Four recipes from the dead for the pleasure of the living

The festivals at the end of October and the beginning of November, which mark the end of autumn and the approach of winter, also mark the end of the harvest and of the preparations for this period of the year when food is scarce and living conditions are hardened. Darkness takes the place of light.

This was the case until the arrival and generalization of electrical energy, which revolutionized rural uses and customs, giving way to an industrial society. But what hasn’t changed is the mystery of the afterlife, the world of the dead and the spirits, nor the desire to honor those who are no longer among the living. And food is the best way to make offerings that remember them.

This happens all over the world and kitchens in all countries offer special dishes and desserts for these days. We offer here sweets from four countries that pay homage to the dead and to the spirits with intensity: from Spain the buñuelos deviento, from Ireland the soul cakesfrom the United States simple caramel apples and from Mexico, the bread of the dead.


A very thin fry that begs to be filled Freepik

Traditional All Saints’ Day dessert that can be eaten filled with cream, pastry cream or chocolate.


  • 200g of water

  • 130 g pastry flour

  • 25g of butter

  • 25g sugar

  • A tablespoon of baking powder

  • 4 eggs

  • Salt

  • Lemon zest

  • Sunflower oil

  • Icing sugar


The first thing is to sift the flour to prepare it and over it you can grate the lemon zest if it is to the taste of the cook. Yeast is also added. In a saucepan, heat the water, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to minimum and add the flour with or without lemon zest. Stir vigorously until you obtain a homogeneous paste that does not stick to the sides of the pan. This prevents the flour from being raw.

Turn off the heat and after letting the dough cool and lose temperature, add the eggs one by one. Beat the first, pour over the corn and mix well. The operation is repeated for each of the following steps. The result should be a smooth paste. Let the dough rest for a few hours.

Heat the oil thoroughly in a deep frying pan so that the donuts can float. The frying is finished low heat. With two dessert spoons, shape the round balls which will be carefully poured into the mould. It’s easy to turn them over so they cook evenly. When they’re golden, they’re removed and drained of excess oil by placing them on a wire rack.

When cold, they can be filled with pastry cream, cream or chocolate using a piping bag and a nozzle.

To finish, sprinkle the donuts with icing sugar just before serving; don’t sprinkle them first, because they absorb the sugar and stop looking pretty. Decorate by sprinkling with icing sugar.

‘soul cakes’ or soul cookies

The particularity of these cookies is the cross they present on one of their faces. malikphur

Irish recipe in which each of them represents the soul of a deceased.


  • 340 g pastry flour

  • 150 g brown sugar

  • 170g cold butter

  • Half a teaspoon of powdered ginger

  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon

  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


In a bowl with the sifted flour, add the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix as evenly as possible. Add the diced butter and mix all the ingredients with your hands until you get a sandy, but homogeneous mass in which the butter is barely noticeable. It’s time to add the beaten egg and apple cider vinegar. Continue to mix with your hands until you obtain a homogeneous paste with which you will make a ball. Wrapped in cling film, let it rest for about an hour in the fridge.

After this time, it is stretched with a roller on parchment paper until a plate of half a centimeter is left. With a cookie cutter or a glass of wine, the cookies are done. With the rest, you can repeat the process of making a ball, stretching and cutting. If it has softened, it can be put back in the refrigerator to harden again.

Raw cookies are placed on baking sheets on parchment paper. It is time to make the cross that characterizes them with the right handle of a cutlery in their center. They can now be put in a preheated oven at 200º for a quarter of an hour and they are already golden. Let them cool for a few minutes in the tray then transfer them to a wire rack to cool and not get wet.

Apple candies

Caramelized apples with toppings of different colors and types. Freepik

Typical of fairs, especially in the United States, their Halloween celebration coincides with the end of the apple harvest.


  • 5 red apples

  • 300g refined white sugar

  • 150ml water

  • 100 grams of butter

  • Vanilla flavoring

  • 1 dessert spoon of red food coloring


In a saucepan, add the sugar, water, vanilla essence to taste and butter. Heat everything over medium heat and stir constantly. When the ingredients are well mixed add the coloring typical red of this candy. Let the caramel cook until it begins to bubble. Take it off the heat at this point. After sticking a wooden stick into the apples, carefully dip the apples in the hot caramel and place them on a flat surface on parchment paper to cool.

Color or chocolate chips can be decorated while the caramel is still hot, with some chopped dried fruit to make it crispier.

The bread of the dead is one of the most traditional sweets in Mexican cuisine. Freepik

A very traditional Mexican candy that dates back to pre-Columbian civilizations, but back then it was neither bread nor candy. It’s not particularly laborious, but it does take time and patience.


  • 550 gr of strong flour (recommended wheat W360)

  • 200 grams of sugar

  • 100g butter at room temperature

  • A teaspoon of orange blossom

  • 25 g of fresh baker’s yeast

  • 2 eggs

  • 190ml whole milk

  • Orange zest

  • 4 grams of fine salt


You have to start by preparing a promotion that the Mexicans call sponge. In a bowl, mix 50 ml of lukewarm milk with the crumbled fresh yeast. With a fork dissolve well and add 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Once well mixed, let sit at room temperature until needed, but at least half an hour. The bowl can be covered.

On the work surface, put the flour making a mountain in which a hole will be made where you will have to put the eggs and mix until they are integrated. Add the diced butter and continue to mix little by little. Orange blossom, salt, orange zest and the remaining sugar are also added little by little. Knead for another five minutes or so until a more or less homogeneous mixture remains.

It’s time to add the milk very little by little so that it is absorbed by the dry ingredients. Keep kneading until the dough no longer sticks to the counter or your hands. This process is long. It is advisable to give short periods of rest, five minutes, to the dough so that it settles. And to rest your arms.

As soon as a smooth paste has been obtained, the sponge which has fermented is added. The dough will be sticky again and you will need to knead again until it is manageable again. You need to repeat the processes of rest.

Once the mas is ready, it is placed in an oiled bowl, covered and left to ferment for an hour and a half or two hours in a warm place. When it has doubled in size, it is placed on a floured work surface and cut into three parts. With two, two loaves of the dead will be made and with the third, the decorative elements that will simulate the skull and bones.

The two main parts are shaped into a ball, as round as possible, and placed on a baking sheet with parchment paper well separated from each other so that they can expand in volume without problems.

The remaining third of the dough is divided into six equal parts. Two of them have a rounded shape and will be the skulls. With the other four, we will make elongated churros, which can go from one side of the bread to the other. These will be the bones and they should have four protrusions separated by three holes, one of them in the exact center. These churros are placed on the bread forming a cross and one of the balls is placed where they intersect. To improve adhesion, moisten the bonding areas with a little water

With the oven preheated to 180º C, the loaves are put for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

To decorate them, melt more butter and glaze the freshly baked bread with it, without letting it cool or giving it time to absorb the butter, sprinkle the top with white sugar.


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