Halloween Seed Cake Recipes: Traditional All Hallows Eve Cake Using Caraway Seed

Halloween kickoffs the season of holidays and heralds the beginning of fun and excitement as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year soon follow one another. At the onset of October, planning for Halloween parties begin and every party host puts in great efforts to make his or her party as hauntingly thrilling as possible. Planning has to be done on several fronts like sending Halloween invitations, arranging for decorations, deciding activities, games, party menu and costumes and so on. However, before embarking on the planning activities it is necessary to decide your Halloween party theme. All the other factors will be dependent on the theme you have chosen; if the party is for adults then the scary element can be heightened while a party for kids has to be a mix of fun and little amount of fright.

All Hallows Eve Cake Using Caraway Seed

Modern Halloween celebration dishes include pumpkin pie (after all, something needs to be done with the pumpkin flesh of the Jack O’Lantern) and the creation of horribly spooky looking food. However, in one small corner of the Midlands region of the UK, seed cake was the traditional food to be eaten on October 31st.

A search of old cookery books shows there are two distinct types of seed cake. Hannah Glasse, in her book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy published in 1805, made her seed cake using yeast. Yet Mrs Beeton in her Book of Household Management published in 1861 makes it like an ordinary cake using eggs and butter. Therefore two recipes for Halloween seed cake are offered here – one uses yeast, the other does not.

Why not make one, or both of them to serve up at a traditional Halloween party? An old fashioned seed cake will make a delicious, fortifying treat to eat whilst playing traditional All Saints Eve games such as Knotting the Garter, Burning Nuts and Three Dishes as described in this article about Halloween Games and Superstitions.

Halloween Seed Cake Recipe Using Yeast


  • 1 lb plain flour
  • ½ lb currants
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 2 oz butter
  • ½ oz caraway seeds
  • ½ oz allspice
  • ½ pt milk
  • 1 oz fresh yeast


  1. Cut the butter into small pieces and lightly rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add the sugar, caraway seeds, allspice and currants and stir well together
  3. Put the milk in a saucepan and gently heat it until it reaches blood temperature or just above (but not too hot otherwise the yeast will be killed)
  4. Crumble the yeast into the milk and stir well together
  5. Make a hollow in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the milk in
  6. Stir together to form a dough
  7. Knead the dough for about five minutes
  8. Form the dough into a neat round shape, put a couple of slices in the top and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour or so
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 5, 190 C, 375 F for about 50 minutes

Halloween Seed Cake Recipe without Yeast


  • 1lb flour
  • 1lb butter
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ lb caster sugar
  • ¾ oz caraway seed
  • Pinch of ground mace
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 5 fl oz brandy


  1. Cream the butter well
  2. Sift in the flour and add the other dry ingredients
  3. Mix well together
  4. Whisk up the eggs and add to the dry ingredients
  5. Pour in the brandy
  6. Beat the mixture well with a wooden spoon for several minutes (or use an electric whisk for a minute or so)
  7. Line a cake tin with greaseproof paper and pour the cake mixture into it
  8. Bake in a pre heated oven at gas mark 5, 190 C, 375 F for about an hour

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