Recipes for the Beltane Sabbat

The Annual Beltane Fire Festival
The Annual Beltane Fire Festival. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Beltane is a time to celebrate the fertility of the earth, and the return of spring blossoms and blooms. It's a season of fire and passion, and when many of us honor the wild and lusty god of the forests. Beltane is a time for planting and sowing of seeds—again, the fertility theme appears. The buds and flowers of early May bring to mind the endless cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth that we see in the earth. Try one of these seven seasonally-appropriate recipes for your Beltane celebrations!

01
of 07

Bake a Green Man Cake

Make this cake to celebrate Beltane and the spirit of the forest. Image by Patti Wigington 2009

The Green Man is an archetype often represented at Beltane. He is the spirit of the forest, the lusty fertility god of the woodlands. He is Puck, Jack in the Green, Robin of the Woods. For your Beltane celebrations, why not put together a cake honoring him? This spice cake is easy to bake, and uses a delicious cream cheese frosting and rolled fondant to create the image of the Green Man himself. This recipe makes either one 9 x 13" sheet cake, or 2 8-inch rounds.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum-flavored extract
  • 1 C butter, softened (don't use margarine)
  • 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 2 C confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package white fondant
  • Green food coloring
  • Leaf-shaped cutters

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease and flour your cake pan. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and blend well. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts together.

Add the softened butter to the flour mixture, and beat until it forms a clumpy sort of dough. Gradually add the liquid mixture in, blending it a little at a time until all the milk mixture has been combined with the flour mixture.

Beat until completely smooth, and then add the brown sugar. Mix for another thirty seconds or so. Scoop batter into the pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once you have it out of the pan, you can begin frosting the cake.

To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the confectioner's sugar and blend it in. Spread this evenly over the cake, and allow it to sit for an hour or so to firm up.

To make the Green Man himself, you'll need green fondant. If you've never worked with fondant before, it can be a little tricky, but with some practice you'll be able to use it easily. Roll out the fondant and knead it into a ball. Add the green food coloring in very small amounts and blend it in, until you've got the shade of green you want.

Roll the fondant out until it's about 1/8" thick. Use the leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out different sized leaves. Score lines on them, to look live leafy veins. Place them on top of the frosted cake and press in place, layering them to form a Green Man. Roll two small pieces into balls, flatten them down, and put them in to create eyeballs in amongst the leaves. Reminder - fondant tends to dry quickly once it's rolled out, so only cut off small pieces. The cake in the photo was made using a block of fondant about the size of a package of cream cheese.

Tip: if you're in a hurry, or you're not much of a baker, you can use any boxed spice cake mix.

02
of 07

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Quiche

AsparagusQuiche.jpg
Make an asparagus and goat cheese quiche for your Beltane celebration. Image © Brian MacDonald/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com

Asparagus is a tasty spring veggie, one of the first to peek out of the ground each year. Although asparagus crops appear as early as the Ostara sabbat, in many areas you can still find it fresh when Beltane rolls around. The trick to making a great asparagus dish is to not overcook it – if you do, it ends up mushy. This quiche is quick and easy to make, and cooks just long enough that your asparagus should be nice and firm when you bite into it.

This version is made with no crust, for a gluten free quiche. If you like pie crusts under your quiche, simply add the crust into the pie plate before pouring in the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t like goat cheese, you can substitute a cup of your favorite shredded cheese instead.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ C sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus spears, chopped into 1” pieces
  • Optional add-ins: half a cup of ham or cooked bacon

Directions

Prepare a pie plate with non-stick cooking spray, and preheat your oven to 350. If you’re using a pie crust in your quiche, place it in the pie plate.

Melt the butter on low heat in a skillet, and sauté the garlic and onion until transparent. Add in the chopped asparagus, and sauté for about five minutes, just enough to tenderize the asparagus stalks.

While it’s heating up, combine the eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper, and goat cheese in a large bowl. Add in the sautéed onion, garlic and asparagus to the eggs, and mix well.

If you're adding in bacon or ham, add it in now. Pour mixture into the pie plate.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for five to ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: this is a super-easy dish to prepare in advance – mix the ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate, and then just pour into your pie plate when you’re ready to cook it. Or, if you bake it in advance, store in the fridge for up to three days, slice, and reheat, covered in aluminum foil, for about fifteen minutes in the oven.

03
of 07

Southern Style Peppery Green Beans

Make a peppery green bean salad for your Beltane festivities. Image by Sheri L. Giblin/Photodisc/Getty Images

Beltane is all about fire and heat, so it's a good time to cook up something peppery. This green bean recipe is adapted from traditional Southern-style cooking. For a lower-fat alternative, substitute turkey bacon for the pork bacon.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper (or more, if you like some zing!)

Directions

Cook the bacon until it's crispy, and then crumble it into small pieces. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the butter until they begin to brown. Add the green beans and the water, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Drain the water from the beans, add salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Tip: If you'd like to make these in your slow cooker, use 2 Cups of water instead, and let the beans simmer for about three hours in the cooker.

04
of 07

Early Summer Salad

Make a summer salad for your Beltane celebrations. Image by Lori Lee Miller/Photodisc/Getty Images

Let's face it, May isn't exactly the time when your garden is in full bloom. In fact, your principal crop right now may be mud. But never fear—there are a ton of early summer greens and fruits you can combine into a salad, making this the perfect beginning to your Beltane feast! Make sure, though, when shopping, that you use the freshest ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 C leafy greens, such as baby spinach or arugula
  • 2 C dandelion leaves, washed and drained
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 C diced cucumber (remove seeds)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • A few leaves of basil, chopped
  • 1/2 C nuts, chopped
  • 1 C. fresh raspberries, strawberries or dried cranberries
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, sliced (skip the eggs for a vegan-friendly option)
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C strawberry vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp honey (if you're vegan, try agave nectar instead)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together, and serve over salad. This is a perfect meal to eat out on the patio, with some soft buttered bread and a glass of wine.

05
of 07

Candied Flower Petals

Use candied flowers to decorate your spring snacks. Image by Hazel Proudlove/E+/Getty Images

Nothing says the Beltane season has arrived quite like flower blossoms—and what many people don't realize is that not only are they lovely to look at, they can taste good too. With a few fresh flowers, you can create a tasty treat. Use nasturtium, roses, pansies, lilac blossoms, violets, or any other edible flower for this recipe. Be warned, though—this is a bit time consuming, so plan accordingly.

Ingredients

  • Flower petals or blossoms, rinsed and dried
  • Water
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Sugar

Directions

Combine a few drops of water with the egg white in a small bowl, and whisk them together. Hold the flower petal gently between two fingers and dip into the water mixture. Shake off excess water, and then sprinkle sugar on the petal. If your petals seem too soggy, use a paintbrush to brush the water mixture onto the petals instead.

As you complete each petal, place it on a sheet of wax paper to dry. 

Drying time is anywhere from 12 hours to two days, depending on the humidity level in your home. If your flower petals aren't drying fast enough for you, place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 150 degrees for a few hours.

Store your flower petals in an airtight container until it's time to use them. Use to decorate cakes and cookies, add to salads, or just to eat as a snack.

06
of 07

Beltane Fertility Bread

Fertility Bread
Patti Wigington

Breads seem to be one of the staple foods of Pagan and Wiccan rituals. If you can tie your break baking into the theme of the Beltane Sabbat, even better. In this recipe, use either your own homemade bread dough, or an uncooked loaf of frozen dough, available in the refrigerated section of your grocery, and turn it into a phallus to represent the fertility of the god in springtime.

To make your fertility bread, you'll need the following:

Ingredients 

  • 1 loaf of bread dough
  • Melted butter

Directions

The phallus bread, naturally, represents the male. He is the horned god, the lord of the forest, the Oak King, Pan. To make the phallus, shape your dough into a tube-like shape. Cut the dough into three pieces - a long piece, and two smaller, rounder pieces. The longest piece is, of course, the shaft of the phallus. Use the two small pieces to form the testes, and place them at the bottom of the shaft. Use your imagination to shape the shaft into a penis-like shape. Just like in real life, there are a lot of variations.

Once you’ve shaped your bread, allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. When it comes out of the oven, brush with a glaze of melted butter. Use in ritual or for other parts of your Beltane celebrations.

Admittedly, the one in the photo is a bit... thick, but hey, use your imagination!

07
of 07

Beltane Bannocks - Scottish Oatcakes

Oatcakes.jpg
Image (c) Melanie Acevedo/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com

In parts of Scotland, the Beltane bannock is a popular custom. It's said that if you eat one on Beltane morning, you'll be guaranteed abundance for your crops and livestock. Traditionally, the bannock is made with animal fat (such as bacon grease), and it is placed in a pile of embers, on top of a stone, to cook in the fire. Once it's blackened on both sides, it can be removed, and eaten with a blend of eggs and milk. This recipe doesn't require you to build a fire, and you can use butter instead of fat.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 C oatmeal
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Directions

Combine oatmeal, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Melt the butter, and drizzle it over the oats. Add the water, and stir the mix until it forms a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on a sheet of wax paper and knead thoroughly.

Separate the dough into two equal portions, and roll each one into a ball. Use a rolling pin to make a flat pancake that is about ¼" thick. Cook your oatcakes on a griddle over medium heat until they are golden brown. Cut each round into quarters to serve.

Traditionally, the Beltane bannock would have been made with meat fat, such as bacon grease, instead of butter. You can use this if you prefer.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Recipes for the Beltane Sabbat." ThoughtCo, Nov. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/recipes-for-the-beltane-sabbat-4126076. Wigington, Patti. (2017, November 2). Recipes for the Beltane Sabbat. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/recipes-for-the-beltane-sabbat-4126076 Wigington, Patti. "Recipes for the Beltane Sabbat." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/recipes-for-the-beltane-sabbat-4126076 (accessed November 23, 2017).