Hello my fellow witchy beans! Today, I offer you a recipe for a spiced wassail brew, paired with an enchanted spiced banana cake to celebrate the Yuletide season.
On this page you’ll find:
- A recipe for spiced banana cake enchanted to bring prosperity.
- A unique, tea-based recipe for spiced wassail, a traditional drink used for celebration.
- Ideas for adding personal touches of ritual and magic for each recipe.
- A final fun fact about the tradition of wassailing.
These recipes are designed to work together, however you can make either one or the other as a standalone to suit your preference!
✨ If making both, I recommend making the cake first! While the cake is baking, you can brew the wassail. Your cake can stand to cool as the wassail brews, so you can then mix up the icing for the cake using wassail from your pot!
✨ The wassail can be made alcoholic or kept alcohol-free! I’ve marked the alcoholic ingredients as optional.
Enchanted Banana Cake
- 1 3/4 cups of self raising flour
- 1/4 cups of plain flour
- 3/4 cups of brown sugar
- 2 overripened bananas
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of softened/melted butter
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 vanilla pod OR 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
- A small amount of softened butter or cooking oil for greasing your pan
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of spiced wassail (or alternatively your favourite juice or tea).
- Preheat your oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
- Grease a cake or loaf pan.
- Sift the self raising flour, plain flour, and brown sugar together into a mixing bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, lightly whisk the eggs.
- Mash the bananas and combine with the eggs, adding the milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- Slice the vanilla pod and scrape the contents into the spiced banana mix (this can be fiddly! I found using a small sharp knife to slice the pod open, and then using the blunt edge of the blade to scrape the pod over the bowl worked best).
- KEEP the remaining vanilla pod as an extra ingredient for the wassail!
- Otherwise if using vanilla essence, simply add to the spiced banana mix.
- Melt the butter and add to the spiced banana mix (10-15 seconds in a heatproof dish in a microwave should do it!).
- Stir the spiced banana mix together thoroughly.
- Add the spiced banana mix to the flour mix and stir until combined.
- Add the cake mix to a greased cake tin and bake for about 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to stand until just warm to the touch before adding the icing.
- Slice and serve with butter. Enjoy! ✨
- Mix together the icing sugar and wassail to make the icing and apply to the top of the cake. (You can substitute the wassail for apple, lemon, or orange juice, or even your favourite tea blend if preferred!)
To enchant this banana cake for prosperity, keep this intention in your heart and mind as you follow the recipe. To stay present, I find it helpful to pay attention to the sensory experience of each step, especially the smell of the spices, sugar, and vanilla!
You can add as much magical intention and ritual into each step of crafting the cake as you want! I’ve included some more specific ideas for how to do this below:
- You can use consecrated kitchen tools, or otherwise cleanse them with freshly made moon water if you have some on hand.
- You can draw sigils or runes into the mixture as you stir and blend the ingredients together.
- Likewise you can draw magical symbols as you grease the cake pan.
- You can chant, hum, or sing as you mix and bake.
- You can whisper your intention to each of the ingredients as you add them, ‘waking’ them with a request to serve a specific magical purpose.
- You can stir the batter counter clockwise to banish old and stagnant energies, and then clockwise to invite prosperity.
- You can also simply visualise stirring golden light into the folds of the batter.
- Be as creative as you want with the crafting! Work with your own intuition on what feels fun and true to your own path.
- 4 cups of apple juice
- 8-10 teaspoons of Ritual At Dusk tea PLUS 4 cups of water for brewing (Optional!)
- 2 small red apples
- 1 orange
- 1 small pear
- A dozen or so whole cloves
- 1 whole stick of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 vanilla pod OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (you can use your leftover pod from the banana cake).
- Substitute 2 cups of apple juice for 2 cups of apple or pear cider (or simply add the cider as extra!)
- Add a splash of your favourite spiced rum to your cup when serving.
Prepare your fruit ingredients
- Cut your apples and pears into slices.
- Carefully make some small cuts to the skin of your orange and insert the cloves into the slits.
- Cut the orange into two halves.
- Set aside until ready to add to your brewing pot.
Brew your base
Choose your brew
For my own recipe I used Ritual At Dusk tea, which you can find in my shop! It’s a rooibos tea (caffeine free!) with cinnamon, ginger, and warming notes of orange, which makes it the perfect earthy base for spiced wassail!
✨ It also contains edible sparkles for an extra mesmerising and magical effect!
This is completely optional! You can substitute with your own favourite blend of tea or spiced chai mix, or else make your own spice mix using some additional spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns… anything with a festive spicy kick!
Make a Brewing Poultice
Whichever option you choose, I recommend making a poultice which you can fill with your chosen mix and add to your wassail pot to brew.
Follow the below instructions to make your poultice. (If a poultice isn’t possible, skip the below instructions and follow these alternative brewing instructions.)
- Cut some cheesecloth or muslin fabric into a square about 15cm x 15cm / 6in x 6in.
- Lay the cloth flat and spoon your tea or spice mix into the centre of the cloth.
- Gather the corners to the centre, creating a small poultice bundle with the mix encased in the cloth.
- Tie the bundle closed with some natural cotton thread, or a thin strip of leftover cheesecloth. (If neither of these are available, simply tie the opposite corners together, ensuring the poultice contents won’t escape).
- Add four cups of water to a large stovetop pot and bring to a simmer. Add your poultice to the water.
If you don’t have material to make a tea poultice, you can brew your tea or spices in a tea pot:
- Boil 4 cups of water.
- Add the tea or spiced to a tea pot and steep for 15 minutes. (Depending on the size of your teapot, you may need to make in batches).
- Once the tea has steeped, add to a large stovetop pot and bring to a simmer.
Brew the wassail
- Add the apple juice and / or cider to the brewing pot with your tea/spice brew.
- Gently squeeze the juice from the two halves or your orange into the pot, before adding the halves themselves to the brew.
- Add your sliced apples and pears to the pot along with the cinnamon stick, ground spices, and brown sugar.
- Slice the vanilla pod and scrape the contents into the pot. (OR simply add the pod left over from your cake).
- Otherwise if using vanilla essence instead, simply add to the pot.
- Stir the brew with a wooden spoon, and allow to simmer (but not boil!) for 15 to 20 minutes. You can simmer for longer if desired to steep more flavour.
- Serve (with or without spiced rum) and enjoy! ✨
The process of brewing wassail is fairly involved, which makes for opportunity to include ritual for each step. From choosing and preparing your fruit ingredients, to creating your brewing poultice and brewing your spiced base, to adding and stirring each ingredient into the simmering brew, there are many ways to infuse magical intention into your potion. I’ve included some ideas below:
- You can carve runes and personal sigils into the skin of your pear and apples before slicing them.
- As you can use the wassail to make icing for your enchanted cake, you can infuse your wassail with intentions to boost the cake’s potency.
- You can add your cloves to the orange in a pattern or quantity that is numerologically significant (for example in clusters of three, or seven), or otherwise significant to you personally.
- You can use knot magic when tying your poultice together, infusing each tie or knot with a specific intention.
- You can use a pot or cauldron, as well as stirring spoon which you use specifically for your magical kitchen craft.
- You can stir the brew either clockwise to bring in energy and intention, or counter-clockwise to banish energy.
- You can use the brewing process as a meditative aromatherapeutic session, breathing in the scents of all the spices as they steep and suffuse your kitchen space.
- As always, have fun and follow your intuition!
Wassailing is a pre-Christian tradition which involved drinking spiced wine or cider, known as wassail, which was served with a slice of spiced toast. This is where the phrase ‘to raise a toast’ comes from!
While not toast, you can follow in this wassailing tradition by dipping pieces of your enchanted cake into your wassail before eating it. Double intention whammy! (It’s also real tasty!)
I hope you enjoy both of these recipes, and that your Yuletide season is filled with merriment, love, good health, and prosperity into the coming year!
with love and tea cakes,
Sarah Louise | Bright Witch