Halloween Recipe: Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes are small round cakes (more like cookies) that were traditionally used in medieval England on Halloween. The poor would go door-to-door that night and seek food, money, or prayers from the wealthy, and in return the poor would offer their own prayers. Often, people would hand out soul cakes to the poor. Soul cakes are a way of blessing and remembering the dead. The superstition is that for each soul cake eaten, one soul is saved from purgatory. These treats also have a history of being used by the Catholic church — priests blessing the soul cakes and then giving them out to those who promise to pray for the dead. Some say they can even be traced back to the Druids, used during sacrificial rituals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Handful of raisins

Directions:

  • First, set oven to 400 degrees.
  • Beat one egg and then place in fridge — you’ll need this for later.
  • Combine flour and spices in a small bowl.
  • Use an electric mixer to combine sugar and butter, next add two eggs and continue mixing, then add flour, and finally pour in heated milk.
  • Pour final mixture onto a baking sheet and use flour to knead the dough (I had to use A LOT of flour). Use a cookie cutter to shape the cakes 1/2 inch apart (I didn’t have a cookie cutter so I just used my hands).
  • Add raisins to cookies.
  • Finally, use a paintbrush to coat cookies with beaten egg.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes.

They didn’t come out perfect, but pretty delicious still! They taste really fresh and crumbly. If you like a crispier texture then you probably want to bake for up to 20 minutes. The cakes have just a touch of sweetness, and leave you feeling very full and satisfied. You can bake soul cakes for your friends and family, or even just for yourself. Before giving them away or eating one, take the time to think about your loved ones who you have lost throughout the years, and send positive thoughts to the afterlife.

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