Thursday, 1 November 2012


“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” - C.S. Lewis

The old English custom of “soul-caking”, or “souling”, originated in pre-Reformation days, when singers went about on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 1 and November 2), to beg for cakes in remembrance of the dead. The “soulers”, as the singers were called, droned out their ditties repeatedly, tonelessly, without pause or variation. Doubtlessly, Shakespeare was familiar with the whining songs because Speed, in Two Gentlemen of Verona, observes tartly that one of the “special marks” of a man in love is “to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas”.
Soul Cakes

1 cup butter
3 and 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup fine sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
A couple of threads of saffron (soaked in the milk for several hours)
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
4 -6 tablespoons milk
Icing sugar, to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a large fork.
Blend in the sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice; beat eggs, vinegar, and saffron milk together.
Mix with the flour mixture until a stiff dough is formed.
Knead thoroughly and roll out 1/4-inch thick.
Cut into 7 cm rounds and place on greased baking sheets. Prick several times with a fork, mark crosswise and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday


  1. i wonder what this tastes like? interesting info behind the cake's name. :)

    thank you so much for sharing and playing again, Nick
    enjoy your weekend!

  2. A recipe and an education rolled into one!☺

    I've trusted and watched a few flicks from your film reviews, so I'm certainly giving these a try!