Gingerbread & Black Treacle Parkin


Preparation info

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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

I’ve kept a couple of my old Home Economics books from school, and still use them to this day. The majority of British pudding recipes in the books are tempting but heavy, dense and full of dried fruit. One classic Northern English pudding is parkin: a rich dense gingerbread cake made with treacle and oats. It’s highly satisfying in all the right ways.


  • 100 g black treacle
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 180 g butter
  • 70 g soft light brown sugar
  • 85 g oatmeal (or just use regular porridge oats, which have been blitzed to a fine powder)
  • 220 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg


  • 20cm square loose-bottomed cake tin


Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the cake tin with baking parchment. I make sure there is some extra baking parchment hanging over the edges – this makes it easier to pull out the cake when it is baked.

Put the treacle and the golden syrup into a pan, then add the butter and sugar. Put the pan on a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally, and then set aside.

Put the oatmeal into a large bowl with the flour, baking powder and ginger, then add the treacle mixture and mix this all together with a spatula. Tip in the milk or buttermilk with the egg and mix again until evenly combined. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 20–25 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Once cooked, remove the parkin from the oven and leave to cool. Cut the cooled parkin into nine or sixteen equal-sized squares and serve.