A Magickal Recipe for Beltane: Chamomile Poundcake with Salted Honey Icing

by Erin Harker 

The Magick of Food

Food is pure magick. It brings us together. It’s at the center of our celebrations, a source of comfort during difficult times, and can even be used to cure our ails. It provides security and nourishment, and serves as a channel for love and caring for one another. 

Spirituality and magick are wrapped up in every part of food –  from the ingredients we use, to the ritual of preparation, right through to the sacred nature of hospitality and sharing meals with kinfolk and strangers alike. 

Kitchen Blessings for Beltane

When the sabbats come around, I always reach for my Book of Shadows to begin conjuring up a new recipe inspired by the season and the purpose of the holiday. This Chamomile Poundcake recipe is a great addition to any spring or summer feast!

Chamomile and orange are both associated with the Sun, lending themselves to celebration of the earth coming back to life after winter. Chamomile also offers the gift of prosperity, and orange encourages love – a delicious combo to celebrate the turning of the wheel at Beltane. 

Salt and honey (while neither are technically herbs) are key ingredients in spellwork and rituals, adding another layer of sweetness and boosting the magickal intentions behind this recipe. 

Photo: Erin Harker

Chamomile Poundcake with Salted Honey Icing Recipe

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup chamomile, dried*
  • Zest from one clementine
  • 1 ⅔ cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Optional – edible flowers to decorate

For the icing:

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
Photo: Erin Harker

Ritual

  1. First up, you’ll want to infuse your butter with the chamomile. Heat your butter over medium-low heat. Once it’s melted, add in the chamomile. Turn the heat to low, and continue to cook for about 30 minutes. You should see some bubbles. Cool for 15 minutes before straining through a wire mesh sieve. Discard the flowers. This step should be done in advance, so the butter has a chance to come back to room temperature and solidify. 
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. 
  3. Prepare your bundt pan by greasing with butter. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Then, use a small amount of flour to dust the pan. Shake it all around to get as even a coat as possible. I usually smack mine around a bit or tap it on the counter to loosen any excess flour and dump it out. 
  4. Place the sugar and the orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use your hand to mix the two together until combined. This helps to release the oils from the zest and give a little extra flavor punch to the sugar. 
  5. Add the butter and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy. 
  6. Add in one egg at a time, and mix for 2-3 minutes between each addition. 
  7. After the last egg, add the vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined. 
  8. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. 
  9. With the mixer on low, add about a third of the dry ingredients until barely combined. Then add ½ the buttermilk until barely combined. Repeat with the remainder ending with the last of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. 
  10. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, and smooth the top a bit with a spatula (this is a great time to draw a sigil into your cake for your intention). Place your bundt pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop her into the oven for about 90 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when you poke it. 
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before placing a plate over the top and inverting the cake. (This is always a hold-your-breath kind of moment for me.)
  12. While the cake cools, you can whip up your icing. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup with a pour spout and whisk together. 
  13. Once the cake has cooled completely, drizzle over the entire cake. The trick to those gorgeous drips is to change the speed you move around the cake, pausing a little longer in some spots so the extra icing can drip down the sides. 
  14. Decorate with a sprinkle of dried or fresh edible flowers. 

About the Author: Erin Harker has been dabbling in the craft for as long as she can remember thanks to her witchy mama. Before launching The Magick Makers and The Magick Works in early 2020, she owned a bakery business where she baked magick into all her treats. Now she’s bringing her magick to her online magickal general store, The Magick Makers. When she’s not witchcrafting up new products and offerings for her store, she uses her background in marketing to help fellow wise women, witches, and cunning folk elevate their impact and income with brand strategy illuminated by belief and purpose. Erin lives a charmed life in Durham, NC with her sister and their two familiars, Fats and Mavis, a couple of pittie mixes.

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