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(9 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr

Skill level



Makes 16 squares

A traditional sponge cake from Northern England flavoured with syrupy molasses, oatmeal and ginger

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 85g treacle
  • 85g light soft brown sugar
  • 100g medium oatmeal
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

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  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a deep 22cm/9in square cake tin and line with baking parchment. Beat the egg and milk together with a fork.
  2. Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Mix together the oatmeal, flour and ginger and stir into the syrup mixture, followed by the egg and milk.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 mins - 1 hr until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top. Cool in the tin then wrap in more parchment and foil and keep for 3-5 days before eating if you can – it’ll become softer and stickier the longer you leave it, up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from, January 2012

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Pittstop71's picture

I honestly don't know why people are complaining this isn't authentic? I was born in Yorkshire and my mum and grandparents would often substitute margarine or butter when baking for lard, fat is fat after all. But nowadays LARD is largely unfashionable and substitutions have become normal. The results often taste better.

As for the people complaining the mixture is too dry, I'd check your weight scale, I've just made this as per the exact proportions above and the results are very wet, maybe you weighed out 1kg of flour by mistake.

If you want to conserve more of the treacle I'd suggest weighing all the wet ingredients directly into the pan before putting it on the heat with the sugar. That way you loose far less transferring it from pan to pan.

I did find another recipe for Parkin yesterday that called for two eggs and more milk, and cooked the resulting mixture for longer. I'd say if the results do look TOO wet, reduce the heat slightly and add maybe 30 minutes to the cooking time, but remember to test about 45-60 minutes in as it can dry out very quickly.

islacraig's picture
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Very easy recipe but even though I left it for over a week, it was very dry and crumbly, i don't think I'll bother making this again.

jul34es's picture

Made this for later and it smells absolutely yummy and looks so moist.

stockportcook's picture

I agree with Rach. More syrup, where's the lard, and ADDING AN EGG!!!!????? Still I'm sure it tastes nice enough. As for the rest of you, suck it up and leave it for a week minimum as it tastes MUCH better. If you can get it off your teeth in less than 10 mins, it's too young, my Mum used to leave it for 4 weeks before we were allowed to try it. To quote from the Wikipaedia entry, 'Fresh parkin is frowned upon'.

singaporemum's picture

Very easy to make. Went down well with warm custard.

littleredpotato's picture
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I wanted to make something like gingerbread (I'm in the US) but I didn't want to fuss too much with creaming butter and sugar. I found this recipe (had Lyle's in the cupboard and substituted molasses for the treacle) and I baked it this afternoon.

Wow...this is absolutely delicious. I expected it to be heavier especially with the all the butter and treacle/molasses but this is going to be great with some tea.

happydays95's picture

Message for to weigh syrup, put your pan on top of your scales and turn the dial to 0 zero....then weigh amount of syrup required e.g. 200 grams, then 85 grams black treacle (285) on dial, then add rest of ingredients....and heat in same pan.hope you can understand what I'm talking about.

nik1977's picture
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Tastes nice but best eaten when still warm, I found it went dry when left for a few days.

radeth's picture

This is not a true Parkin recipe; where's the lard, vinegar & bicarb?
Yorkshire Parkin is dark, slightly sticky and better for leaving a few days before eating.
This is more like the gingerbreads favoured in the south.

marlenebrassington's picture

I would love to make this Parkin, but how do you measure syrup and treacle by weight withoiut scales? Any ideas out there!

janineclayton's picture
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amazing, quick and simple, managed to abstain for 2 days, now really sticky and delicious, hubby says needs more black treacle thou,
definitely making for bonfire party next weekend

glenyst's picture

I'm from Leeds, and this doesn't look dark enough for Parkin to me. It's a cake traditionally served on Bonfire Night (only, or thereabouts) and is usually made with more treacle and less golden syrup. You MUST make it in advance and save it for the day of your Bonfire or Firework Party. It goes beautifully sticky over a few days.

bridgethorpe's picture

Really tasty parkin. I increased the oatmeal and decreased the flour by 25g and added more ginger. The best one yet

woodyweb's picture

Fantastic recipe, so easy yet so tasty! Trying to leave it a few days, haven't managed it yet!

sameshrie's picture
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Lovely, easy and quick. Will add more ginger the next time though. Real comfort food.

dracula1's picture
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Gorgeous! No chance of it being left 3-5 days however. Made it this afternoon and looks like I'll have to make another tomorrow!
My wife said it's the best parkin she's ever tasted. Can see this being made on a regular basis, so easy too

juliebahrain's picture
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Used fine oatmeal as that was what I had. Lovely straight from the oven and it gets even better.............. :-)

bigdog21's picture

This cake is perfect to banish those winter blues, the ginger and treacle combo is a sure fire winner!

pagann's picture

Please please please, could someone from Yorkshire help a fellow Yorkshire lass track down an original Parkin recipe. I have lost the family one in transit to N.Z. and did not lock it to memory. :(