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Traditional Yorkshire Parkin Recipe

User Rating 4 Star Rating (18 Reviews)



Yorkshire Parkin

Elaine Lemm - istock

Watch How to Make Yorkshire Parkin with Elaine Lemm


Parkin is essentially the Northern English form of gingerbread. Different parkins are characterized by where they are made and Yorkshire Parkin, one of the most famous, is made using oats. Yorkshire Parkin is eaten on Bonfire Night, November 5th, celebrating the famous failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses on Parliament in 1605. Guy Fawkes was a Yorkshireman.

This Parkin Recipe is easy to make and creates a lovely, moist sticky cake - though you can eat the cake almost immediately it gets stickier if you wrap and store it for several days. The other beauty of the cake is it keeps really well in an airtight tin, can be eaten as a cake or warm as a pudding with a dollop of custard and make an interesting alternative to sponge cake in a trifle, giving it a more autumny flavour than a light summer trifle.

Really is one of the best cakes, I love it, but then I am from Yorkshire.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes


  • 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


Heat the oven to 275°F/140°C/gas 1
  • Grease an 8" x 8"/ 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.
  • 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.
  • In a large, spacious, baking bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. Gradually add the melted butter mixture stirring to coat all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Gradually, beat in the eggs a few tablespoons at a time. Finally add the milk and again stir well.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 1½ hours until firm and set and a dark golden brown.
  • Remove the parkin from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. 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. The Parkin will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Guide's Response to User Reviews
"In response to the review from Annie Yorks below. I have made this recipe many, many times and can assure you there is more than enough liquid. Any more and the mixture will become too sloppy spoiling the resulting parkin. The oatmeal must be medium or medium to fine, never above medium. Anything more than medium creates a very dry cake. " - Elaine Lemm, Your Guide to British Food
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Excellent!, Member cristobalperezoso

Followed precisely. V nice. Next time, will perhaps add more spice and trade a little syrup for molasses/black treacle, but that's just my taste. The folks who give this a 1* rating have either done something wrong, can't read (no, the recipe doesn't say 175 degs C, soorob!) or just don't like parkin! :-)

10 out of 11 people found this helpful.

See all 18 reviews

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