Soul cakes. Love the name, but I’d honestly never heard of them, even though Sting has a song about them. Who knew! So this was a difficult one for me. Thankfully, Daniella loves to bake, and when I was in London she showed me a recipe she had created for soul cakes.

They were delicious but needed something. Pears, more spice, and, for the holiday spirit, sherry. We collaborated and bada bing, here it is. Soul cakes embody autumn. Spicy and fresh, I can’t get enough of these with tea.

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SOUL CAKES

Author Eric

Ingredients

  • 75 g melted butter
  • 120 ml buttermilk or plain yogurt if you can’t find buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 125 g flour
  • 135 g sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 3 tbsp sherry Harvey’s Bristol Cream works well

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Core the apple and pear and chop into even 1cm cubes. Pour the sherry into a bowl and add the fruit. Macerate (or soak, for the layman) the fruit in the sherry for around 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge.
  3. When the fruit is ready, whisk together the butter, buttermilk (or yogurt), egg and vanilla.

  4. Sift together the flour, sugar and all other dry ingredients, including the spices. You can do this over the same bowl as the combined wet ingredients. When everything is in the bowl, whisk together until completely combined and smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into greased mini round cake pans – either springform, individual pans or a multi-well round pan – and bake for 12–15 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

Alternatively, although it isn’t historically accurate, you can bake this in a small, greased cake pan like a 15cm loose-bottom round tin for approx. 35 minutes to make one satisfying small cake.