All Souls Cakes – a delicious recipe!
One of the most popular parts of our Halloween tours around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is our offering of authentic Victorian Soul Cakes! Knocking on doors for soul cakes was the precursor to modern day trick or treating and was often accompanied by a song:
“Soul! Soul! Soul cake!
Please good Missus, a soul cake!
Apple, pear, plum or cherry
Any good thing to make us all merry
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all”
The following recipe will need to be tweaked for dietary requirements (that goes without saying) but here you go – an authentic Victorian recipe that perhaps one or two of the people we talk about on our tour around Tower Hamlets Cemetery ate themselves.
Soul Cake Recipe (makes 14-16 biscuits)
- 340g plain flour (sifted)
- 170g granulated sugar
- 170g butter (softened and chopped)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 200C and grease 2 flat baking trays with the leftover butter.
- In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together well (flour, sugar and spices).
- Then rub in the chopped butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and white wine vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon or knead until the dough is firm.
- Wrap in cling film or place in sealed container and refrigerate for 20 mins.
- Flour surface and roll out dough to ¼ inch (6mm – 7mm) thick and cut out rounds using a large cookie cutter.
- With a cylindrical chopstick or wooden skewer, gently press a cross shape into the top of each round (don’t press too hard or the cookie dough falls apart).
- Place rounds onto the baking tray and bake at 200C for 15 – 20mins until golden.
The ending biscuit has a ginger snaps/shortbread similarity and is utterly delicious. So delicious that after our tours on Saturday a number of people got in touch saying that they’d made their own! Here’s Jacquitravels & Adrian Powter getting into a Great British Death-Off with the recipe:
Celebrate All Souls with these tasty treats – lets us know how yours turn out!