Officers are appealing for witnesses after the 45-year-old woman from Springfields, in Bugle, was targeted as she walked along Red Lane to the village's Spar shop at about 6am on Thursday.
"This is a serious crime and we would like the community to help us identify those responsible," said St Austell inspector Stuart Gibbons.
"Thankfully crimes like this are extremely rare in this area."
The woman alleged being attacked by two men.
Her main attacker, she told police, was in his late 20s or early 30s, possibly had a dark European complexion, was about 5ft 9in, had bushy dark eyebrows, and spoke with an accent.
The victim said he was of a muscular build, had a round face, and was wearing a dark grey hooded jumper with faded red writing across the chest, dark trousers and black trainers.
She described the second man, who she said grabbed her by the shoulders, as bigger than her, with big hands.
They allegedly stole her red, shiny, plastic handbag, which contained £34.80 in notes and coins, an electric metre key, Golden Virginia tobacco, a lighter, a packet of green Rizla papers and a small coin purse.
The victim's face was allegedly bruised and swollen after the incident.
It was reported to police at 9pm the same day.
Anyone with information can call St Austell officers on 101, quoting GA/13/260.