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Glow In The Dark Chocolate Cherry Soul Cakes.

If your Soul had a Flavor...

As the end of October gets closer, my kids have learned to stay away from many commercial stores as their Halloween displays seem to get darker and more sinister every year. Mannequins dressed as axe murderers at the hardware store and creepy grim reapers overshadowing the grocery check-outs are enough to conjure up nightmares in anyone.

There is more than enough evil in our world. Why do we need to celebrate it?

These gory store displays got me thinking about the origins of Halloween and how far our overly commercialized culture has once again strayed from the origins of a holiday that started centuries ago.

As early as the 8th century, November 1 was set aside as a day of commemoration for “all saints.” In the same way, as many other Christian feast days, this one began with a vigil the evening before. This became known as “all hallow’s eve,” from which the word Halloween is derived (hallow being synonymous with a saint). By the fifteenth century, the Roman Catholic church formally celebrated an 8-day-long “Allhallowtide,” the first 3 days of which were All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ day, and All Souls’ Day.

One notable tradition that developed as part of this vigil of remembrance, in the British Isles, was “souling”. This involved groups of people going door to door singing songs of lament and offering to pray for the deceased members of each household. In exchange, they begged for a sweet treat, called a “soul cake”. Because children were often the ones to “go souling,” many consider this to be the origin of trick-or-treating.

Soul cakes themselves came in a variety of forms, but many versions contained seasonal fruits and spices like raisins, nutmeg, and allspice. They were often decorated with a cross.

I love this idea of a “soul cake”. I personally believe that we are all created in the image of God. Since God is eternal, even though our bodies will eventually perish, our souls will live on for eternity.

So, how do I capture this image of our eternal soul within a cake? With this simple concept as my inspiration, I thought it might be a fun experiment to ask my friends on Facebook a simple question:

If your soul had a flavor, what would it taste like?

Here are some of the responses I received:

Burnt toast.

Like honey on my lips…

Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries.

Everyone’s soul is unique…





…the crunchy taste of seasoned fried breading

Like a fine red wine....approachable, earthy, a little bit fruity, and a long smooth finish.

Wild mushrooms because they're earthy and grounded like a good soul should be.

Complex but stewed over time.

Vanilla is this beautiful warm flavor that wraps you up, it’s full and warm, it’s comfort and homey. It’s deep, it’s sweet, it’s rich….

Chocolate truffles.

Turkish Delight.

…a finely crafted peach and berry mix with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles.

Some kind of contradiction pairing. The struggle, the good, the bad.

These are all wonderful ideas, so I did my best to include as many of them as possible in my version of a soul cake.

The cake is more of a brownie. I included dark chocolate and cherries which go very well with Chipotle and Cayenne pepper. I poached the cherries in red wine and reduced it to intensify the spicy cherry flavor that pairs perfectly with the dark chocolate brownie batter. It has a nice sweet and spicy kick to it. I finished it off with a good glug of vanilla extract.

I had to throw in some orange pumpkin, as it’s the iconic flavor and color of the season. To enhance the pumpkin flavor I added a good dose of ginger, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. The earthy pumpkin cake contrasts the rich chocolate cherry brownie as they are baked into the opposite sides of the mold to represent the dichotomy of good and evil that lives deep within each of us. Light vs Dark, sweet vs sour.

The mini cakes are shaped as a wispy breeze and colored with a light blue pearl fondant. I then dusted it with luminescent luster dust and a dollop of Tonic water jelly that represents the eternal image of God that lights up when the Spirit of God shines His unseen light upon us.

The recipe is below, they are simple to make, unique, and delicious.

If there is a light

We can't always see

If there is a world

We can't always be

If there is a dark

Now we shouldn't doubt

And there is a light

Don't let it go out.

- A Song For Someone,

Songs of Innocence, by U2

Chocolate Cherry Chipotle & Pumpkin Soul Cakes

This recipe makes 12 mini bundt cakes. Prep time 20 min, cook time 25 min. Soul Cake decorating 35 min.

Tonic Water Jelly

  • 1 cup Tonic Water

  • 1 - 7 gram pouch or 1 tablespoon of powdered gelatine

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Brownie

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten.

  • 1/3 cup shaved dark chocolate

Cherry Chipotle Red Wine Reduction

  • 1/ cup red wine (Malbec or Merlot)

  • 1/3 cup frozen cherries, finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Chipotle pepper

  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Brownie Batter

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Ingredients to finish the Soul Cake

Mini spiral bundt cake mold. I used this mold from Michaels:

  • White Cake Fondant

  • Neon Luminescent Luster dust. I found a small 5-gram jar at my local cake decorating store. It must be truly neon for it to show up under the UV light.

  • 1 UV Light. I used a UV flashlight I found on Amazon.

  • Fondant shaping tools

  • 1 soft brush for dusting and decorating your soul cakes with luster dust.


  1. Tonic Water Jelly. Tonic water glows a nice blue under UV Light. I use this in the center of the cake. In a small pot mix 1 cup of tonic water with 1 pouch of powdered gelatine and the sugar. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let it cool, then add it to a small bowl and set it in the fridge. It would be good to let this set overnight or at least 3 hours ahead of making your cakes.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F

  3. Spray the mini bundt mold with non-stick spray.

  4. Chipotle Cherry & Red wine reduction. Mix the chopped cherries, red wine, and spices in a small pot and turn on to medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 2/3. About 12 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool. Stir in a tablespoon of vanilla extract as you take it off of the heat.

  5. Chocolate Brownie. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Then, mix in the eggs, and oil. Once this is well mixed, stir in the cooled cherry reduction followed by the shaved chocolate until well combined.

  6. Pumpkin Brownie. In a separate bowl mix, the dry ingredients: Flour, salt, sugar, spices, and baking soda until well combined Then add in the beaten, eggs and pumpkin puree. Stir until well combined.

  7. Using two spoons per mix, add a few dollops of the two batters on separate sides of the bundt cake molds up to 2/3 full in each mold. Gently combine the two sides being careful to keep each side distinct.

  8. Bake at 350 F for about 22-25 min until a test toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Let the brownies cool for about 10 minutes then carefully remove them from your pan. I use a silicone pan so they are easy to pop out and retain their unique spiral shape.

  10. Once the brownies are cool, trim the bottoms with a serrated knife so they will sit flat and level.

You can enjoy these plain, or make them glow with some fondant, neon luster dust, and a little tonic water jelly.

Decorating your soul cakes.

Starting with a golf ball-sized piece of fondant, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/8 “ or 4 mm thick.

Then gently cover the individual bundt brownies, carefully pressing the fondant into the crevasses of the molded brownie. You can use some smooth chopsticks, a small silicone spatula for this. You might want to pick up a few fondant shaping tools and a soft cake decorating brush at your local cake decorating shop.

Once your brownies are covered and trimmed, you can brush on your cluster dust. I used blue pearl dust to make it look like a cloud. But you can use any color you want.

To finish, sprinkle some Neon Luster dust, followed by a small dollop of tonic water jelly in the center of your cake.

Shine your UV Light and enjoy!

If there is a light

We can't always see

If there is a world

We can't always be

If there is a dark

Now we shouldn't doubt

And there is a light

Don't let it go out.

- A Song For Someone,

Songs of Innocence, by U2

Photography by Rima Dickson

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