Traditional Bonfire Night Food

When it is Bonfire night, you start to hear fireworks and smell the smoke of bonfires in the air. But what do you eat on Bonfire Night? What is the history behind the recipe? and What are the Traditional Bonfire Night Food recipes? That’s what we’ll explore here.

Traditional Bonfire Night Food

Bonfire Night Food

While you enjoy the Bonfires glowing, whizz, bang, the crackle of Fireworks in the distance, We also love our food, especially these recipes, that have been enjoyed for hundreds of years on Guy Fawkes night.

Traditional Jacket Potatoes

Traditional jacket potatoIt wasn’t until mid-19th-century jacket potatoes become popular in the UK. They began to sell in the streets of London during autumn and winter by hawkers a vendor of merchandise, it’s believed that estimated 10 tons of baked potatoes were sold each day by this method. Source: Wikipedia.

A common jacket potato fillings during these months are cheese and beans, Tuna Mayonnaise, Chilli Con Carne and Chicken and Bacon.

Cooking Method

  • Wash and wrap a potato in tin foil.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Place it in the bonfire, Careful not to burn yourself, use a long stick to get it back out, after an hour and check on it, and place it back into the bonfire if it needs longer.
  • Fill with any topping you wish.

Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

Traditional Yorkshire parkingAnother fabulous traditional Bonfire night food is the Yorkshire Parkin is a cake traditionally made of oatmeal and black treacle and eaten mainly around the Bonfire Night season. It is believed to originated in northern England, and it is often associated with Yorkshire, but no one knows it’s precise origins.

The Cake is very much widespread and popular in other local UK Regions. The Parkin cake is generally moist and can be sometimes sticky.

Cooking method

Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas Mark 1. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.

  • Over a gentle heat, melt, 110g soft butter, 110g soft dark brown sugar, 55g black treacle, 200g golden syrup. Don’t get too hot or bubble.
  • In a large mixing bowl sift, 225g medium oatmeal, 110g self-raising flour, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground mixed spice.
  • Make a well in the centre. Gradually add the melted butter mixture and fold together.
  • Pour in the 2 medium eggs, beaten, 1 tbsp milk, and combine together.
  • Pour into your baking tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours, however, keep an eye on it as Parkin can easily become dry and overbaked.
  • Leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • Store the Parkin in a cake tin and wrapped in greaseproof paper. You must keep it in a tin for a minimum of 1 day and up to a week before you cut it.

Toffee Apples

Traditional Toffee ApplesThe Toffee Apple is loved traditional bonfire night food, by many kids and adult alike. Well, more of a misleading name but the Americans have it spot on with the candy apple. Traditionally the apple would be coated in a cinnamon sugar candy coating, According to one source, in 1908 American William W. Kolb invented the red toffee apple.

He was experimenting in his sweet shop and thought to dip an apple into a red cinnamon sugar candy coating, to accommodate for the Christmas trade. Then he put them in the window and sold his first batch for 5 cents.

He then carried on selling thousands each year. It’s not surprising how easy it is to make toffee apples, and they do make it much of an appealing treat for Halloween and bonfire night.


Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas Mark 1. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.

  • Place a pan of water onto a medium heat hob.
  • Place an empty bowl on top of the hot boiling water.
  • Add and slightly stir the chunks of chocolate until it is all melted.
  • Insert the lollipop stick at the end of an apple.
  • Dip the apple into the melted chocolate.
  • Decorate with edible stars or sprinkles.

Traditional Lancashire Black Peas

Traditional Lancashire Bonfire Black PeasThe Traditional Bonfire Black Peas, Is a must-have treat for a bonfire night party food.

These peas have been called various other names such as Maple peas, or parched peas. The trick with the peas for a nostalgic memory is to when cooking bring them to a boil.

It is believed they originated in the great gardens of the early monasteries, With great blossoms, the plant grew rather high.

These are mainly used around the end of the season running from October. As they are the perfect food for a bonfire night party.


  • Soak the peas for at least 24 hours.
  • After, boil them till they reach a mushy texture.
  • You will then need to drain the peas soon as they are cooked.
  • Add back to an empty pan, and Add roughly, a cup of fresh water.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Give a pinch of salt/and pepper, 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock and 1 teaspoon bouillon powder to the peas and also 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar.
  • You will need to high simmer for at least 10 minutes, Then the peas should be ready to be served.

Bonfire Toffee

Traditional Bonfire ToffeeThe toffee is usually hard, brittle, it has had many names over the years, the locals often say tom trott, treacle toffee, Plot toffee, mainly eaten on the bonfire season and is often out during the Halloween trick or treat activity.

If you visit Scotland, they call it claggum, and in wales loshin du. This is one of those recipes you don’t want to miss out on. love by young and old and would go down nicely with anyone wanting to visit your event.


  • Put 300g, Demerara sugar, 100g, 2 level tablespoons of golden syrup, 1 level tablespoon of black treacle, 4 tablespoons of water into a pan.
  • Over low heat, stir until everything has dissolved.
  • Place a lid over the pan, and Bring to the boil gently for 2 minutes.
  • Butter a 15cm / 6in square tin.
  • Remove the Lid, and resume to boil for an added 10 to 15 minutes with a gentle stir.
  • Get a cup of cold water. and drop a little mixture in it, if it separates into brittle threads its ready.
  • Pour it into the tin, and leave to set.
  • When cool enough, Turn it out on a board, and hit it with a small hammer.

See also

Further reading:

Bonfire Night Traditions