Yorkshire Parkin – gingerbread by another name

parkinCold weather needs comfort food and gingerbread is one of those. Although a lot of the UK has been seeing snow this year we usually miss it, which, despite the chaos it brings with it, I always find very disappointing. So it was very exciting the other day to get half an hour of snow that actually settled for a little while. And by a little while I mean maybe half an hour… It still counts.

This is a Paul Hollywood recipe that I have wanted to make ever since my friend Jo brought me some. And as I am expected to turn up at school pick up with a snack, parkin seemed like a good option for the cold weather. It was a big hit with my 10 year old. As it turns out that a lot of people have never heard of parkin I started calling it gingerbread, which just won’t do for my 10 year old: I must call it parkin! Yorkshire Parkin is gingerbread made with the addition of oatmeal and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, which sounds like a great idea. I’m a bit late with mine as Bonfire Night is 5th November but I don’t think it really matters!

Parkin improves over a few days, becoming stickier and therefore is ideal if you want something you can make ahead or keep for a while. You may remember me mentioning my friend Frin a few times on this blog: she and her family took a year out to sail round the Mediterranean, which you can read all about on her blog here. They are currently wintering in Alicante, in Spain, and I am off to see them for a few days. When I asked if there was anything they would like me to bring my main instructions were “bring cake”. So I have made a second batch of parkin to take with me, along with a banana and cranberry loaf. I’m thinking you probably can’t get either of those in Spanish cake shops and neither of them should dry out or go stale before they can be eaten. And if you are wondering why you would want “comfort” food in Spain, the weather this week is due to be very windy and chilly!

yorkshire parkin



225g butter

110g golden syrup

110g treacle

2 eggs

125ml milk

225g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablepsoon ground ginger

225g dark brown sugar

225g oatmeal


Set the oven to 170ºC and grease and line a tin approximately 20×30 cm.

Put the butter, syrup and treacle into a pan and heat gently until melted.

Put the milk into a jug and add the eggs. Beat together.

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, sugar and oatmeal in a large bowl.


Combine the dry ingredients

Pour in the butter mixture and the milk mixture and mix well.

making parkin

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin

Bake for around 45-55 minutes, until the parkin has risen and springs back when pressed lightly. It may sink in the middle a little.


Just out of the oven

Allow to cool and then cut into squares or fingers. I cut off the edges before cutting it into fingers.

parkinThis keeps well in an airtight tin and will improve over a few days by getting lovely and sticky.


Categories: Baking, Cakes, Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Sounds delicious. Have a fun trip.

  2. An absolute classic and one of my favourite cakes – gorgeous!

  3. Oh this takes me back. 🙂 I love gingerbread.

  4. Oh I’d love to try Parkin, I really love gingerbread so I’m sure I would love this too! It looks scrummy.
    Jones x

  5. I was introduced to parkin by my Yorkshire in-laws and I’m with you…it’s very good and that fact that it improves with age makes it even better. it’s a bonfire night tradition in our family now. I’ve made several versions on my blog. it’s a highly contentious issue as to the ratio of treacle / oats / golden syrup / eggs etc so there’s always room to try another recipe!

    • Thank you very much for your comments – I did a quick google of gingerbread before my post and it looked like “traditional” was a highly contentious issue so I tried to steer clear of claiming any sort of authenticity on Paul Hollywood’s behalf!

  6. What’s the name of the emotion you feel on finding a bowel of caster sugar looking at you accusingly ten minutes after you put the parkin mix in the oven?
    Fortunately the parkin still tastes wonderful. Thank you for the recipie.

    • Oh no! I guess you were being a little too mindful of your sugar consumption! I did that once with the butter in brownies and I thought they would still be edible, just not great. Unfortunately they were awful. Great to know that the recipe can cope with reduced sugar though, thank you

      • I send a tray bake most weeks to a local hospital staff room where my wife works. Your less-sugar-by-accident parkin recipe only lasted one coffee break so that speaks for itself.

  7. That’s brilliant – and thank you for all the work your wife and her team are doing!

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