Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes have a rich and illustrious history and were traditionally baked in England and Ireland for All Soul's Eve. If you haven't tried them before, bake a batch of these soft biscuit cakes today!

I love learning about the food traditions of other countries, probably because Australia doesn't have that many of its own. Last Halloween I was introduced to Soul Cakes by a British You Tuber I follow, and it led me down a rabbit hole of rich history and different recipes to try.

They fast became a popular treat in our house, with us enjoying them anytime throughout the year - you don't just have to bake them only for Halloween, right? I thought you might like to try them as well, and this recipe is a kind of mash up of some of the traditional ones I've tried - the best bits of a few different recipes, you could say.

Let's start with a quick overview of the history. There are different versions or traditions depending on the region, but Soul Cakes were cooked and given to soulers on All Souls Day. Soulers were generally children and the poor who went door to door singing songs and carols and reciting prayers in exchange for a Soul Cake - a bit like our modern day trick or treating.

There's also the belief that Soul Cakes were eaten to release the tortured souls in purgatory, so they could continue their journey to heaven. There were those who believed that if Soul Cakes were not offered then restless souls would play tricks on the living. 

There's also a lot of different recipes available for Soul Cakes, and they're either filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger and also currants or raisins. They're usually marked with the sign of the cross and they were generally served with wine as an offering to the departed.

Soul Cakes are a lightly spiced, buttery biscuit/cake that literally melts in your mouth. They are fluffy and sweet and very easy to bake.

I may have been the only person to not know about these delicious Soul Cakes until last Halloween, but if you haven't tried them before either, then get baking lovely. You only need a few basic ingredients, and my recipe makes about two dozen cakes so they're economical as well as the perfect treat for Halloween.

To download and print my Soul Cakes recipe card, simply click on the link, or right click on the photo below and save it to your computer.

I hope you and your family enjoy these delicious Soul Cakes. Their history and tradition fascinates me and we're going to enjoy a batch this Halloween and throughout the year when we have a craving. ;)


Happy baking :)
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1 comment

  1. My hubby and I just made our first batch of Soul Cakes. They don’t look quite as pretty as yours, but they are definitely delicious and will be made again. Next on the agenda is some friands to use the egg whites.


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