Tudor Cooking with Claire – Soul Cakes

Posted By on October 31, 2015

As today is Halloween and it was traditional for medieval people to go “souling” at Hallowtide, I thought I’d make soul cakes. Mine are a bit more like soul “cookies” as I rolled them quite thin, but I hope you enjoy my video and why don’t you try out the recipe?

You can find out more about Halloween traditions in today’s article – click here.

48 thoughts on “Tudor Cooking with Claire – Soul Cakes”

  1. BanditQueen says:

    Thank you Claire for that great demo of how to make a soul cake, sounds yummy, will have a go next week, even if it is after Halloween as it sounds like a good idea.

    November of course is set aside by the Catholic Church to think and pray for our loved ones in the afterlife with All Souls Eve and All Saints 1st and 2nd November being the celebrations of the release of the soul from purgutary, or to pray for the soul, to be with the saints in heaven. The cake representing a soul is a lovely idea. In Mexico and other south American lands they have the Day of the Dead, they go to the burial grounds, have a picnic with their families, have celebrations, the entire place is decorated to give hope to the dead, the entire festival is about hope; there was a talk today at the Liverpool World Museum on the Mexican Day of the Dead and a family event.

    For Celts this time was New Year. It was fascinating to learn when that series was on with Neil Oliver a couple of weeks ago that the bog burials sacrifice people are connected to the New Year.

    We have gone a bit mad with the modern celebrations today, although some modern witches have said in the past that this festival is held within the Wiccan community as a sacred time and they do meet to celebrate it, They don’t of course as in the legends and stories ride on brooms, eat children, make the crops fail or do harm to people or hold sacrifices with black chickens, that is nonsense. As Wiccan is a nature religion, I assume they celebrate the natural world in the same way as the Celts did and they ask for renewal and so on. Any Wiccan members, please share, I would love to know more.

    The more nuisance elelments of this night can be frightening for people living on their own if kids continually knock on the door, but there is a way to avoid this on the whole and most children go around only to homes that they know they will be fine; for example in our area we put out lites and pumkins and a welcome sign at the gate so children and their parents know they can knock. This was suggested a few years ago when the police had to sort out a few unfortunate incidents that spoil it for everyone, when some trick or treat youths took the entire thing too far and some people got hurt. A child was actually killed a few years ago, on Mischief Night, running from the police, after they had overturned and set fire to a car; a bus ran them over. In another area, a child was attacked by an owners dog, and in another area touble broke out as callers came around very late and disturbed someone who had just gone to bed. Trick or treat is a good bit of fun for the kids as long as people are sensible; respect their neighbours, don’t call too late and parents are there to supervise. The kids have a good time and people who don’t want to be disturbed are not. I have to admit there are some funny and scary costumes out tonight, I can see from my vantage point up here at the window. Please also be careful, don’t put live candles in the lights; remember the story last year about a costume catching fire; please be very careful but enjoy the night and respect your elderly and disabled neighbours. It is like anything, with the right balance fun can be had and everyone stays safe and happy.

    There are lots of ghost stories on tonight and even though I don’t believe in ghosts I still love a good scary story. I love a good horror story, not too blood thirsty, just a good fright story. The classics are still the best.

    There are numerous traditions all across the world to do with All Hallows Eve, we used to play duck apple and have a pumkin and a dress up party, not trick or treat, it was great. We also have an envelope at church and you place the names of the people that you want to pray for in the envelope. It goes on a list and all the names are read out every day in November and prayed for. I light a candle to recall my dad and Steve’s mum who passed in the last few years. I also believe that they watch over us and are with us tonight.

    Have a good Halloween no matter how you celebrate, and please stay happy and safe.

    1. Christine says:

      I like the BBC Ghost Stories that they televised in the 1970s, based on the books by M R James, I bought the whole DVD collection last year and their still have the power to frighten me, Lost Hearts I think is the best with the two children and their long fingernails, as a child I used to have nightmares about them, it’s a pity the BBC don’t show much spooky stuff these days, although you get the odd movie, The Woman In Black first and second film is good, this maybe digressing from the subject of Halloween a bit and it’s origins but after all it is about the dead and the after life, I get some trick and treaters banging on my door but I don’t answer as I never have any sweets for them and they knocked when I was watching Strictly and nothing makes me budge from the sofa then, at that time I was chilling out eating sweets myself, I know that makes me seem mean but I don’t really like that custom, it can be a nuisance to old people who are sleeping in their chair and can’t move all that fast, they have to get up several times a night just to answer to kids, when I was younger we never had that, there was just a few party’s and you got dressed up a bit but that was all, now I think it’s a bit over the top, it’s fun for children but it’s only one night and we had fireworks going for several hours and my poor cat was terrified, now we have fireworks going right upto December even on Remberance day which I think is disrespectful, what I find rather sad is not a lot of children do Penny For The Guy anymore, we used to love that but now Halloween has taken over that custom which is a traditional English one, and as I said before about the fireworks, you would only hear them on the 5th Nov, and at the weekend but now they go one for a whole month.

      1. Christine says:

        Just watched your video, they look very nice Claire I imagine they taste a bit like panettone as they contain yeast, liked the shot of you having a swig of the ale to, Nigellas got nothing on you!

      2. Banditqueen says:

        I accidentally deleted the Woman in Black, it is meant to be quite good, I enjoyed Sixth Sense. Looking forward to having a go at some of the cakes and other cooking Tudor style. Thanks, Claire, for taking time to share these with us. May I ask, in your village in Spain do you have any special traditions of All Hallows Eve?

        1. Christine says:

          Yes The Woman In Black is very good, and the second one is too, incidentally if you can get to London to see the play at the Fortune Theatre you will enjoy that very much, it really is eerie and very frightening, you have all the atmosphere the slightest creak on the floorboards makes you jump, I recommend it most highly.

  2. Albert J. Kopec says:

    Do you have a recipe for the Anne of Cleves cake Lucy Worsley is shown eating during and episode of “The Six Wives of Henry VIII”?

    1. Donna Welty Stoner says:

      I request the recipe also as Mr. Kopec.
      Thank you,
      Donna Welty Stoner

    2. DLSudbeck says:

      Show just aired tonight in USA. Curious also. I went on line and cannot find anything anywhere. Even searching in Kleves, Germany. Did you ever find the answer Albert?

      1. Claire says:

        I haven’t been able to find a recipe I’m afraid.

    3. Juanita Bell says:

      jbellsister.jb@gmail do you have a picture and or the recipe for the Ann of Cleaves cake

  3. Judi says:

    I, too, would like that recipe for the Anne of Cleves cake.

  4. Lynn Roberts says:

    Did you find a recipe for the Anne of Cleves cake, Lucy Worsley was eating during the episode of “the Six Wives of HenryVIII”?

  5. L. Toole says:

    Did you find a recipe for the Anne of Cleves cake that Lucy Worsley was eating during the episode of “the Six Wives of Henry VIII”? It looked delicious!

    1. Mary Sharp says:

      I am from Columbus, Ohio in the U.S and I, too, cannot find anything anywhere! I am so inlove with U.K history-so many things to learn! Lucy Worsley is a confection all to her self, I must say! She is adorable! Peaceful tidings to you!


      1. Sally says:

        Great description! It is a warm and cozy feel when sitting down to relax and watching some british tv shows

    2. Kristin says:

      I am also searching for this recipe

  6. Rochelle says:

    The cake did look delicious and would also like the recipe for the Anne of Cleves cake!

  7. Ellie says:

    I would also like the recipe.

  8. Annette LaCoy says:

    I too would love the recipe of Anne of Cleve’s cake.

  9. Juanita Herrington says:

    I’ve searched everywhere and have had no luck locating a recipe for Anne of Cleves cake. Grr! Surely, there’s a recipe somewhere . . ..

  10. Rich Eobbin says:

    I would like the recipe for the Ann of Cleve’s cake as well.

  11. Judi Cox says:

    I would also like the recipe for the Anne of Cleaves cake. Looks yummy!

  12. Cathy says:

    I’m watching now and have had no luck finding the recipe

  13. Sheryl Rose says:

    I think I found the Anne of Cleves cake recipe. It is called Austria Kirschen Kuchen or Austrian Cherry cake. At least it looks like the cake on the program. Here is the web site:


    At any rate, use as you wish and enjoy.

    1. Judi says:

      Oh I hope so!

      1. Jennifer says:

        I paused the show just after she ate the cake, when they panned to a cafe window. The name of the cafe was printed on ribbons on a box of candies- Stradtcafe Conditorei Wanders. I sent them a note (thank you Google translate!) asking about the cake. I’m hoping they’ll give me a further clue. I’ll keep you posted if I learn anything new.

  14. Colleen McCafferty says:

    I live in the USA and would love to have the recipe as my mother’s maiden name was Cleves.

  15. Jennifer Miller says:

    This question came to me as a reference librarian! I also found the Cafe Wanders, via this article about the film team’s visit to Kleve:


    (You can deploy Google translate if like me, you don’t know enough German!)

    The article shows Lucy Worsley and the cake. But the cafe website has no mention of it, nor a picture of anything similar. As the other Jennifer did, I have submitted an inquiry via the Cafe’s contact form. I’ll send an update if I hear anything! I guess the search is still on!

    1. Rilal Coon says:

      I sent an email to Lucy Worsley today. She has a websie. There was a warning that she cannot answer all emails but it was worth a try.

  16. Rill Coona says:

    I am also interested in the Anne of Cleves cake. In my search I came across this feed. I hope we all find it and enjoy some wit good company. If I come across anything I will share it here.

  17. Shirley says:

    I’ve run into a dead-end in trying to find this recipe. Would love to hear from anyone who’se found it.

  18. Elizabeth Fye says:

    I just saw the airing on PBS googled Anne of Cleves cake with no luck. Adding my name to the list of those requesting the recipe if anyone finds it. Thanks!!

  19. Celeste says:

    I am curious also about this cake. If found I would appreciate knowing where I can get a copy of this recipe. Thanks and good luck hunting it down.

  20. Sally says:

    Saw the episode tonight and like most on here I too searched for the recipe. The cake she was eating looked scrumptious! I’d like the recipe as well!
    Thank you!

    1. Claire says:

      I have contacted the cafe that made the cake. They may not want to share the recipe they use but they may be willing to point me in the direction of a recipe for something similar so it’s worth asking.

      1. Sally says:

        Thank you Claire! That was forward thinking and appreciated 🙂

  21. Andrea says:

    Please add me to the list of people who would love this recipe!

  22. Shay Poole says:

    Please add my name
    to the list for the Ann of Cleve’s cake.

  23. Harriet Oexmann says:

    Please add me to the list for the Ann of Cleve’s cake recipe

  24. Patricia Wood says:

    I am very hopeful that the fierce tenacity of this group of Super Slueths will be successful in acquiring the Anne of Cleve’s cake recipe! I’m in the hunt now also! Please add me to the list.

  25. Jennifer Miller says:

    I don’t know if this Instagram post can be displayed here – someone hash-tagged this picture of a slice of cake taken at Cafe Wanders in Kleve:

    #torte #annavoncleve #stadtcafewanders #kleve

    It’s a fairly close-up picture. Maybe someone more experienced with German baking could analyze the photo? : )

    Yummmmm #kuchen #kaffe #torte #annavoncleve #lecker #coffee #delicious #tart #koffie #taart #lekker #stadtcafewanders #kleve A post shared by Marlies van der Leeuw (@marliesvanderleeuw) on Jul 2, 2016 at 5:54am PDT

  26. Lori Stuart says:

    I too would love to have a recipe for this cake. I would even be happy to just have a description of it.

  27. Marc Kaurin says:

    My wife wants this recipe as well. Please add us to the list.

  28. BEKA SOWELL says:


  29. Robert Whitby says:

    We also watched the series on the wives of Henry VIII and would like the recipe as well. Hopefully someone can help. Good to see so much interest. Thanks

  30. Belinda Green says:

    Thank you Sheryl Rose. If any other like recipes show, I would like a copy please. Thank you.

  31. aron says:

    Hi guys,
    I found this on another site. Perhaps it will help?

    It may be late, but I found your thread while also looking up this cake. Apparently Anna von Kleve (or Cleve) cake is not historical, it was created somewhen around 2015 in honor to Anna von Kleve’s 500th memorial.

    The Anna von Kleve cake is a buttercream cake consisting of a nut bottom, dark chocolate, a layer of cherries, a layer of buttercream (or cream in summer) and chocolate splitters on top.
    Not to be confused with “Anna-cake”, a christmas cake made from chocolate bottom with candied lemon peel, almonds and rum (there is no cream).

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