The Perfect Traditional Yorkshire Parkin Recipe

Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe

  The Spruce

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 1 Yorkshire Parkin (6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
876 Calories
37g Fat
135g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 Yorkshire Parkin (6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 876
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 21g 106%
Cholesterol 232mg 77%
Sodium 472mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 135g 49%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 7g
Calcium 273mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sticky, moist, tasty, and ever so comforting, a traditional Yorkshire parkin is the stuff of winter nights and bonfires. 

Yorkshire parkin is primarily the Northern English form of gingerbread, but different parkins are characterized by where they are made. Those from Yorkshire are the most famous and the ones made there use oats, which make them different to others. Parkin is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, November 5th, celebrating the great failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. (Guy Fawkes was a Yorkshireman.)

This parkin recipe is easy to make and creates a lovely, moist, sticky cake—though you can eat the cake almost immediately. It gets stickier if you wrap and store it for several days. The other beauty of the cake is it keeps well in an airtight tin, can be eaten as a cake or warmed as a pudding with a dollop of custard and an alternative to sponge cake in a trifle, giving it a more autumn-y flavor than a light summer trifle.

Parkin is one of the best cakes for enjoying a taste of Yorkshire.


  • 8 ounces/220 g butter (soft)
  • 1/2 cup/110 g dark brown sugar (soft)
  • 1/4 cup/55 g black treacle (or molasses)
  • 1 cup/200 g golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 1/2 cup/110 g medium oatmeal
  • 1 cup/200 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (if needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 275 F/140 C/Gas 1. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square cake tin.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  3. In a large, heavy-based saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, treacle, and golden syrup over a gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil, you simply need to melt these together.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  4. In a large, spacious baking bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Gradually add the melted butter mixture, stirring to coat all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Gradually beat in the eggs, a few tablespoons at a time.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Finally, add a tablespoon of milk at a time, if the mixture feels dry. You are looking for a soft cake batter. Stir well.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 1 1/2 hours, until firm, set, and a dark golden brown.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Remove the parkin from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  10. Once cool, store the parkin in an airtight tin for a minimum of 3 days, if you can resist eating it. 

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce
  11. Serve and enjoy!

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin recipe
     The Spruce


  • You can even leave it up to a week before eating and the flavors really develop and the mixture softens even further and become moist and sticky. The Parkin will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container.
  • It is a lovely stick cake, but also makes a fab pudding with a little vanilla ice cream or go the whole hog and have custard.

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