A nod to Halloween – Soul Cakes

Categories: BLOG and LIFESTYLE.

Soul cake biscuits


I like the sound of these cakes, very simple, although my first batch turned out more like biscuits. Partly due to me rolling the dough too thin and having my oven too hot so they came out a smidge overdone.

Soul Cake History:
Traditionally made for All Souls’ Day (2nd November, the day after All Saint’s Day) to celebrate the dead. The “souls” were given to children and the poor who went door to door saying prayers and singing songs and psalms for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern day Trick or Treating, which now falls on Halloween (two days before All Souls’ Day). This tradition originated in Britain and Ireland hundreds of years ago, from giving out bread on All Souls’ Day during the devout Middle Ages.

For my second batch I rolled the dough thicker and had a lower oven temperature to make them a bit more cakey and omitted the sultanas. They do however, still resemble biscuits!

Soul Cake Recipe

Makes 14 large or more if you use a smaller cutter

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 340g plain flour (sifted)
  • 100 to 170g sugar depending how sweet you like your cakes
  • 170g butter (softened & diced)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tsp of white wine vinegar

Recipe Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan) and line or grease 2 flat baking trays

Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients: sifted flour, spices, and sugar in a mixing bowl and rub in the diced butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, or pulse in a mixer. I used my Magimix.

Add in the beaten egg and white wine vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon until a firm dough is made or use the mixer to make the dough. Then cover it and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Flour a working surface and roll out the dough to ¼” thick and using a medium or large round pastry cutter cut into rounds.

Uncooked Soul Cakes Make the mark of a cross on top to signify that these are alms (to give alms is to give to others as an act of virtue). Place these rounds on the greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly coloured and cooked through.

Et voila:Soul Cakes

Great with a cup of tea.

Disclaimer: I have to confess that:

a) I didn’t rest the dough

b) I didn’t have butter so I used Tesco Olive spread

c) I didn’t have castor sugar so I used part light brown sugar, part demerara and part organic coconut sugar, why not?

d) I haven’t worked out calorie content as they’re a one off treat and I’m not planning on eating the whole lot………

Send me your pictures please if you manage to make some, especially if decorated xxx

Happy Halloween xxx