Parkin cake recipe

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Take a look at our sticky parkin recipe that's perfect for a traditional Bonfire Night treat

parkin cake
  • Nut-free
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time1 hours
Total Time1 hours 10 mins (plus 15-20 mins cooling time)
Cost RangeCheap

Parkin cake is a traditional English moist oatmeal cake that's low in fat - which means it keeps well and just gets stickier and stickier. This deliciously sticky Parkin cake recipe uses black treacle, oatmeal and ground ginger to create a wonderfully warming cake that's perfect with a an afternoon cuppa. Often traditionally served around Bonfire Night as it has a hint of warming spice on cold evenings thanks to the ginger, this is a great cake that originated from the North of England.


  • 125g (4oz) butter
  • 175g (6oz) black treacle
  • 150ml (¼ pint) milk
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6oz) medium oatmeal
  • 125g (4oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 level tsp ground ginger
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 18cm (7in) square cake tin, lined with baking parchment




  1. Place the butter, treacle and milk in a pan, and heat gently until butter has melted.
  2. Add the flour, oatmeal, sugar and ginger, then beat in the egg.
  3. Pour mixture into the lined tin and bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 160°C (320°F, gas mark 2) for 1 hour, or until the centre of the cake is just firm to the touch.
  4. Remove cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. When the Parkin is cold, wrap it in clean baking parchment then foil, and keep it in a cool place for 3-4 days before eating.
Top Tip for making Parkin cake

The cake can be wrapped in a freezer bag and frozen for up to three months. Allow it to defrost before serving.


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