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Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes

Bakeries sell the most doughnuts on Halloween and the Soul Cake is the origin of this October 31st tradition. Soul cakes were given in Ireland and England and other parts of Europe on All Hallows Eve, (also known as All Saints Eve), because it was the Christian vigil for All Saints Day on November 1st. The vigil of All Hallows Eve was kept as a meatless feast. All Souls Day on November 2nd, is the Christian tradition to commemorate the faithful departed, who have not yet been purified enough to reach heaven. On the vigil of All Hallows Eve, groups of “soulers,” usually children and the poor, would go from door to door singing and offering prayers for the dead, especially for the dead relatives of the house, with the hope of being given a soul cake.

Soul Cake Song (1891) ~ sung by soulers Chorus: “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.

Verse 1: God bless the master of this house, The mistress also, And all the little children That round your table grow, Likewise young men and maidens. Your cattle and your store; And all that dwells within your gates, We wish you ten times more.

Verse 2: Down into the cellar, And see what you can find, If the barrels are not empty, We hope you will prove kind. We hope you will prove kind, With you apples and strong beer. And we’ll come no more a-souling, Till this time next year.

Verse 3: The lanes are very dirty, My shoes are very thin, I’ve got a little pocket, To put a penny in. If you haven’t got a penny, A ha’penny will do; If you haven’t got a ha’penny, It’s God bless you!”

Candles were lit in every room in Ireland, England and Austria to guide the souls of the departed back in case they wanted to visit their earthly home. Churches displayed relics of Saints to honor them and some dressed as Saints as reminders to the faithful. Church bells were rung and also by people rang hand bells in the street, reminding and exhorting hearers to pray for the dead.

The traditional colors of All Soul’s Day were black, violet and purple. This is the origin of the colors we see on Halloween, along with pumpkin orange.

St. Quentin

(c. 287)

Feast Day: October 31

Patron of military gunners, chaplains, locksmiths, porters, tailors and surgeons. Invoked against coughs, sneezes and dropsy.

St. Quentin was an early Christian. He was a Roman citizen, who is thought to be the son of a man named Zeno who was a Roman senator. Fill with the Holy Spirit and apostolic zeal, St. Quentin traveled to Gaul, with another missionary, St. Lucian. They preached the faith together until they reached Amiens in Picardy, when they parted. St. Lucian went on to Beauvais, where he was later martyred. St. Quentin stayed at Amiens, and worked through prayer and preaching, to turn it into a fruitful vineyard of faith for God. He was also performing miracles there. The Roman prefect heard that the Christian faith was spreading in Amiens and he ordered St. Quentin arrested and thrown into prison. The next day the prefect Rictiovarus, attempted to win St. Quentin over with promises and threats, but finding him unmoved by both. Rictiovarus had St. Quentin thrown back into prison and mistreated terribly. An angel came and ministered to St. Quentin and helped him escape prison. St. Quentin began preaching again in the market place.

Rictiovarus had left Amiens, and commanded that St. Quentin be arrested and moved to a town with now is called St. Quentin, but at that time was called Augusta Veromanduorum. Again Rictiovarus, in an effort to save face, attempted to use force to get St. Quentin to deny his God, but nothing could vanquish the courage of the saint. Finally in frustration, it was ordered on October 31st, “that his head be cut off, whereupon a dove issued from the gaping neck and flew away into the heavens.” The martyr’s body was secretly thrown by Roman soldiers into the marshes of the river Somme.

Fifty-five years later, a blind woman, also from a Roman senatorial family, named Eusebia, received a divine message to leave Rome and go to the place where St. Quentin’s remains were buried. She traveled to the area of his martyrdom and miraculously found the body. Eusebia placed St. Quentin’s body in a chariot and stopped to bury the body when the chariot could go no further, on the top of a mountain near Augusta Veromanduorum (now Saint-Quentin, Aisne). She built a small chapel to protect the tomb and her sight miraculously returned. There is no question that Saint Quentin existed. He is often depicted wearing armor holding two spits.

St. Quentin Glazed Doughnuts

Feast Day: October 31

There is nothing like a warm, homemade soul cake!

½ c. Warm Water

1 t. Pure Cane Sugar

4 ½ t. Yeast (2 packages)

¾ Vitamin D Milk, heated lukewarm

1/3 c. Butter

¼ c. Pure Cane Sugar

1 t. Sea Salt

2 large Eggs, beaten

4 c. Non GMO Flour

Light Olive Oil for frying


6 c. Organic Powdered Sugar, sifted

2 t. Vanilla

5 T. Warm Water, or more to thin, but add in small amounts

Chocolate Glaze:

2 c. Organic Powdered Sugar, sifted

3 T. unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 t. Vanilla

2 T. Water, or more to thin

In a small bowl, mix the warm water, sugar and yeast together. Allow to sit 10 minutes, until a creamy foam forms on top.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the milk and heat until small bubbles form around the edge.

In a large mixing bowl, mix ¼ c. sugar and 1 t. salt.

Pour the warm milk and butter mixture into the bowl.

Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add the yeast, the eggs and 1 c. of flour. Stir until dough is smooth. Add the remaining flour ½ a cup at a time, stirring after each addition to make a soft dough.

Stir the dough until it leaves the sides of the bowl for about 1 minute.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Form dough into a ball.

Put the ball of dough into a large lightly buttered mixing bowl. Turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch dough down and roll out on a floured work surface to ½ inch thick.

Cut doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or a large glass and small biscuit cutter for the hole. Place cut out doughnuts on parchment lined or lightly floured baking sheets. Cover the doughnuts with a large tea towel and let rise again for 30-40 minutes. Do not go over 40 minutes or they become too airy.

*Make the glazes now! Because you will not have time for this once you start frying.


6 c. Organic Powdered Sugar, sifted

2 t. Vanilla

4 1/2 T. Warm Water, or more to thin, but add in small amounts

Chocolate Glaze:

2 c. Organic Powdered Sugar, sifted

3 T. unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 t. Vanilla

2 T. Water, or more to thin

When doughnut rising time gets close, begin – In a heavy pot, heat light olive oil on Med and then reduce to 4 setting. Test oil by sprinkling a very small amount of flour in it – if it sizzles it is hot. If not, wait. If the oil sizzles, start with one doughnut hole – again if it fries quickly, in one minute, the oil is ready. Never leave oil unattended.

Carefully pick up the doughnuts and gently drop the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry about 1 minute on each side, or until light golden brown. Turn once after 1 minute.

Put hot doughnuts on brown paper bags or paper towels to drain excess oil.

Stir your glaze and make sure it is not too thick. Drop hot doughnuts into plain glaze first and with a fork turn to coat. Place on wire baking racks and allow glaze to set.

For a Krispy Kreme like doughnut - After first glaze has set, dip doughnut tops in chocolate glaze and return to wire baking rack.

Or you may just dip doughnut tops in chocolate glaze without an undercoating of glaze.

These keep stored at room temperature about a day – if there are any left! Reheat for 10 seconds in the microwave for a warm doughnut!

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