Parkin Recipe for Bonfire Night

If you’re looking for a tasty treat for Bonfire Night – or Fireworks Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, whatever you wish to call it – nothing beats traditional Yorkshire parkin. Parkin is a traditional ginger cake flavoured with syrupy molasses, oatmeal and warm spices. Bake it for Bonfire Night or an afternoon tea treat.

Like a fine wine, parkin improves with age, so bake it up to a week before you want to eat it.

This version is from the Great British Bake Off Big Book of Amazing Cakes.

Serves: 16

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-On Time: 15 mins

Baking Time: 1 hr


You will need:
  • 20cm square cake tin, greased, then lined (base and sides) with baking paper


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 100g molasses or treacle
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 50g dark brown soft sugar
  • 100g medium oatmeal
  • 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice


  • Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/315°F/Gas 2–3.
  • Beat the egg and milk together in a jug.
  • Place the butter in a large pan with the molasses or treacle, golden syrup and sugar. Melt everything together over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oatmeal, flour, ginger and mixed spice. Add the egg and milk mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the sponge is firm to the touch, but not dry. Leave the sponge in the tin until completely cold, then wrap it (still in the tin) in baking paper and foil. Store for a week, then turn out and cut into 16 squares. Eat within 2 weeks.

See also: Gluten-Free Roasted Butternut Squash

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