Yorkshire Parkin – A Ginger Cake With Oats

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Parkin is a traditional cake in the north of England particularly Yorkshire and Lancashire around about Bonfire Night(Guy Fawkes Night – 5th November)  There are differences between the various versions, but the Yorkshire version, at least,  has oats in the cake which appealed to me when I was considering which to make, so Yorkshire Parkin it is.

According to wiki Parkin is a hard cake, when baked, but as it is left, in an airtight container, for a few days it becomes very moist and sticky.  That is exactly what I want, something that can easily be enjoyed with a cup of tea, and will be just as good in a bowl, with some custard, as a dessert.

With ginger, nutmeg, mixed spice, molasses, golden syrup and dark brown muscovado sugar you can just imagine the wonderful aroma that fills the room as it bakes.  

I, of course, could not resist cutting a piece of my effort, even though it is best left for about 3 days in an airtight container.  It can also be left of up to a week before eating.  I can report that the taste is simply phenomenal and is only going to get better as the texture changes during the next few days.

I am so pleased I tried this one, and that it turned quitewell, even though it didn’t rise in the middle to be level.  That could be because I adjusted the heat as described below. Having trawled many sites to find a recipe I wanted to try I opted for About Food for mine, and the only difference I made was to bake at 120c Fan, rather 140C without the fan.  I always prefer to bake with the fan, simply as it bakes more evenly.

Yorkshire Parkin

  • 8 oz/220g soft butter
  • 4 oz/110g soft, dark brown sugar
  • 2oz / 55g black treacle/molasses
  • 7oz / 200g golden syrup/ corn syrup
  • 5oz/ 120g medium oatmeal
  • 7 oz/ 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Heat the oven to 275°F/140°C/gas 1 Note:(I used 120C Fan instead)
  2. Grease an 8″ x 8″/ 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.
  3. In a large heavy-based saucepan melt together the butter, sugar, treacle, golden syrup over a gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil, you simply need to melt these together.
  4. In a large, spacious, baking bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. 
  5. Gradually add the melted butter mixture stirring to coat all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Gradually, beat in the eggs a few tablespoons at a time. 
  7. Finally add the milk and again stir well.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 1½ hours until firm and set and a dark golden brown.
  9. Remove the parkin from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  10.  Once cool store the Parkin in an airtight tin for a minimum of 3 days if you can resist eating it, you can even leave it up to a week before eating and the flavors really develop and the mixture softens even further and become moist and sticky.
  11. The Parkin will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container.

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