The Classic Sticky Ginger Parkin cake comes from Yorkshire and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night in the UK. If you’re a gingerbread fan you need to try it! Make it a few days ahead of time and it will become even more sticky and spicy.
I searched for years for a good Yorkshire Parkin recipe. Maybe it wasn’t the recipes that were at fault – my impatience might have had a lot to do with it!
Little did I know the perfect recipe was right under my nose, sitting in my kitchen cupboard in my Great Grandmother’s 1950’s Good Housekeeping book. You probably have a cook book just like it in your own home – falling apart with pages missing, notes hastily scribbled in the footnotes of recipes and the spine long gone.
Parkin definitely benefits from being made several days in advance. Wrap it in baking paper, place in an airtight tin and forget about it for a few days. You will end up with a beautifully rich, moist spicy cake that is just perfect with a cup of tea.
If you’re planning on going to a Firework/Bonfire display in the next few days, do yourself a favour and tuck a slab of Parkin in your coat pocket. Your future self will thank you for it!
So this is it – the best Parkin recipe I’ve tried (so far!) I’ve increased the ginger flavour even further by adding some of that gorgeous preserved ginger in syrup.
You won’t usually find this in a traditional Parkin recipe, but I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a big ginger fan like me.
(I want you to feel confident and prepared when making this recipe for the first time, so here’s a quick ingredient list. Keep scrolling to the bottom of the post to find printable recipe card!)
- Plain Flour
- Ground Ginger
- Freshly Grated Nutmeg. You can use ground, but freshly grated is best.
- Bicarbonate of Soda to give the cake a lift.
- Medium Oatmeal – not rolled oats.
- Light or Dark muscavado Sugar. I love the treacly richness of the dark brown sugar, but both will work fine.
- Golden Syrup
- Treacle or Molasses
- Preserved Ginger in syrup (not traditional, but the more ginger flavour the better in my book!)
WHAT is the difference between rolled oats and Oatmeal?
Rolled oats – also known as porridge oats are oat groats that have been flattened. They are larger than oatmeal and are not suitable for this recipe.
Oatmeal has a much finer texture than rolled oats. It resembles coarse flour and comes in three types –
- Coarse (pinhead)
I recommend the medium oatmeal for this recipe. The pin head variety would make the parkin too crunchy and nubbly, although some people may not object to this.
If you can’t find medium oatmeal, it is possible to grind rolled oats in a food processor or blender. Just be sure not to take it too far – you don’t want to turn it into oat flour!
For clarification – the white bowl in the picture below contains rolled (porridge) oats and the bowl on the bottom is medium oatmeal.
how to make ginger parkin cake
(Ingredient amounts and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!)
- Sift all the dry ingredients together and stir in the oatmeal.
- Melt the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup, treacle and milk in a pan. Heat gently until the mixture has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly for a few minutes before stirring in a beaten egg.
- Pour this treacly mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to mix until you have a smooth, shiny batter. The mixture will be quite liquid.
- Pour into a greased and lined 20cm square cake tin and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the parkin is glossy on the top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once the parkin is cold, wrap in baking parchment and store in an airtight tin. The parkin will benefit from up to 7 days maturing, if you can resist the temptation to dive in straight away!
Ginger Parkin will keep well for 2 weeks in an airtight tin. Wrap it up in a double layer of baking parchment and a piece of tin foil before storing in the tin. The longer you leave it, the better the texture and flavour will be. Your patience will be rewarded!
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- 225g Plain Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 125g Medium Oatmeal
- 125g Butter
- 125g Light or Dark muscavado Sugar
- 100g Golden Syrup
- 100g Treacle or Molasses
- 75ml Milk
- 1 Egg, Beaten
- 25g finely chopped preserved ginger (in syrup)
- 1 Tablespoon of the preserved ginger syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line and base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin.
- Sift the flour, ginger, nutmeg, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the oatmeal.
- Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, treacle and milk in a saucepan. Heat gently until the mixture has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before adding the egg.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the treacly mixture, stirring lightly until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chopped preserved ginger and the ginger syrup.
- Pour this rather liquid batter into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. When it's ready the top of the parkin will be shiny, smooth and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake will emerge clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- When the cake is cold, wrap in baking parchment and store in an airtight tin. If you can bear to leave it for 3-5 days, it will taste even better!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 139mgCarbohydrates: 44gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 3g