Hairy Biker’s Parkin (but not really)

Parkin is from yorkshire and is a spiced cake that contains oats and treacle. It’s best to leave it for a few days after you bake it before eating, as the outside of the cake becomes lovely and sticky from the treacle.

It’s traditionally served around Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night), which incase you don’t know, is celebrated in most of the UK on the 5th November.

It remembers the events of 5th November 1605, when Guy Fawkes and his band of not so merry men plotted to kill King James. They failed, got hanged and now we celebrate that by building bonfires, lighting fireworks and eating parkin. Nope, no idea.

I was looking for a parkin recipe and stumbled on this one by the Hairy Bikers – but as it contains neither oats, nor treacle, is not really parkin. However, it is sticky, full of ginger flavour and delicious!

I took this into work and I have to say it was my biggest hit yet. One of the company directors (who aren’t known for dishing out complements) told me it was ‘delicious’ and another of my colleagues asked me if I had any more to bring in the next day. It’s a definite crowd pleaser.

Recipe on BBC website by Hairy Bikers. 


  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 115g/4oz soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I doubled this amount as I love an extra ginger flavour)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 55g/2oz butter
  • 115g/4oz golden syrup
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 20cm/8in cake tin.
  2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the sugar, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a pan and heat until the butter has melted.
  4. Put the egg and milk into a jug and beat together.
  5. Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir, then add the egg and milk mixture and stir until smooth. Pour into the lined tin.
  6. Bake in the oven for one hour or until a skewer comes out clean when pieced in the centre of the parkin.