Bonfire Night comes hot on the heels of Halloween, staking its spot on the calendar as one of the last major celebrations before Christmas. We love any occasion that brings people together – and if that occasion comes with delicious Bonfire Night food and treats, then all the better!
If you ask us, these Bonfire Night food ideas are best enjoyed while gathered around a blazing fire, wrapped up in scarves and gloves, with sparklers at the ready. We’ve got some great treats as well as heart-warming, stick-to-the-ribs food that will keep you feeling warm on a chilly November night. And if you’re looking for some craft ideas, check out our guide to fun Bonfire Night ideas.
There’s plenty of customary traditional Bonfire Night food to enjoy as you stand warming your hands around the bonfire – we’re going to give you a little culinary tour of the UK with some Bonfire Night food ideas, from sweet treats like toffee apples and Yorkshire parkin to vegan Bonfire Night recipes for meals that everyone can enjoy.
What food is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night?
Bonfire Night might have evolved out of Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but these days it’s more about watching an impressive firework show, gathering round a bonfire, and enjoying some time together with friends, family, or even your whole community.
There are plenty of Bonfire Night food traditions, but some of the customary foods and treats that are associated with Bonfire Night include sweet snacks like bonfire toffee, Yorkshire parkin, and toffee apples. Savoury food is intentionally filling to keep you warm on a cold autumn evening, and should be eaten while standing around the fire, (and since this is the UK we’re talking about, you’ll probably be protecting your food from the rain while the bonfire spits). Think sausages cooked in the oven or in the bonfire itself, pie and peas, hot dogs or a cup of warming soup.
Bonfire Night recipes
Whether you’re preparing a meal for the family before you head out to a local bonfire, or planning some tasty Bonfire Night food ideas to enjoy while you watch your own firework display, here are some great Bonfire Night recipes.
Catherine Wheel sausages
Named for the Catherine wheel firework that you’ll see at firework displays across the country, this Bonfire Night recipe from Vikalinka is a guaranteed crowd pleaser – and if you’re feeding picky kids that might turn their noses up at bangers and mash, the fun spiral shape might change their minds.
- 8 of your favourite sausages – still joined together
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 6-7 sage leaves
- A knob of butter
- Wooden or metal skewers
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Cut the sausage links into two strings, with four sausages for each ‘wheel’.
- Untwist the links in between the sausages and carefully push the sausage meat into one end of the casing to make one long sausage.
- Roll the sausage around itself to make a spiral shape, inserting garlic slices and sage leaves at spaced intervals as you’re forming the spiral.
- Push one or two skewers through each wheel at right angles to keep the shape while they’re cooking.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sausages are crispy on top. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil and any leftover sage leaves, then put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Image credit: Vikalinka
Honey-mustard hot dogs
For something that’s quick to make and easy to eat while you watch the fireworks, try this delicious honey-mustard hot dog recipe, courtesy of BBC Good Food. The combination of sweet and savoury flavours is oh-so satisfying and filling, and the little kick of heat from the wholegrain mustard is just what you need to stay warm on a chilly night!
- 50g grated cheddar cheese
- 50g grated Emmental cheese
- 3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 4 good-quality sausages
- 4 hot dog buns
- Cook the sausages according to the pack instructions
- While the sausages are cooking, combine the cheese, mustard, and honey.
- Pre-heat the grill to high
- Once the sausages are cooked, fill each hot dog bun with a sausage and top with a good spoonful of the cheese mixture
- Put the hot dogs onto a baking sheet and grill for 2 minutes, or until the cheese mixture has fully melted.
Vegan Bonfire Night recipes
There’s no need to leave vegans and vegetarians out on Bonfire Night, with our selection of tasty vegan Bonfire Night recipes that the whole family can enjoy.
Vegan pumpkin soup
If you’ve got some leftover pumpkins from Halloween, then this easy and delicious vegan pumpkin soup is a delicious and warming Bonfire Night recipe for the whole family.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1kg of pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 1 tin coconut cream
- 360ml vegetable stock
- Sautee the onion, garlic and ginger in a saucepan. Add the thyme, Cajun seasoning and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent and softened.
- Add the coconut cream, vegetable stock and pumpkin, and bring the pan to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and cooked.
- Use a stick blender to blend the soup smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
That’s right – one of the most delicious traditional Bonfire Night recipes is 100% vegan. There’s nothing like the crunch of a crispy, sweet toffee apple on a crisp and cold autumn night, and these homemade versions from the BBC are perfect for everyone at the bonfire – vegan or otherwise.
- 8 of your favourite variety of apples – we recommend Pink Ladies
- 400g caster sugar
- 100ml water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
- Wooden skewers or lolly sticks
- Place the apples in a large bowl and pour over boiling water to remove the waxy coating from the outside of the apples, then dry thoroughly – this will help the caramel to stick. Twist off any stalks, and then push a wooden skewer or wooden lolly stick into the stalk end of the apples. Lay the apples on a sheet of baking paper near to your hob.
- Add the sugar and water to a pan over medium heat and cook for five minutes, until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the golden syrup and vinegar.
- Use a sugar thermometer to boil the mixture to 150C – if you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you can check that the toffee has reached ‘hard crack’ stage by dropping a bit of the toffee into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly to a brittle and easily-snapped toffee – if it’s still malleable and squishy, keep boiling.
- Carefully dip and twist each apple into the toffee mixture in the pan. Let any excess toffee drip off, then place back on the baking paper to let the toffee harden.
Image credit: BBC Good Food
Bonfire Night treats
Guy Fawkes night wouldn’t be the same without some sweet snacks – the dark, sugary taste of black treacle features heavily in these Bonfire Night treats, maybe because it’s perfect for a cold autumn night when you need something sweet with a hint of spice.
Bonfire Night parkin recipe
Parkin is a traditional Yorkshire recipe – it’s the equivalent of gingerbread from God’s Own County. It’s super sticky, moist, and comforting, with sweet-and-spicy ginger flavour – perfect as a post-Bonfire Night treat. This Bonfire Night parkin recipe from Spruce Eats is delicious – and bear in mind that you can eat parkin as soon as it’s baked, but if you wrap it up and store it it’ll get even stickier, so it’s best prepared at least 2 or 3 days before Bonfire Night.
- 220g unsalted butter
- 200g golden syrup
- 110g brown sugar
- 55g black treacle
- 110g oatmeal
- 200g self rising flour
- 4 teaspoons dried ginger
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 140C, and thoroughly grease a cake tin.
- Add the butter, golden syrup, treacle and sugar to a saucepan and melt together over gentle heat
- Mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, spices, ginger and oatmeal together in a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly add the melted butter mixture, stirring to mix thoroughly.
- Beat in the eggs gradually, and add a tablespoon of milk if the mixture feels dry. Stir well until you have a soft cake-like batter.
- Pour into your greased cake tin and bake for 1.5 hours, until it’s a dark golden brown and firm. Remove from the oven and leave the parkin to cool in the tin, on a wire baking sheet.
Image credit: Olive Magazine
Bonfire toffee recipe
This classic Bonfire Night treat is a customary favourite – half the joy of it is shattering the finished toffee into dark little shards (and then sucking on it until it’s not so sharp). The sweet, dark, smoky flavour is perfect for enjoying while you’re watching fireworks or swirling a sparkler round the garden!
- 450g dark brown sugar
- 125ml hot water
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 115g black treacle
- 115g golden syrup
- Line a baking tin with non-stick baking parchment, and grease really well with oil to make sure the toffee doesn’t stick.
- Add the sugar and water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves – don’t stir it at any point. If you need to move the mixture around, gently tilt the pan.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, add all the other ingredients.
- Boil the mixture, using a sugar thermometer to see when you reach the soft crack stage, which is 140C. Don’t leave the pan unattended while you wait. As soon as you hit 140C, pour the toffee into your tin and leave to cool.
- Once fully cooled, remove from the tin, and break into pieces with a rolling pin.
These delicious Bonfire Night recipes should really help your celebrations to go off with a bang! And remember, remember – for more great ideas for special occasions, head to the thortful blog.