Soul cakes are an old English traditional cake, sometimes known simply as ‘souls’. The tradition of giving out soul cakes on All Hallows’ Eve dates back to the Middle Ages, when children went door-to-door saying prayers for the dead On All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, children went ‘souling’, asking for soul cakes from house to house: quite possibly a precursor to trick or treating. This recipe is adapted from one on lavenderandlovage.com.
Makes 12–15 cakes
175g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
450g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
a little milk to mix
1 Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Fan 170/375F. Cream the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy and then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
2 In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and the spices together and add to the wet mixture along with the currants (reserving a small handful to decorate the tops later).
3 Mix with a wooden spoon and then add some milk to pull everything together into a dough.
4 Roll out to a thickness of around 1cm and cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter. Use a straight-sided knife to make a slight cross indent in the top of each cake and then push in raisins along it.
5 Place on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray and bake for 10 to 15 mins on the fire or in the oven until golden. Allow to cool before eating.