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Catholic Recipe: Beltane Cakes


  • 2 cups oatmeal - fine (take regular rolled oats and grind in a blender)
  • 2 Tablespoons lard
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar


Prep Time: 45 minutes

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: England


Food Categories (2)


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Feasts (1)

The original pagan feast, celebrated as the Eve of Beltane in the British Isles, was accompanied by lighting of new fires and feasting on certain foods retained by later customs in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. We are told that Beltane Cakes, large and scalloped, were set against hot stones to bake while a caudle (custard) was eaten, and beer and whiskey consumed. Many customs were connected with these cakes, among them that the person drawing a piece blackened by the fire became the "carline" who must be sacrificed to the fire. Later in Wales when cakes were cooked on ordinary stoves, light and dark oatmeal cakes were made, and the one who drew the dark cake was required to jump three times through the flames of the lighted bonfire.


Knead together and cut into round shapes. Put on ungreased cookie sheet and top with a glaze of 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake seven minutes, turn and bake another seven minutes, or bake on a griddle. (If you can't grind the oatmeal, you may need to add 1 cup of flour. They are a little dry - but nutty tasting.)

Recipe Source: Taste of Wales, A by Unknown, Unknown, Unknown