon pasty

1. First you will need to make a shortcrust pastry, which is most notably the hardest bit. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add water by the tablespoon, mixing it in with a flat knife until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough. Gently pat this together into a ball, and keep in the fridge for around half an hour

2. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5, or 190°C

3. Chop the swede, potato, onion and beef into small cubes and combine these into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired

4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Top tip – even the best of pasties stick and sometimes they can be difficult to remove from the baking paper so be sure to use a good quality sheet

5. Turn the pastry onto a floured work surface and divide it into portions, this mix will make four large portions or six smaller, or smaller again should you want to enjoy cocktail pasties

6. Roll out each individual portion into a circular shape, until the pastry is around a half a centimetre thick, and then add your ingredients across the centre of the circle making a small pile of filling

8. Wet one edge of the pastry where your join will be, which will help it stick, and then gather the edges together, pulling them up and around the filling to meet in the middle, and simply press (otherwise known as crimping) the edges together with your fingertips

9. Crimping can at first seem a little tricky, but don’t worry, because it does get easier with time so just make sure you keep batches of tasty Devon pasties. Essentially, crimping involves making a small twist along the sealed edge. To crimp the edge of a pasty, push down on the edge of the pasty with your finger, and twist the pastry over. We find the easiest way to crimp is to use your fingers and twist the pastry over.

10. Once crimped, transfer the pasty to your baking tray, brush with the beaten egg to glaze and bake in the oven for around an hour, until they are golden brown and smelling divine.

Self-catering holiday cottages in Devon

Villa 1, Estuara, Salcombe - Devon holiday home

At Coast & Country Cottages we have an enviable selection of self-catering holiday cottages that are perfectly placed to enjoy not just the traditional Devon pasty, but the full breadth of the local food scene, which is extensive!

Explore our holiday cottages in Devon to enjoy some of the country’s best local produce – we have something to suit everyone from country escapes and coastal cottages to luxury properties taking in sea & estuary views, not forgetting our dog-friendly holiday options too. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, call a member of our team today who will happily help.

Book your Devon holiday cottage today