parkins, custard, candle and pine cones

Treat the ones you love to delicious Parkin on bonfire night


Parkin! My only why is because it is nearly Guy Fawkes night and I thought, for once, that I should try my hand at making some! I was trying to recall a time when I ate some. I wondered if it was something my late Mum used to make (I’m certain it is something my late Dad would have loved), but I am really struggling! I’m sure I must have eaten it before. Maybe we just called in gingerbread cake, or sticky gingerbread cake. Maybe we just had sticky toffee pudding instead! I will ask my siblings and see if they remember!

stack of individual parkins
Individual parkins with custard and cream

Traditionally, Parkin is a Northern England ginger cake recipe made using treacle or molasses and oats. It is eaten all throughout the winter months, but especially on Bonfire Night (5th November).

Now, as my memory is lacking in eating this sticky cake, I had no expectations to what it should taste like! I created this parkin based on cake, ginger, and oats. What I have created is a delightfully spiced cake that would be great served with a custard or ice-cream. The flavours develop the longer the cake is left and the cake does get more moist and stickier, the longer it is left.

parkin with custard
Delicious spiced parkin

The Parkin Recipe

I wanted to create something which was easy for you to replicate at home, with ingredients you would either have, or could use for something else. The recipe is vegan and I have used ground linseeds for the egg replacer, but feel free to use an egg if that’s your thing. There is flour, oats, brown sugar, butter and spices in the cake, as well as bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a splash of milk. The ingredient you may not have on hand, is golden syrup – but I have favoured this over molasses or treacle as you could use it to make flapjack or these delicious florentines! Here’s the recipe.


Sticky spiced ginger cake, traditionally eaten on bonfire night

Course: cake, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: English, Yorkshire
Keyword: bonfire night, guy fawkes cake, parkin, sticky cake
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed (or sub one small egg)
  • 3 teaspoons water (not required if using egg)
  • 65 ml golden syrup
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g brown sugar (I used coconut)
  • 40 g oats
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons milk (I used unsweetened oat milk)
  1. Mix the flaxseed with the water and set aside.

  2. Put the syrup, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until melted.

  3. Add all the dry ingredients (oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger & mixed spice) and mix well.

  4. Lastly, add the flax egg mixture and the milk and stir in to combine.

  5. Spoon into 7 individual cases (approx 40g each), or one large greased/lined tin. Bake at Gas Mark 2 (300f / 150c) for 40 minutes.

  6. Enjoy.

What do I need?

This recipe needs to be made as near to the recipe as possible. Of course, there are always changes you can make – a different butter, a different milk etc., but generally there is not much to change in this parkin! You could however, make a whole tin of parkin, or as I have done, make individual ones.

So, here are a few links to things which you may find useful for this recipe. I receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links which helps with the running of my site (this is at no additional cost to you)!


You can eat the parkin just as it is, but I would definitely recommend eating it warm with some custard, ice-cream or cream.

Parkin on a plate and close up
Sticky & soft ginger parkin


These do store quite well, in an airtight container (in the fridge if your house is very warm). They can also be frozen, for up to three months. If freezing, portion or separate with greaseproof paper, label and freeze.


I hope you find time to make your own delicious parkin! I love seeing your adaptions and interpretations of my recipes and I’d love to see your photos of this! What would your prefer, a giant slab of parkin that you can cut into squares any size you want, or individual ones like I have made (which you could still cut into smaller pieces)!?

What will you serve your parkin with? Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter.

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x

individual parkins with a jug of custard
Individual parkins served with custard & cream


  • tulips79 4th November 2021 at 17:18

    Ooh, these look nice and easy- will make them soonish ☺️ I’ve never eaten Parkin before but it definitely sounds like something I’d like. I’d be using maple syrup though, I assume it wouldn’t change the flavour profile too much. I always eat these sort of cakes as they are on their own, no cream or custard etc. How did your parents like eating them? xx

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th November 2021 at 17:52

      Thanks Eva, they’re so good! and yes, I tried to make them easy to encourage people to make them! Maple syrup should work well – although as it’s a bit less viscous, the texture might be a bit softer (you could always add a teaspoon of your tahini to thicken it)! Haha… parents, both would have custard and ice-cream, then Mum would have pouring cream on top of those!

      • tulips79 4th November 2021 at 19:36

        Wow, your lovely parents went for ‘all of the above’ options hehe. That’s a great tip about the viscosity and tahini, will do that, thank you👍

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th November 2021 at 19:51

          Indeed… always had to have it all! 🤗I thought you’d like the tahini tip!👍🏼

          • tulips79 4th November 2021 at 20:00

            Oh yes😁

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