Ergot (Fungus) Cakes

A dedication to those before them

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--Typical ad before the Equinoxes and Solstices

Ergot Cakes are savory cakes frequently eaten by a majority of the witches of United Britannia and Hibernia. Based on korzhiki (Russian rye cakes), Ergot Cakes are eaten for both meals and snacks. The cakes almost always have some sort of topping because, by themselves, Ergot Cakes are rather bland. (Oh holidays, however, the cakes are often flavored.)

Ergot Cakes are often jokingly nicknamed Fungus Cakes by its younger consumers.


Ergot Cakes are one of the very few American traditions adopted by the witches of United Britannia and Hibernia. Ergot Cakes are made in honor of the witches killed in Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1690s. Scholars speculate that ergotism (the result of ergot fungus in rye) may have caused the mass hysteria that culminated in the trials and subsequent bloodshed.

In honor of the witches' fallen brethren, witches now eat these cakes with rye flour (now completely safe) for many occasions.

Interestingly enough, none of those executed were actually witches, but the isolation and persecution lend the witches of United Britannia and Hibernia to heavily identify with those killed during the Salem Witch Trials.

How it is eaten

Ergot Cakes are eaten either hot or cold. For breakfast or lunch, they are often served with cream cheese or sour cream. For dessert, the cakes are often served with fresh fruits or jams. For young adults, Ergot Cakes are often just eaten for dinner with some cheese on top for a cheap alternative.

The rich often eat Ergot Cakes with caviar, truffles, and/or lobster.


Ergot Cakes are unique in that they are consumed every day, but have extremely important significance during particular holidays.

Everyday meal

Almost everyone in United Britannia and Hibernia eat Ergot Cakes several times a week. Whether with sour cream for breakfast or cinnamon for a quick snack, Ergot Cakes are an important staple of witches' diets. Many families bake their own, but there are many bakeries in Ilyrium that make them as well.

Ritual importance

On the Summer and Winter Solstices and other celebrations, the Ergot Cakes take on a special significance. During the festivals and celebrations, Ergot Cakes are often elaborately decorated and served with a flair. Bakeries often must fill huge orders of Ergot Cakes of various flavors (typically, the Ergot Cakes are not flavored) and designs. On the Solstices and Equinoxes, it is important for the witches to remember why they isolate themselves from humans and to mourn those that have been wrongfully killed for their non-existent magic. Religion may also play a part in the celebrations; many witches offer prayers for those killed.

Item type
Consumable, Food / Drink
Very common. Most families eat them regularly.


This recipe will make eight rye cakes. Typically, the preparation time is about twenty minutes, and the cook time is between twenty and twenty-five minutes.


  • 400 grams (3.5 cups) rye flour
  • 10 milliliters (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 2 milliliters (1.5 teaspoons) salt
  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) melted butter
  • 200 grams (1 cup) rye starter
  • 60 milliliters (1.25 cups) water
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Then, add butter, rye starter, water, and egg.
  • Mix everything: first, do so with a spoon, and then with your hands, until it comes together.
  • Then, sprinkle your work surface with the rye flour; your dough will be very sticky. Sprinkle some more flour on top to make it easier to work with and continue your kneading.
  • Separate the dough enough for 8 cakes and then flatten the dough until it is about the size of your palm.
  • Score the cakes with a knife and then transfer to a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. For a softer cake, bake for less time, and for a more crunchy cake, bake for more time.


Author's Notes

Written for Food, Glorious Food! 2018

Recipe gratefully modified from Valeria at Beets and Bones (I can't make anything, so almost everything is her work entirely). This recipe can be found here.

Image header from Beets and Bones as well: here. Hopefully, the watermark is acceptable as well.

Please Login in order to comment!
24 Oct, 2018 07:59

I will always approve of fungus-food <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
27 Oct, 2018 02:16

Thank you so much! It's always good to mix it up a little!

29 Jan, 2019 21:57

I immediately thought about the ergotism when I started reading the world, this really does look awesome, unique concept, have a like and follow!!!!

31 Jan, 2019 00:45

Thanks so much! I'm super interested in ergotism as a theory so I definitely wanted to mix it in there somewhere.