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Traditional Firework Recipes

While the fireworks are certainly the main attraction nowadays on Guy Fawkes Night, for the children, as well as the adults, the food comes a very close second. In the United Kingdom, there are several foods that we traditionally eat on Guy Fawkes Night:




  • 4 oz margarine
  • 8 oz oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoonfuls ginger
  • 1/2 pint of milk.
  • 4 tablespoonfuls sugar
  • 8 oz S.R. flour
  • 8 oz treacle

Rub margarine into the flour and oatmeal.

Add the sugar and ginger, mix thoroughly.
Warm the treacle and mix into paste, adding milk if necessary.
Put into a greased pudding tin and cook for one hour in a moderately slow oven.


Bonfire Toffee


  • 60g Margarine
  • 180g White Sugar
  • 155g Golden Syrup
  • 70g Black Treacle
  • 20mls Vinegar

Put the margarine and sugar into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring all the time. When all the margarine has melted, add the golden syrup and black treacle. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Boil slowly, over a low heat, stirring regularly.

You are looking to boil off enough water for the mixture to turn solid when cooled to room temperature, but you also need to keep the temperature of the mixture low enough during cooking to prevent burning. The test involves getting a sample of mixture on a teaspoon and dropping it into a cup of cold water.

When the test yields a soft (but not liquid) result, add the vinegar carefully. The water and most of vinegar will boil off but some will stay in the toffee and change the flavour.

Grease a toffee tray with margarine.

Keep on boiling slowly and testing every few minutes (this is very important) until you get a stiff result. Carefully pour into the greased toffee tray and let cool. When cold, break up into pieces, and enjoy round the bonfire.


Toffee Apples


  • 8 small apples, washed and stalks removed
  • 8 fl. oz. (225ml.) water
  • 1 lb. (450g) sugar

Pour the sugar and water into a microwave bowl and cook on high for 5 minutes

Stir until sugar has dissolved then continue cooking on high until golden, about 17-20 minutes
Meanwhile insert a 5-6 inch length of dowelling into each apple
Remove toffee mixture from microwave and stand for 2 minutes
Dip the apples in the toffee mixture; you can use a spoon to make sure all of the apple is covered.
Hold the apples over the bowl to drain then stand on greaseproof paper to harden.


Baked Potatoes


  • Potatoes
  • Fillings

Choose large smooth-skinned potatoes.

Scrub well in cold water
Bake at 400 F for about half an hour, then wrap in foil and finish in the bonfire for at least 15 minutes.
Fillings: some of our suggestions: butter, cheese, chopped bacon, baked beans, cottage cheese, chives, salsa, sweet corn, chopped tomatoes, basil, chilli con carne, ham, blue cheese, guacamole, tuna & mayo, etc...


Roast Chestnuts


1kg/2¼lb chestnuts

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Prick with a fork to prevent bursting.
Put in a roasting tin and bake until the skins open and the insides are tender - about 30 minutes.


Cooking with the Bonfire

And if you’re having a bonfire or firework party in your garden and making food for your friends and family, the bonfire comes in very handy for cooking.

Once the bonfire has cooled down a bit, you can use the smouldering ashes to roast your food. Wrap it in tinfoil first – corn on the cob, mushrooms brushed in oil, chunks of peppers, and garlic bread all work really well and are easy to do.

Use sticks or long skewers to toast marshmallows, chestnuts or bread.

For food with a longer cooking time, like our baked potatoes, starting off the baking in the oven will save you time and they can easily be transferred to the bonfire embers, wrapped in tinfoil for when you are ready to finish them off.

Also, if you’re going to an organised firework display away from your home, you can make food to take with you. You can make some Guy Fawkes biscuits or toffee apples as a sweet treat, but you can also use tinfoil to wrap up hot chicken legs or stuffed baked potatoes, they will stay hot for ages and keep your hands warm. For that traditional touch, bake some ginger cake or that classic Bonfire Night dish, parkin, always a favourite.

Then, all you need to make your night go with a bang is some mulled wine or hot punch for the adults, and for the kids try a children’s punch as well, made out of hot apple juice (warm it gently with a tiny sprinkling of cinnamon) or hot ginger milk, delicious.

The good old favourite parkin is a lovely and filling ginger cake made with oatmeal and treacle. It is ideal food for the 'parky' weather November brings and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night.

There are hundreds of variations of Parkin recipes. Ask your Nan, maybe she has a secret one!

These are just a few of the many different foods eaten on Bonfire Night, if you have any recipes of your own and would like to share them with us, please contact us. Enjoy!

Click here for further information on Bonfire Night Recipes.


Learning Centre

The Evolution of Fireworks
Bastille Day
Chinese New Year
History of Gun Powder
Gunpowder Plot
James VI
Plotters and Conspirators
The Lords
Firework Glossary
Traditional Recipes