Samhain Soul Cakes

Today is Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), the Celtic Day of the Dead.  It is a time for honouring our ancestors and remembering loved ones no longer with us.  It’s the reason we don’t celebrate Hallow’een – the day has real meaning for us, and we celebrate as a family.  We eat a celebration meal together, and remember those who are no longer able to share it with us.  We play games too – traditional games such as apple bobbing.  And we carve pumpkins (when I haven’t been a bad Mummy and forgotten to get one!)

It is traditional to eat Soul Cakes today, and to give them to others.  Below is the recipe I  used to make our Soul Cakes this year.  They are very easy to make, but the dough does need to chill for several hours, but it’s worth the wait!

soul cakes

These soul cakes contain rosemary, the herb of remembrance

115g seived icing sugar
225g softened butter
1 egg
275g plain flour (gluten free flour can be substitued without needing any other adjustments)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp biacarbonate of soda
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp rosemary


cream together the butter, egg, sugar and vanilla and almond essences.  Sieve the flour into the mix, add the baking powder, bicarb and rosemary and fold into the butter and sugar mix. Beat until it forms a dough.  Chill in the fridge for 3 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 190c

Divide the dough into 2. Rollout on a floured surface to about about 5mm thick.  Cut out circles and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.  They will spread quite a lot, so leave plenty of space for this.

Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Samhain Blessings to you all.

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4 comments on “Samhain Soul Cakes

  1. Hmmm sound yummy – love the addition of rosemary… any significance in that?

    Do you know the song? Might sing it at folk club next Friday – respite from the anti war stuff – no doubt I’ll be doing a bit of that too 😉 Fiona

  2. Camille Bratkowski on said:

    Fantastic recipe! These were so addicting! I will be using this base dough recipe for other seasonal cookies, i.e. spices for Yule. Thank you!

    • Camille Bratkowski on said:

      I will say tho…the dough is very soft and I have to refrigerate it before baking. I have no luck rolling out the dough but instead roll the dough into balls and flatten them.

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