Yorkshire Parkin recipe is an age old ginger cake recipe from Northern England. Its traditionally made with wholesome oatmeal and plenty of sticky black treacle. Its the best kind of ginger cake for Autumn and Bonfire Night. Great on its own but extra special when served as proper pudding: heated and with custard.
This Yorkshire parkin recipe is the only cake recipe I want to be making and eating at the start of November. Its is an Autumnal tradition, but a tradition that is more likely to be found in Northern England. And its rich texture and flavour is definitely more suited to the cold Northern weather. Just like treacle toffee, parkin is for eating whilst watching fireworks and burning a Guy Fawkes. And the taste of this treacly, moist, oaty parkin recipe really does hold all the memories of bonfire night for me, at my Grandmas house, parkin fresh out of her oven and my Dad and Uncle running back and forth lighting fireworks.
🍯 Difference between parkin and ginger cake
This recipe is described as Yorkshire parkin as it uses oatmeal and plenty of black treacle. Lancashire parkin, although still northern and still parkin, skips out the treacle and uses just golden syrup. Gingerbread or ginger cake also uses golden syrup and of course ginger, but has no treacle and no oats or oatmeal. In my opinion parkin isn’t parkin without fine oats for that chewy texture and a good amount of black treacle, which makes the cake warming and moist and also gives it a super strong and slightly bitter flavour thats almost like liquorish.
🥘 IngredientsFull ingredients & instructions in recipe card below: Jump to Recipe Card
To make a 9×9 inch tin (about 15 pieces) of this Yorkshire parkin recipe you will need the following:
- 250g (1 2/3 cups) Self-raising flour
- 2 tsp Ground ginger
- Pinch of Salt
- 250g (2 1/2 cups) fine oats or medium oatmeal
- 120g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown muscovado sugar
- 150g (2/3 cup) Unsalted Butter
- 200g (3/4 cup) Black Treacle (or dark molasses)
- 50g (1/6 cup) Golden Syrup
- 150ml (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp) Semi Skimmed (2%) Milk
- 1 large egg
(Reference for cup measures)
Substitutions: Please bear in mind that the recipe above uses UK self raising flour, which is different to USA self raising flour. If you don’t have self raising flour or if you have a different type, you can substituted the self raising flour in this recipe for: 250g all purpose flour + 2 1/2 level tsp of baking powder. For more info see this article on how to make self raising flour.
An alternative to black treacle is dark molasses.
- Pre heat the oven to 140°C (285°F) and line a 9×9 inch square tin with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, salt, ginger and oats.
- Place a small sauce pan over a medium heat then add and melt together the muscovado sugar, butter, treacle, and golden syrup. Pour the melted mixture into the flour mixture and stir together well,
- In a small jug whisk together the milk and egg. Then gradually add to the Parkin cake mixture, stirring well between each addition.
- Carefully transfer the parkin mixture to the lined tin and spread evenly across the base of the tin. Then place in the centre of the oven and cook for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool then transfer to a wire rack before slicing into about 15 pieces.
💭 Recipe tips
Dry and wet ingredients: To keep this recipe nice and easy first mix together all the dry ingredients and then separately mix together the wet ingredients (apart from egg and milk). Then combine the two.
Add egg and milk gradually: Egg has a habit of causing cake mixtures to split. To help prevent this first mix the egg with the milk and then add the egg and milk to the cake mixture a bit at a time. Stir continually.
Line your tin: Make sure your baking tin is well lined with baking paper. Due to the cakes sticky nature you will be glad of the paper when it comes time to remove the cake.
Leave in tin to cool: After baking leave the parkin to cool completely before removing from the tin. This will ensure your cake stays in one piece.
❓ Frequently asked questions
Once baked this cake can be frozen as a whole or sliced up a frozen as separate pieces. If freezing whole wrap the whole thing in a double layer of cling film and freeze for up to 3 months. If freezing in pieces, wrap each piece in a double layer of cling film and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost leave on the side for a couple of hours – this will take more or less time to defrost depend on the size of the piece. Alternatively microwave in 30 second bursts until defrosted and slightly warmed through.
The best way to reheat Yorkshire parkin is in the microwave. Place in a microwavable bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes until warmed through. If you prefer to use the oven to reheat, place the parkin in a oven proof bowl, cover with foil and warm in a medium oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Oatmeal is finely sliced oats and so is basically the same thing. However the finer texture of oatmeal helps to produce the perfect chewy texture that parkin is so well known for. The best option for parkin is medium oatmeal. However, if you don’t have access to oatmeal you can use oats but try to opt for rolled oats or porridge oats. If you only have whole oats you could blitz these in a food processor in order to break up before adding to the parkin mixture.
The nature of this parkin recipe means it is likely to sink slightly as it cools. To avoid it sinking too much it needs to be baked for just the right amount of time. This means removing from the oven when a skewer comes out clean. Not baking for long enough will mean the gooey mixture inside will cause the cake to collapse/sink as it cools. However, leaving it for longer can make the parkin too dry. The best advice is to check with a skewer 10 minutes before the end of the baking time. Then make a judgement based on how clean the skewer is.
Black treacle is my preferred option for this recipe, but it can be substituted for dark molasses instead.
Once made this lovely Yorkshire Parkin can be wrapped in cling film and stored in an air tight container for a good few weeks. The high amount of sugar in this recipe means that it keeps really well and actually improves with age. – A bit like a Christmas cake. The longer you keep it the more moist and sticky it gets! Its ridiculously good.
🍰 Other baking recipes you may like to try
- Bakewell tart
- Lemon drizzle cake
- Banana bread
- Chocolate muffins
- Christmas cake muffins
- Free from Panna Cotta with Cardamom and treacle
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Banana cake
- Blueberry pancakes
Yorkshire Parkin Recipe
- 250 g (1 2/3 cup) Self-raising flour
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- Pinch of Salt
- 250 g (2 1/2 cups) fine oats or medium oatmeal
- 120 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown muscovado sugar
- 150 g (2/3 cup) Unsalted Butter
- 200 g (3/4 cup) Black Treacle (or dark molasses)
- 50 g (1/6 cup) Golden Syrup
- 150 ml (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp) Semi Skimmed Milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 9×9 inch square tin
- Greaseproof paper
- Large mixing bowl
- Small saucepan
- Measuring jug
- Wooden spoon
- Pre heat the oven to 140°C (285°F).
- Line a 9×9 inch square tin with greaseproof paper. Due to the cakes sticky nature the paper will be of great help when it comes time to remove the cake.
- For ease mix together all dry ingredients first: Sieve 250g self raising flour into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of.salt, 2 tsp ground ginger and 250g rolled oats/oatmeal then mix together with a wooden spoon.
- Next mix together all wet ingredients excluding the egg and milk: place 120g muscovado sugar, 150g butter, 200g black treacle, and 50g golden syrup into a small sauce pan. Put the pan over a medium heat and melt, whilst stirring well. Once fully melted, carefully pour into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir together. The mixture will appear quite thick.
- In a small jug measure out 150ml milk and add the egg. Whisk the egg and milk together. Gradually add the milk mix to the Parkin mixture, stirring well between each addition. The mixture should now loosen up. This method helps prevent the egg from causing the cake mix to split.
- Once all the milk is added transfer the cake mix to the lined tin. Spread evenly across the base of the tin. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and cook for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once cooked remove from the oven. Leave the parkin to cool completely before removing from the tin. This will ensure your parkin stays in one piece. Then transfer to a wire rack before slicing into about 15 pieces.