Homemade traditional parkin recipe!

traditional parkin recipe

Traditional parkin recipe. Chestnuts and potatoes roasting on the bonfire, treacle toffee, toffee apples and parkin, all bring back memories of bonfire night. Although in my family parkin wasn’t just eaten in November it is traditionally made around bonfire night. Originally from Yorkshire, this sticky sweet cake is a bonfire staple. Made with golden syrup, black treacle and lashings of ginger this traditional parkin recipe was always a firm family favourite.

Sitting here waiting for it to cook, the whole house smells like ginger and allspice and it takes me back to being a kid in my grandmas kitchen, the whole family packed in, bonfire going in the back yard, Granddad wrapping potatoes and throwing them on the bonfire, Cousin probably seconds away from setting himself on fire, me in the corner retching at the smell of black peas and Grandma in the kitchen making parkin. They even had a song they would sing about it but for the life of me, I can’t remember what its called, or even if it was a real song or just some silly tune my granddad would sing.

Parkin is essentially a sticky ginger cake made with sugar, black treacle (molasses), golden syrup (similar to corn syrup) and oats. It has a very strong ginger flavour, is a very rich dark brown colour and has a very dense texture. It is traditionally eaten in the north around the bonfire on November 5th.



    1. 200g butter
    2. 1 large egg
    3. 4 tbsp milk
    4. 200g golden syrup (or corn syrup)
    5. 85g treacle (or molasses)
    6. 85g light soft brown sugar
    7. 100g medium oatmeal
    8. 250g self-raising flour
    9. 2 tbsp ground ginger
    10. 1 tbsp mixed spice


  1. Preheat your oven to 160C. Spray a 9in square cake tin and line with baking paper. Lightly whisk the egg and milk together with a fork.
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the oatmeal, flour, mixed spice and ginger. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the pan of warm wet ingredients. Beat well with a wooden spoon to combine.
  4. Add the egg and milk and beat together one final time to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 50 min to 1 hour. When it is baked it should feel firm with a good crust on top.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire cooling tray.

traditional parkin recipe

Tip: If you can, bake these 3-5 days in advance, the longer you leave it the stickier the cake will become. Just wrap it in foil or clingfilm.

And there you have it, the perfect bonfire night treat my traditional parkin recipe. If you give this recipe a try let me know how it turns out by tagging @whatseatingmanchester in your social media post!

For more inspiring recipes don’t forget to check out my blog or Pinterest. 

Sarah x