Traditional (and not so traditional) recipes to make the most of Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is somewhat overlooked in terms of what it can offer when it comes to food, as it is mostly overshadowed by the relentless quantity of Halloween themed treats. While there is undoubtedly some overlap when it comes to these two time-honoured traditions, there are certainly some dishes that have a distinct November 5th character. Please do excuse the fact that I have not taken pictures of my own cooking. As a catered first year, I do not have access to a kitchen. 


Parkin is a treacle sweetened spiced cake that hails from Yorkshire and is arguably the most illustrative example of a baked good that is perfect for the Bonfire Night festivities. It is very robust and has a warming flavour, so it is perfect for eating outside in the cold.

Image by Aleksandra Konwa via flickr

Butternut Squash Soup

While this is a generally popular recipe for autumn and Halloween, no Bonfire Night would be complete without Butternut Squash soup. Adding a light hint of chilli can make this a perfect dish for the cold Autumn evenings.

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Welsh Rarebit

While there is no conclusive evidence that Welsh Rarebit actually originates from Wales, this autumnal staple is the perfect hearty snack that has a long heritage throughout Britain. Made with bread, cheese, and mustard; it is a very quick and rustic dish, so perfect for eating outside while warming up next to the fire.

Image by Helen Orozco via flickr

Mulled Cider or Apple Juice

Why not introduce Mulled Cider or Apple Juice to your November agenda? It is simplicity itself. You only have to place a teaspoon of whole cloves, one star anise, a cinnamon stick, a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, a few cardamom pods, and some orange peel in a saucepan of apple juice or cider. Place it on a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering serve immediately. While you can add sugar if you want it a bit sweeter, I prefer it on the sharper side.

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Plum, Apple, and Almond Galette

Galette is a slight deviation away from traditional Guy Fawkes Night, but I would argue that it should become a staple. A galette is a French pastry similar to a pie, with a shortcrust pastry that surrounds the pile of fruit in the middle. While there is a great variety of seasonal fruits and flavours you could incorporate, I would say that this recipe for plum, apple, and almond is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Riverford Farm Plum, Apple, and Almond Galette

Image by Ghayda Awad via Pexels

Meringue Ghosts

I think it would be remiss of me to ignore the influence of Halloween, and as such I have added this simple recipe for Meringue Ghosts. They can be used to adorn other baked goods or simply eaten as a small sweet treat.

Image by Cozinhando Fantasias via flickr

Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes are something that I have only encountered recently, and while I have yet to have the opportunity to make them for myself, they are heaped in a rich history that goes back nearly a thousand years. Despite their name, they are more akin to biscuits than cakes, and I think they deserve more attention (as demonstrated by the fact that I was not able to find a picture of them). While it is a common belief that the tradition of trick or treating is purely an American invention, it in fact has its routes in the medieval English tradition of Souling whereby people would go from door to door asking for a Soul Cake with the objective of releasing souls trapped in purgatory.


Featured Image:Ghayda Awad via Pexels

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