Bonfire Night: we’ve got cake

October 30, 2018 6:37 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s dark, it’s cold and everyone’s miserable. And that’s why we need Bonfire Night – the best celebration of autumn you can get! Whether you’re at a no-expense-spared proper display – or craning your neck in a damp field  as you watch your council tax explode in bright colours – or simply standing at the back of your auntie’s garden, as she puts on a free show for the neighbours – the cheerful frosty togetherness of it all will set you up properly for the winter ahead.

Looking for a great Bonfire Night cake recipe?

Looking for the best Bonfire Night cake?

This is the recipe you need! It’s got that dark, rich treacly-ness that immediately makes you think of crackling twigs, misty evenings and getting the hats and scarves down from the loft. This is now a family recipe of my own, but was originally taken from a recipe provided by Andrew Marr (of all people) in a book called Great Scot! Recipes From Scotland, by Sue Lawrence, published by Hachette.


225g butter

225g soft dark sugar

280g black treacle

280g plain flour

3 tsp ground ginger

1  tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100ml warm milk (dairy or non-dairy: whatever suits you)


Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a pan until liquid. Meanwhile, mix the flour and spices in a bowl. Beat in the eggs. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm milk and add to the mixture. Stir in the liquid from the pan, then turn out into a lined loaf tin. Cover with foil.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180C for around 1 hour. Remove the foil from the top and cook for a further 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

And don’t worry if it sinks slightly in the middle!

Hosting your own Bonfire Night?

We've got tips for Bonfire Night food - and more


If hosting your own back-of-the-garden fireworks, or watching everyone else’s from the window, while you throw a party, we’ve got some more great ideas for your own Bonfire Night celebrations.

  • Decorate the house: particularly important if you’ve got kids! Rockets are what loo rolls and kitchen roll tubes are made for. While you’re at it, stick some fairy lights in jam-jars and pile the tartan blankets high.
  • Make firework food: marshmallows on long skewers, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles – edible sparklers.
  • Make easy-to-carry food: if you’re going outside, how about cheese and ham pancakes, folded in parcels, lovely sausages in hot-dog rolls, covered in herbs and onions, bonfire cupcakes with chocolate flakes for the wood, and of course, toffee apples and slabs of cinder toffee?
  • Make hearty food: we go for jacket potatoes stuffed with cheese, sour cream, mustard and chives, spicy jacket potato or root vegetable wedges, apple crumble and squidgy chocolate brownies, all piled high near the back door.
  • Make warming drinks: it’s almost obligatory to float marshmallows on top of hot chocolate on Bonfire Night. If you’re looking for something different, how about some hot ginger beer, with a lovely fruity spiciness?

And whatever you do, remember, remember, to enjoy it all. Because it’s all downhill until Christmas, now.

Naturally Good Reads v2


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This post was written by Yzanne

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