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Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

This old fashioned traditional Yorkshire parkin recipe is full of spice and moist with the addition of black treacle and syrup. It is similar in taste and indeed stickiness to a good dark gingerbread.

Yorkshire Parkin, a single slice to the front on a small blue plate and the remainder to the back slightly blurred all on a blue backdrop.

Michelle has family in Yorkshire, however, from discussions with her mother-in-law she found that each area treats it differently. Although recipes for this bake are traditional from around Yorkshire and Lancashire, there are differences in the recipes between different regions.

or example, some don’t include the oatmeal in their recipe, which makes it more similar to a sticky ginger cake than a traditional parkin.

What’s the difference between Traditional Yorkshire Parkin & a gingerbread?

The main difference between ginger parkin and gingerbread is the addition of oatmeal to the cake mix.

Some recipes don’t ask for it, however our recipe for parkin uses oatmeal. We believe that oatmeal adds a lovely texture to the cake. With the oatmeal added its a lot different to a sticky gingerbread.

That’s how Michelle likes to bake it for her husband who’s from Yorkshire. The addition of black treacle to the mix adds depth of flavour to the cake.

Whilst the golden syrup allows the cake to develop a real stickiness.

A view from the top of a trayback of Yorkshire Parkin cut into 9 pieces on a piece of baking parchment and a round wire trivet.

Points to note and some top tips:

  • Firstly, it is worth mentioning that you should not over mix the cake batter.
  • Over mixing can cause the parkin to sink in the middle, as too much air gets added this way. Instead simply mix to combine all the ingredients before pouring into the cake tin and baking.
  • Secondly, as with gingerbread, parkin is best left to sit for a few days before serving as this will ensure the cake goes nice and sticky.
  • As a cake it will last for up to a week if not more in an air-tight container.

When is Parkin traditionally made?

Yorkshire Parkin is a bake that is traditionally made around bonfire night, that’s when Michelle likes to bake it for family and friends, where it’s taken outside and enjoyed alongside the baking potatoes that have been popped in the fire to cook.

A deliciously spicy and sticky treat, perfect for warming you up on a cold night with a nice hot cup of tea. Parkin also makes a great pudding when warmed up and served with a warm custard.

How to serve the traybake?

There is no set way to set this cake. As a family Michelle always cuts into squares and takes on a winter picnic, especially when out for a Bonfire night.

Its also a great Sunday pudding, warmed and smothered in proper custard or ice cream – or both!

Can I freeze Parkin?

Traditional Yorkshire Parkin is a great traditional bakes that can easily be made ahead of time.

Keep it wrapped and and in the freezer for a couple of months. Michelle likes to freeze in portions to take out for a midweek pudding without the fuss.

Pin the recipe for later:

A pinterest graphic of a parkin slice with the remainder of the cake to the back.

Alternative recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try some of our other simple bakes:

If you enjoyed this bake have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Baking with Kids or our Best Cake Recipes post, full of great recipe suggestions for baking with children.

A generous piece of Yorkshire parkin on a small scalloped edge blue ceramic plate with a fork on the side of the plate and the rest of the parkin on a trivet slightly blurred in the background.


Parkin is a traditional bake, popular in the North of England. A deliciously moist and spicy ginger cake made with black treacle and oatmeal. A perfect sweet accompaniment to your Bonfire Night Celebrations.
4.79 from 14 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 336kcal


  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g black treacle (or molasses)
  • 100 g golden syrup (Not Corn Syrup)
  • 100 g soft brown sugar
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 g medium oatmeal
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)


  • Preheat oven to 150Fan and grease and line an 8 inch square high sided cake tin.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, treacle, syrup and sugar until combined but do not allow to boil.
  • In a separate bowl add your dry ingredients and mix lightly.
  • Once the butter and sugars are melted, remove from the heat and add into the dry ingredients. Mix together with a wooden spoon until you have a thick batter.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and measure the milk. Add this to the batter and gently stir until fully combined.
  • Once the batter is combined then pour into the pan and bake for 50 minutes. Check after 50 minutes. The cake is ready when I skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool and wrap or store in an airtight container for a few days. The cake can be eaten straight away but benefits from sitting for a few says to allow it to become sticky.
  • Serve on its own for Bonfire night outside or as a dessert warmed and topped with custard.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 336 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 158mg7%
Potassium 246mg7%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 461IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Baking, Dessert
Cuisine : British
Keyword : autumn, Bonfire Night, Gingerbread, traditional biscuits, Traybakes
Tried this recipe? We’d love to see your photos!Mention @lostinf00d or tag #lostinfood!
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Recipe Rating


Thursday 4th of November 2021

"Preheat oven to 150Fan and grease..." Is this a typo? 300F/150C seems more likely


Friday 5th of November 2021

Hi Dave, yes 150Fan oven - as the recipe mentions is correct for this recipe. Ovens in the UK are in Celsius so if using Fahrenheit you would need to convert to your oven.

Monika Dabrowski

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

I've never had this cake but it sounds fabulous! I love gingerbread and anything with mixed spice in it so this recipe sounds right up my street.


Sunday 3rd of November 2019

My husband is from Yorkshire so its a childhood favourite of his. Some make it without the oats and its basically just gingerbread then, but the oats are more traditional. Cheers, Michelle

Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

Wednesday 30th of October 2019

Perfect bonfire night treat indeed! I'm a big fan of anything gingerbread but I don't recall ever having traditional Yorkshire parkin with oatmeal in it so this one is definitely on the list to try! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with #BakingCrumbs :)


Wednesday 30th of October 2019

You’re very welcome Jo, thank you for such lovely comments. This is a really tasty bake. Lesley x

Jenny Walters

Wednesday 30th of October 2019

This looks and sounds absolutely heavenly never mind Autumnal. I love a sticky gingerbread so I know I would love this. I love the simplicity of the whole thing and I love a stout cake batter. The oldies are so the goodies.Thank you so much for sharing it with #BakingCrumbs Just have to say your supper clubs look amazing! Wish I lived closer. Would love to indulge!


Wednesday 30th of October 2019

Thank you so much Jenny, like you I love a traditional bake, they’re always full of flavour. I wish you lived closer too as we’d love to have you come along to one of our Supperclubs. Thank you for such lovely comments. Lesley x