Recipes > Old Fashioned Yorkshire Parkin

Old Fashioned Yorkshire Parkin

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A parkin or perkin is thought to have originated in Yorkshire. The fact that it contains oatmeal indicates that it was a cake of the working classes. ‘Tharf ‘cake is thought to have been the precursor of the parkin, it was a flat gingerbread made with lard and black treacle and oatmeal. It was cooked on a bakestone, in a time when many people did not have an oven and just cooked over the fire.


  • 200 g or 8 0z butter
  • 100 g or 4 oz soft dark sugar
  • 50 g or 2 0z black treacle (or molasses)
  • 175 g or 7 oz golden syrup
  • 125 g or 5 oz medium oatmeal
  • 175 g or 7 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbs milk


  • Preheat the oven to 140⁰C (275⁰F) and line a square tin ( 20cm x 20cm) with baking parchment. In a saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup. It is important to do this on a medium-low heat, you don’t want the sugars to boil, just melt together.
  • Whilst they are melting, stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and when the syrup mixture is ready, tip it in. Use a wooden spoon to beat the wet ingredients into the dry. Now incorporate the eggs – do this gradually, to prevent curdling the mixture. Lastly, add the milk and pour the mixture into the cake tin.
  • Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes and cool it in the tin.
  • Once cool, keep the parkin in an air-tight cake tin and resist eating it for at least three days! It will have become richer in flavour and moister and well worth the wait.

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