Parkin or Perkin is a traditional English ginger bread like cake. This soft moist cake is traditionally made of flour, oatmeal, fat, ginger and black treacle and the recipe originates from Yorkshire. It is often eaten on Bonfire Night and will make an ideal seasonal treat served after pumpkin soup.
Parkin is a cake that retains its texture well and can be kept for a week or two in a sealed container. In fact, it is better to store it for a few days before eating it as it will get stickier.
You can enjoy this Parkin recipe on its own as a cake or serve it warm with a dollop of custard. It can also make an interesting alternative to sponge cake in a trifle.
This recipes takes about an hour and fifteen minutes (including baking time). You will need:
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 225g (8oz) of golden syrup
- 50g (2oz) of black treacle
- 85g (3oz) of light muscovado sugar or soft dark brown sugar
- 225g (8oz) of butter
- 100g (4oz) of oatmeal
- 250g (9oz) of flour
- 2 rounded teaspoons of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 160c or gas mark 3 and butter and line a 23cm/ 9 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper. Stir the milk into the beaten eggs and set aside.
- Put the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat.
- Mix together the oatmeal, flour, ginger, mixed spice and baking powder. Stir in the syrup mixture followed by the egg and milk. Mix well.
- Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until firm. Leave to cool in the tin. When the cake is cold, turn it out and peel off the paper. For best results, wrap the Parkin in greaseproof paper and foil and leave it for three days. This will allow the cake to become softer and stickier. It will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated on November the 5th mainly in Great Britain. It originated on 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives the Gunpowder Plot had placed beneath the House of Lords. The Gunpowder Plot attempted to assassinate the Protestant King of England James I to replace him with a catholic head of state. To celebrate the fact that King James had survived, people lit bonfires around London. Later the Observance of 5th November Act was enforced as an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.
For a fun Bonfire Night accessory, why not check out our glow in the dark balloons?