by Patti Wigington
Updated August 31, 2016
Soul cakes were traditionally baked as a gift for the spirits of the dead. In many European countries, the idea of "Souling" became an acceptable alternative for Christians. The cakes took many different names and shapes -- in some areas, they were simple shortbread, and in others they were baked as fruit-filled tarts. Still other regions made them of rice flour. Generally, a soul cake was made with whatever grain the community had available.
You can make your own with one of these four simple recipes for your Samhain celebrations.
PIE CRUST SOUL CAKES
- A refrigerated roll-out pie crust
- 2 Tbs. melted butter
- 1 C mixed dried fruit
- 2 Tbs honey
QUICKIE SHORTBREAD SOUL CAKES
- 1 stick (115 g) of butter, softened
- 4 Tbs (50 g) sugar
- 1 1/2 C flour
Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown at 350 degrees (177 C).
(Note by the Blogger: I tried 1.5 C flour and it didn't work out. The though crumbled and wasn't smooth at all, so I figured, I try it a second time and just put in flour until the dough is smooth and it worked out fine ^_^)
BUTTERY SOUL CAKES
- Two sticks (230 g) butter, softened
- 3 1/2 C flour, sifted
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg & saffron
- 1 tsp each cinnamon & allspice
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp malt vinegar
- Powdered sugar
Lightly beat eggs, and add to flour mixture. Add malt vinegar. Mix until you have a stiff dough. Knead for a while, then roll out until 1/4" thick. Use a floured glass to cut out 3" circles. Place on greased baking sheet and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees (177 C). Sprinkle with powdered sugar while the cakes are still warm.
If you're a fan of Irish cooking, the folks at Food.com have a neat story about the history of soul cakes: "Soul cakes were the original trick-or-treat goody. Irish peasants would go door-to door on All Hallows Eve begging homeowners for food to celebrate the occasion. Soul cakes were given to them. This ensured the homeowner would be free from a curse or prank; instead, the receivers would offer prayers for them that would help them get into heaven."
- 4 C flour
- 1 pkt active dry yeast
- 1 C milk
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/2 tsp each cinnamon & salt
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/2 C lemon zest
- 1 1/4 C golden raisins
Cream yeast with 1 tsp sugar & 1 tsp milk, let it get frothy. Blend flour, spices, & salt together, then cut in butter. Add the rest of the sugar to the flour mix and blend. Add milk & beaten egg onto the yeast mixture; combine with flour mixture. Beat until stiff.
Fold in raisins and zest, cover with a damp cloth and let rise.
Divide in two, place each half in greased 7" round pan. Cover, let rise again for 30 minutes. Bake 1 hour at 400 degrees (204 C).
(This wonderful article is from thoughtco.com)