England: Coventry Godcakes

The city of Coventry in Warwickshire is the source of a type of pastry cake called Coventry Godcakes. These cookies are given by godparents to their godchildren for good luck on New Year's Day, Easter or the child's birthday. Their triangular shape and three slits on top are said to represent the Holy Trinity. Traditionally, the Godcakes varied in size according to the wealth of the godparent.

Godcakes also have a second meaning. A god cake (or jam puff) is a Warwickshire name for the triangle of grass at a road junction - created as the road splits to go left and right.

Coventry Godcakes

Puff pastry
1 egg white
Granulated or sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Roll out the well-chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface.

Cut out the pastry into squares (4 inches per side). Place a teaspoonful of mincemeat in the middle of your pastry shape. Don't be too generous, otherwise the mincemeat will squidge out when you press the pastry together.

Moisten the edges of the pastry with a little water, and fold the other half of the square over to form a triangle. Press the edges of the triangle to form a seal

Cut three slashes in the top of your Godcakes. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for approx. 15 minutes, or until golden and well puffed up. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of Anna at Baking for Britain. Be sure to visit her blog for a lot more information on Coventry Godcakes, not to mention other delicious delights from the UK.


Anonymous said...

I grew up less than 8 miles from Coventry and I have never heard of these. Nor seen them on sale. And I've never heard anyone referring to a grass triangle at a road junction as a god-cake or jam puff! Better biscuits to represent England would be: the Ginger Nut, the Shortbread and the Oat HobNob.

Chef Mom said...

Well, you certainly sent me back to the drawing board on this one! From all that I've read, they are (or at least WERE) traditional around Coventry and Warwickshire. Jam Puffs are so similar that they are referred to as "Coventry's" in the bakery trade. As for the grass triangle, I suggest you Google Godcake + warwickshire and you'll come up with some Parishes (such as Balsall) that continue to refer to it as a Godcake!

I will be sure to take up your suggestions for the other cookies as I extend the recipes here! Thanks!