A Parkin for Bonfire Night

Get Baking!

Parkin is a great cake! You don’t really see it much in the South of England. It is traditionally associated with Yorkshire and is normally served on 5th November, Guy Fawkes Day.  It’s a gingerbread cake that is so warming and dense, it’s a little like a ginger version of sticky toffee pudding. It actually tastes better the following day, becoming stickier as it matures.

The parkin doesn’t contain eggs and it is bulked out with porridge oats, the addition of golden syrup and milk helps it become even more moist over time. It forms part of the perfect Bonfire Night fayre, with jacket potatoes, toasted marshmallows and mulled cider.  

Firework parties and bonfire night are great fun, I much prefer it to Halloween. There’s no pressure to wear a costume, fireworks are so pretty and I love sparklers. It’s the perfect way to spend an evening.

For something so easy to prepare, it really is a wonder cake. You don’t need to decorate it, you can freeze it and you can make it the day before you go to a party. You can thank me later for sharing this recipe with you, but for now, go and make a parkin. It takes about 15 minutes to whip up and you’ll love it.

Just try to leave it till the next day, I promise it’s worth the wait!


175g Wholegrain Plain Flour/Plain Flour, sifted
200g Golden Caster Sugar
125g Porridge Oats
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp Ground Ginger
2tbsp Stem Ginger, finely chopped
2tbsp Golden Syrup
200ml Milk
110g Unsalted Butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 140C Fan/150C/Gas 2 and grease the sides and line the base of a 20 x 20cm tin with baking parchment.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and sugar in a large bowl and put it to one side.
  3. In a saucepan mix the golden syrup, milk and unsalted butter and cook over a medium heat until the butter has melted. You don’t want to boil the mixture, just melt the butter.
  4. Pour the melted butter mixture onto the oats and flour and beat with a spoon to combine, add in the chopped stem ginger and stir again to mix it thoroughly.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
  6. Leave the parkin to cool in the tin, before cutting into 16 portions. Parkin tastes best when it’s made the day before, it will last for up to 5 days in an airtight container and it also freezes very well.

Angela Field