Traditional Halloween Recipes

Step in to the past this Halloween with traditional Halloween recipes that will help to bring back fond memories of mouthwatering childhood treats. Here you'll find easy homemade recipes for Halloween desserts, candy, cakes, candy apples, pear ghosts, creepy treats, and more. Make some delicious treats to serve at your next Halloween party.

Traditional Halloween Recipes

Merry Halloween Greeting CardWishing You A Merry Halloween
(Source: Public Domain)

These Halloween desserts and treats are delicious, affordable, and very easy to prepare. Also explore the vintage Halloween party ideas and celebrate an old fashioned Halloween that's fun-filled for everybody!

The Nostalgic Celebration of Halloween

Homemade Halloween Monkey Costume In 1955My Halloween Monkey Costume (1955)
(Source: ©Don Bell)

That's me pictured above in my homemade Halloween costume. Handsome, eh? Mom sewed the monkey suit for me on her old Singer treadle sewing machine.

That monkey suit won first prize for best costume at the old one-room school that I attended in 1955. Boy was I thrilled! Those school parties were so much fun.

In Canada and the United States, costumed kids carrying treat bags rush from house-to-house in the early evening on October 31st shouting "Trick or Treat" while hoping the householders will be generous in offering candy and other sweet treats.

If treats are not offered, some kids have been known to play TRICKS on the stingy householders, such as soaping their windows or winding toilette paper around their shrubs before ringing the doorbell and then running away.

Halloween candy is the still the main attraction, but much of the candy handed out today is store-bought for safety's sake. Sadly, it's a different world today.

Back in the 1950s, treats were mostly homemade using the traditional Halloween recipes common to most families, though some handed out store-bought Chiclets® gum and tiny chocolate bars.

We enjoyed taffy apples, popcorn balls, chocolate fudge, and peanuts in the shell. And who could forget those yucky brown Halloween candies in their orange and black wrappers? They were often set aside and got eaten last.

A Brief History of Halloween

© by Don Bell

The celebration of Halloween is thought to have originated from an ancient Celtic religious festival that signified the start of the darker season of winter on November 1st, and the end of the Celtic calendar year.

A new holiday was established by the Christian church in the 800s, and October 31st became celebrated as All Hallows or All Saints' Day, when the poor went from house to house begging treats called "soul cakes" made by the Christians.

The word "Hallow" means "one who is holy." October 31, the evening before All Saints' Day, became known as All Hallows' Eve, or All Hallow e'en, resulting in today's Halloween.

Early settlers to North America brought their popular beliefs and customs with them, and Halloween gradually evolved into a fun celebration for adults.

1905 Halloween Party at the Archibald Gentles Ranch in Alberta, Canada1905 Alberta Halloween Party at the Archie Gentles Ranch
(Source: Don Bell)

My Grannie Bell (nee Gentles) can be seen in the old photo above in the second row, second from the left, a year before her marriage to my grandfather, Ernest.

That 1905 party was typical of Halloween celebrations on the Alberta Prairie. Note the absence of costumes, though they did enjoy lively music and dancing thanks to two Scottish pipers and their bagpipes.

It was in the early 1900s that Halloween became closer identified with children and what began as soul cakes in Medieval Britain turned into an array of confectionery treats. One of the earliest published references to "trick-or-treat" appeared in a 1911 Canadian newspaper.

The old traditions formed the basis for our modern celebrations, along with costume disguises, candlelit jack-o'-lanterns, candy treats, apples, and the silly acts of mischief that became part of the fun.

Through the years, some so-called "tricks" were not always harmless nor were they fun. My father recalled outhouses being moved back a few feet so the unsuspecting householder would fall into the waiting pit. Imagine!

Sometimes party guests went to return home after dark and found their buggy already hitched to the horse, the buggy on one side of the fence and the horse on the other.

It was even said that one neighbor who wasn't well liked awoke the following morning shocked to find his hay wagon sitting fully assembled on the peak of his barn roof!

Enjoy Traditional Halloween Recipes

Little Girl Eating a Red Candy AppleEnjoy an Old Fashioned Candy Apple
(Source: ©iStock/101cats)

When it comes time for Halloween, you can turn almost any dessert into a colorful and delicious Halloween treat.

For example, the use of orange food coloring (or a combination of yellow and red colors) can add a festive color to many ordinary foods.

Also, there are any number of candies that can be used as dessert toppings and decorations for Halloween, such as candy corn, orange and black jellybeans, and black licorice shapes.

Learning how to make BOO-tiful Halloween treats is not difficult, especially with Grandma's traditional Halloween recipes. And you'll LOVE the wholesome taste!

Plus, there's tons of old fashioned recipes to be found elsewhere on this site that can be adapted for Halloween. Just use your imagination.

Enjoy Traditional Soul Cakes

Why not serve something truly unique to adults? You won't find anything to compare with the old fashioned Irish Barmbrack Recipe for making an authentic "soul cake" that's to be eaten at Halloween.

The traditional Halloween recipes and party ideas on this site will help to get you started. Kids of all ages will enjoy making the old fashioned Halloween candy, scary desserts, and tasty party treats.

Check This Out

Join Grandma's Dessert Club Today and…

Grandma McIlmoyles Little Dessert Book

Download your FREE COPY of Grandma McIlmoyle's Little Dessert Book. Also receive regular club Bulletins with delicious recipes straight to your inbox, and more.

My special Gift to you!

"Love your Grandma's Dessert Club Bulletins! I look forward to each issue." —Sharon, USA

Like This Page? Please Share It

Get Easy Halloween Dessert Recipes and Enjoy an Old Fashioned Halloween. Pin for later!