Its name is derived from the Pilchard industry in Cornwall prior to the 20th century when a 'huer' (cliff top lookout) helped locate shoals of fish. The huer would shout 'Hevva!, Hevva!' to alert the boats to the location of the pilchard shoals. Cornish tradition states that Hevva cake was baked by the huers on their return to their homes, the cake being ready by the time the crews returned to land.
It is made by crumbling all of the dry mixture together, then adding the raisins and mixing to a dough with milk. It is then rolled to a thickness of about 1/2", and a criss-cross pattern is scored across the top. This pattern signifies the nets used by the fishermen.