soul cakes are from Halloween of old. It has been tradition to make spiced breads with a cross on the top to celebrate the four phases of the year. Hot cross buns have the same origin but over time their representation and purpose has become Christianised. On Halloween children and the poor would knock from door to door "souling", singing for money, food and soul cakes. they would then leave a soul cake on their door step as an offering to the spirits with a lit candle. the children would then sing and hope all night that the spirits would be kind enough to leave them the soul cake as a treat in the morning.
Instead of giving out sweets this year, i baked over 200 of these soul cakes and left them out in a basket on my door step next to my carved pumpkin, Swede and aubergine. The spirits had not seen fit to leave me any though........success!