Halloween Blogfest: Gia Dawn

Soul Cakes

Halloween has traditionally been thought of as a day when the walls between the worlds grow thin, and the spirits of those who have passed on come back to roam the earth, bestowing blessings on those loved ones left behind.

For those of more mainstream beliefs, November 1 and/or 2 are All Saint’s Day or All Soul’s Day—the Day of the Dead in Mexican culture—which again honor those loved ones who have passed on before us.

The tradition of passing out soul cakes, small round cakes made spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, was prevalent in Britain and Ireland during the middle ages. The cakes were laid out on All Hallow’s Eve with glasses of wine, and on the following day children would go out “souling”, begging for the cakes from door to door while singing this song first written down in 1891:

A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all.

Each cake eaten represented a soul being freed from purgatory. (How I wish I could find a way to add some line from Supernatural here!) You can celebrate this ritual today with the following recipe from www.food.com

1 cup butter, two sticks American
3 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup fine sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
4 -6 tablespoons milk
powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a large fork.
3. Blend in the sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice; beat eggs, vinegar, and milk together.
4. Mix with the flour mixture until a stiff dough is formed.
5. Knead thoroughly and roll out 1/4-inch thick.
6 .Cut into 3-inch rounds and place on greased baking sheets. Prick several times with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes.
7. Presentation:.
8. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.

I hope you enjoy.

If you have any traditional food you prepare for All Soul’s Day or the Day of the Dead, please let me know. I will be awarding a free download of A Taste of Winter and a beautiful red costume mask to one lucky person who leaves a comment!!!

tasteofwinter_msrHere is a brief history of my writing career.

After several deaths in the family and a health scare of my own, I quit writing back in 2008 after releasing several titles with Samhain Publishing. When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes–young adult onset–in May of this year, I did what any good mother would. Cried for several days and then went to check out the Brenda Novak Auction where I bid on, and won, a three chapter critique from Ellora’s Cave!! I pitched to the lovely Julie Naughton at the Readers and Writers weekend sponsored by Lori Foster and Duffy Brown in June, and voila, the Red Masks Series was born. The first in the series, A Taste of Winter, will be releasing November 8, 2013. You can check it out here: http://www.ellorascave.com/a-taste-of-winter.html

Gia Dawn


  1. Hello! Hope you all are having a great day. Can’t wait to hear from you, Gia

  2. Gia! Hello! So glad to see you “back in the saddle!”

  3. Don’t prepare any food

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Thank you all for stopping by. Gia

  5. Every year I prepare a stew or some kind of crock pot recipe so when my husband and I get in from the trick or treaters, we have something ready to go. This year it is supposed to rain tomorrow night, so I made some chicken noodle soup today and tomorrow I think a nice double chocolate cake or some brownies are in order.

    For traditions, I always watch a monster movie or two and delve into the Pagan side of the house with remembrances of loved ones that have passed. My father, my friend Irene to name just a couple.

    Congrats on your book release and I’m going to cross my fingers on this one. I am a sucker for stories about masks and to maybe win one, well now…that would make my heart just happy. Especially one in red.

    Happy Halloween!


    erzabetwrites at gmail dot com

  6. jennifer mathis says:

    nope i cant say that i do cook anything special for it at all

  7. Erzabet,(which is a seriously cool name, where dies it come from?) its supposed to storm all night tomorrow here, too. A good night for hot soup and chocolate. I light a white candle and put out honey and apples for the ancestors in the house, the ritual makes me feel connected to the past.

    Jennifer, thanks so much for stopping by . My culinary skills aren’t all that great, so hubby and I will probably have leftover Indian food and cookies from the bakery. 🙂


  8. I definitely want to make the cakes. 🙂

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

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