Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

Who doesn’t love a little bit of Parkin come winter time. It reminds me of my childhood, visiting Aunts who baked daily, and their houses were always so warm and cosy, with real wood burning fires and the smell of whatever treats they had rustled up that day.

Now Parkin is loaded with the good stuff… and by that I mean, the sweet stuff, treacle, syrup and sugar, so it does make it high in calories. But this recipe splits nicely into 16 portions, meaning you can freeze it if you want and just take out a piece at a time, or give it to your neighbours, if you’re feeling kind.

If we get 16 squares out of this recipe it comes in at 260 calories a piece, and given the oat content of this cake, it is actually rather filling, and packed with fibre. So I guess the bad and good kind of balance each other out.

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Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

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  • Author: Rachel Wilcock
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x


Delicious ginger and spiced cake



220 grams butter (soft)

200 grams golden syrup (or light corn syrup)

110 grams dark brown sugar (soft)

55 grams black treacle (or molasses)

200 grams self-raising flour

110 grams medium oatmeal

4 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs (beaten)

2 tablespoons milk (if needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 F / 140 C / Gas Mark 1. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square cake tin
  2. In a large, spacious baking bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, ginger, nutmeg, mixed spice, and baking powder.
  3. In a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the butter, golden syrup, brown sugar, and treacle over a gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil; you just need them to melt together.
  4. Gradually add the melted butter mixture, stirring to coat all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time, to make sure its evenly distributed throughout the mixture
  6. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time, but only if the mixture feels dry. You are looking for a soft cake batter. Stir well.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 1 1/2 hours, until firm, set, and a dark golden brown.
  8. Remove the parkin from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  9. Once cool, slice and store the parkin in an airtight tin for a minimum of three days for the best flavour.


Parkin improves with a little age as it becomes moist and sticky. Store in an airtight container lined with parchment or waxed paper and consume within a couple of weeks. Parkin can also be frozen for longer storage. Wrap in parchment or waxed paper followed by plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge before serving.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 90


  • Calories: 261



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