Sunday, 20 September 2020

Baking for Madron + Extra Ideas!

Madron (also known as Mabon and Autumn Equinox) is coming up which means it's almost autumn! This year it will be on Tuesday 22nd September. 

For the past few years, I've written celebration ideas and inspiration posts for this sabbat. You can see them below: 

Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas:

Celebrating Madron + Autumn:

Madron Inspiration: 


Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's nearly time for Oestara aka Ostara/the Spring Equinox. You may like these posts with ideas for celebrating:

Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas:

Celebrating Oestara + Spring:

Oestara Celebration Inspiration:

Oestara + Spring Inspiration:


For Lammas last month I wrote a post with baking inspiration, since baking is my main activity for that sabbat. You can see that post here:

Lammas is a harvest festival, so baking fits the theme. Madron is also a harvest festival and as I mentioned in the Lammas post, Lammas to Samhain is like "baking season" for me. (I do enjoy baking year-round though!) So, this year for Madron I'm also sharing some baking ideas. With cases of the coronavirus going up again and rules changing, we're still advised to stay at home a lot, so baking is a good thing to do in the house. I will also include some alternative ideas at the end of the post. :) First here is some background on Madron.

Madron is the second harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year. It's more commonly known as Mabon but I first came across it as Madron. I included a note on names in last year's post. The first harvest festival is Lammas around 1st August and the third is Samhain (now also the modern day Hallowe'en). In addition to the harvest and grain, other themes of Madron are abundance and gratitude/thanksgiving. 

Madron is also the Autumn Equinox, the "official" start of autumn, and the time when day and night are roughly equal. It's the opposite to the Spring Equinox (Oestara/Ostara) and is a time of balance. The scientific time of the Autumn Equinox is 1.31pm UTC, 8.31am CST (US) and 2.30pm BST. (or rather 2.31, but I keep seeing it listed as 2.30!).You can work out your local time compared to universal here:

The modern version of Mabon has only really been celebrated since the 70s, when Aiden Kelly came up with the name.  


Here are a few links to with more info and celebration ideas: (Now a private blog) 

10 Ways to Celebrate Mabon:

11 Witchy Ways to Celebrate Mabon:

15 Free and Low-Cost Ways to Celebrate Mabon:


Baking Inspiration


When I first started celebrating the sabbats I made gingerbread for Madron as well as Lammas. In recent years I've preferred to bake some sort of ginger cake or loaf for Madron instead. Both are good because this is a harvest festival, and ginger is a spice that suits autumn.

This is a gingerbread recipe I've used for Lammas the past couple of years:

I also shared a couple more recipes in the Baking for Lammas post:

This year I considered making pumpkin bars, but decided to go with gingerbread cookie bars instead. Both recipes are from Handle the Heat. Here's the gingerbread cookie bars recipe:

Tessa who runs the site mentions that they're good to make for Christmas/the holiday season, so they would fit Yule/the Winter Solstice as well. They have a cream cheese frosting. I've made a frosted white chocolate cake a few times for Easter, and that has a cream cheese icing which is similar.


Ginger cake

For the past several years I've made some form of ginger cake for Madron. In 2014 I made a gingerbread cake. You can find the recipe here:

It has a creamy gingerbread frosting, but I wasn't sure if we had some of the ingredients for it here in the UK, so used Betty Crocker cream cheese icing instead.

For Madron 2015 I baked a gingerbread cake using this recipe from Will Cook for Smiles:

I used the Betty Crocker cream cheese icing again. I preferred the cake I made in 2015, but both of them were a bit "heavy", I think because of the treacle. The recipes use molasses but I tend to substitute treacle because it's easier to get hold of in the UK. Both treacle and molasses are similar though. The gingerbread cookie bars I'm going to make (see above) do require molasses, so I'll use treacle.

The following year I made a ginger beer cake. That was my favourite out of the ginger cakes. You can find the recipe here:

The recipe has alcoholic ginger beer in, but I used non-alcoholic. It's plain but I used cream cheese icing for the topping again.  

In 2017 I made a ginger and apple tealof, which I'll link to in the Apple section.

For Madron 2018 it was a ginger spice cake, which was based on this spiced wacky cake recipe:

It has pumpkin spice in, but I don't think that's widely avilable here, so  I used ginger and mixed spices instead. The frosting was vanilla butter cream but at the time the site was unavailable in the UK (I see that I can view it now though!). So I made the cream cheese frosting again. That was fine though because the cream cheese one goes well with ginger. There is also a vegan vanilla frosting recipe on the site, so its good if you're vegan. :)

You can find the cream cheese frosting for the Easter cake here:

And then last year  I made one bowl  gingerbread spiced muffins, using this recipe:

I made both cream cheese and peanut butter frosing and divided it between the muffins. You can see a picture here:


As with Lammas, Madron/Mabon is also a great sabbat to bake bread. I don't make it that often, but last year I made  90 Minute Man bread (from Don't Waste the Crumbs) for Lammas and really liked it, so I decided to bake again for Madron 2019. I made beer bread, also from Don't Waste the Crumbs and that was quite nice.

Here's the recipe for the Man bread:

And the beer bread:

You can see my beer bread from last year here:

For Lammas last month I baked overnight artisan bread, but unfortunately it didn't come out as well! I think I might have had too much water in the dough. I  ended up doing a bread mix, in addition to the gingerbread I made. It was disappointing but I thought I'd try again, lol. A different recipe this time though, I'm going to have a go at making this maple oatmeal bread:

I shared more links to bread recipes in the Baking for Lammas post:


And here are a few more:   

Soaked wholewheat bread:

No-knead harvest bread:

Carrot bread:


If you have dietary restrictions here are a couple of recipes: 

Gluten free soaked Irish soda bread:

Paleo pumpkin bread:

And this site has recipes for Paleo baking:

Apple Bakes

Apple season in the UK is around September to October (although some apples are ripe at other times of the year), so now is a good time to bake with them. Of course, in the modern world we can get apples from other countries any time as well. I'm not a big fan of baked apple goods, but I do have some occasionally.

For Madron 2017 I baked a ginger and apple tealoaf which was quite nice. You can see it here:

It has lemon icing. The recipe is from Sam Stern's Student Cookbook. I don't think it's online but you can see a recipe that's basically the same here:

And here is Sam's recipe for apple crumble cake (I haven't made this though:

In last year's post I linked to these spiced apple muffins: 

I haven't made them yet but they look nice. 


Here are a few more apple recipes:

Mabon Bourbon apple crisp recipe:

Apple and cinnamon muffins: 

These cinnamon apple biscuits (American biscuits) look nice:

This is making me think of Utada Hikaru's song Apple and Cinnamon! lol.

Find more seasonal apple bakes here:


Hope that gave you plenty of baking inspiration for Madron! I haven't included a section on pumpkin because I don't have many recipes, but since American pumpkin season has started and pumpkin season is coming up in the UK, you could always bake something with that instead. I may make these pumpkin bars with brown sugar frosting next year:

So, as I said, this year I'm baking the maple oatmeal bread and the gingerbread cookie bars. I will do the bread tomorrow and the gingerbread bars on Madron itself. I'm also planning to have ginger beer. See below for a few extra ideas not related to baking. :)


Extra Ideas

For quite a few of the sabbats I like to go to the countryside or the beach and take sunset pics. I'm planning to go to my local nature reserve for Madron. 

If you're not into baking but still want to make some food and drink, you could make this spinach and sun-dried tomato quiche from Flying the Hedge:

Or you could make your own version of Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte:

If you fancy doing some magic, check out this post with some apple magick ideas for Mabon:

Hope you enjoyed the post! I'll do another one next weekend about my celebrations. It's a difficult time at the moment but I hope everyone is doing ok. :)

How do you celebrate?  Happy Madron/Autumn Equinox! :) 

Photo is the beer bread from last Madron.

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