In the days long before Halloween had become the commercialized event we know today, Soul cakes were traditionally given out to the poor by the wealthy in return for saying prayers for the souls of the wealthy’s dead around the time of All Souls Day on November 2nd. The poor children would go from door to door “Souling” for these tasty treats. Souling is one of many old traditions which came together to form the more recognisable Halloween traditions of today. These days, of course, our children go door knocking for treats dressed as monsters and witches and they are given sweets in return for not playing tricks on the householders.
For more info on the origins of Halloween, Soul cakes and Souling click here.
Here is a recipe for Soul Cakes. Make them for your Halloween Party for a traditional Halloween touch. The recipe is very easy to follow. Soul cakes were made with simple and readily available ingredients as they needed to be relatively simple and economical to make. However they did also needed to be tasty enough to be considered a treat by the children.
A Soul cake is very similar to a tea cake or Hot Cross Bun but it doesn’t have any currants or a cross on the top. You could serve your soul cakes with a little butter if desired or even honey or jam or you can eat them just plain.
Soul Cake Ingredients;
6oz Castor sugar
1lb Plain flour sifted with a pinch of salt
3 Egg yolks
Teaspoon of ground mixed spice
Milk to bind
Soul Cake Method;
1. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the egg yolks.
3. Fold in the flour and the mixed spice to form a firm dough. Add milk to bind if needed.
4. Knead the dough well then roll out to about 1cm thick.
5. Cut into rounds with a medium sized pastry cutter, prick with a fork and place on a baking sheet.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C / 350F Gas 4
7. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold.
There you have it a simple and tasty traditional Halloween recipe the humble Soul cake.