So this year, I again rose early enough to bake a cake, set out candles and greet the rising sun. I love this observance because with 3 young kids, I have absolutely no desire to stay up all night to keep vigil. I stay up all night keeping vigil often enough over sick kids, kids with nightmares and other fun nighttime adventures!
It is also very simple. I set out the cake, we light candles, sing songs that remind us of the sun and talk about the successes of the past year and hopes for the coming year. Then we eat cake and say, "Welcome back, Sun!!"
Here's our solstice cake recipe if you'd like to make one too.
RasJane's Solstice Cake
Free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and sugar
1 c sorghum or rice flour
1 c tapioca starch
3/4 c millet flour or fine corn flour
2 tsp each: xanthan gum, baking powder and baking soda
2tsp cinnamon or fall spice blend
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c coconut oil
1 c apple juice concentrate
1 c orange juice concentrate
zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 325F and grease and flour 2 - 8"round cake pans
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Cut in the coconut oil until evenly crumbly. Wisk together the eggs and juice concentrates and add the zest. Pour all at once into the flour mixture. Mix quickly until just combined. Divide batter between the 2 cake pans and bake in the center of oven for 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes then turn onto cake rack.
We ate our cake warm. I got up early, but not that early! Place one cake face down on a platter. Thinly slice the orange you took the zest from and peel. Arrange the slices on the cake. Top with the second cake. You can either frost with your favorite frosting, spread with jam or serve as-is. This is a very moist cake. Especially if it's still warm.
Enjoy the sunny goodness while you celebrate the re-birth of the light.