sticky parkin
5.0 from 10 votes

This spicy ginger parkin cake is very seasonal and perfect for chilly autumn nights and occasions such as Bonfire Night. I have changed one traditional recipe by adding mixed spice to increase the spiciness.

You can leave the mixed spice out if you want the more traditional recipe.

parkin cake served

When I was a child, bonfire night and some parkin went hand in hand. It is a big tradition especially in the north of England.

Parkin originates from Yorkshire and the word Parkin is thought to come because it was a popular Yorkshire surname from the time of the Industrial revolution. The word means Peter.

This kind of cake was made throughout not just Yorkshire but also Lancashire too. before the common name Parkin was used the name Tharf Cake was sometimes used.

It was created we think because the old traditional ingredients of oats and treacle as these were what were readily available to us poorer northern folk back then.

Ovens were not readily available to the poor then too so the cakes had to be done over an open fire or griddled instead of baked. For this, really fresh oats were needed. Hence the first week in November (oat harvest) was parkin season and Bonfire Night falls in that week too, hence the connection.

Spicy Ginger Parkin

Spicy Ginger Parkin

Recipe by Paul Steele
5.0 from 10 votes

This cake is very seasonal and perfect for chilly autumn nights and occasions such as Bonfire Night

Course: DessertCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 220 g Butter

  • 240 g Golden Syrup

  • 100 g Treacle

  • 90 g light Muscovado Sugar (Soft Brown Sugar)

  • 100 g Oats

  • 250 g Self Raising Flour

  • 2 tbsp Ground Ginger

  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice

  • 1 Large Egg

  • 5 tbsp Milk


  • Grease and line a 22cm/9 inch square cake tin.
  • Melt together the treacle , syrup, sugar and butter until all the sugar has dissolved. You can test this by pressing a spoon on the base of the pan, feeling any granules. Then remove from heat.
  • Beat the egg and milk together lightly until combined.
  • Stir the flour, oats, ginger and mixed spice together then pour in the syrup mixture. Mix this together then add the egg/milk and combine all.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake has developed a crust and feels firm.
  • Let cool in the tin then store in baking paper and foil.


  • If you can, leave for 3 days before eating as it becomes stickier and softer the longer it is left. You can leave for 2 weeks.


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