Bonfire Night is one of my favourite nights of the year (or Firework Night, or Guy Fawkes Night depending on your preference!) I love fireworks and find them so pretty and mesmerising. I gasp at every one like it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like it! When you are outside watching fireworks or standing by a big glowing bonfire you need cosy food to warm you up. Parkin is a sticky moist cake flavoured with ginger and black treacle that originated in the North of England, and it’s perfect for cold Autumn nights. Here’s how to make it…

Step by step…

In a pan on a low heat I melted together butter, light brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup. Don’t let the mixture boil. Black treacle and golden syrup are very sticky and gloopy so put the pan on your scales and measure them directly into it. In a large bowl I mixed together porridge oats, plain flour, baking powder, ground ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

I poured the warm treacle mixture into the bowl and combined the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

In a small bowl I beat eggs and milk. I added it bit by bit to the bowl, mixing in well each time.

I poured the mixture into the lined tin and baked it for 35 minutes. Once it was cool, I cut it into squares.


Some people recommend waiting 3-5 days before eating the parkin so the flavour and stickyness can mature. I just digged right in! It was nice and sticky, and had a great shine to it. The oats give it a great texture, and the ginger is delicious. Custard was made to go with parkin! It also tastes good with double cream. Parkin is somewhere between a brownie and a cake. It’s hearty, filling, and very moreish – just what you need for these cold dark nights!


Recommended equipment & ingredients*

Traybake tin Mixing bowls Cooling rack
Kitchen scales Mixed spice

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More Bonfire Night recipes…

Gingerbread Bonfire Cake Parkin Cupcakes
Gingerbread Bonfire Cake Parkin Cupcakes
5 from 1 vote


A traditional Northern English oaty cake with treacle and ginger

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Author thebakingexplorer


  • 100 g Butter
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 100 g Black treacle/Molasses
  • 100 g Golden syrup
  • 150 g Oats
  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 2 tbsp Milk


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/300F/Gas Mark 2 and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin with baking paper

  2. In a pan on a low heat, melt the together the butter, light brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup

  3. In a large bowl mix together the oats, plain flour, baking powder, ground ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and salt

  4. Pour the warm treacle mixture into the bowl and combine the ingredients

  5. In a small bowl beat the eggs with the milk. Add them bit by bit to the rest of the mixture, mixing in well each time

  6. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 35 minutes. It must be firm on top all the way to the centre

  7. Allow to cool, then cut into squares. You can eat it immediately or for a stickier cake, put it into an airtight container and leave for 3 - 5 days

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

If you like this, check out more of my Traybake recipes!


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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That Parkin looks fantastic. And having custard with it – you decadent devil! Also very impressed you managed to wait 3 days. I'd have had it straight from the oven!

  2. Your parkin looks delicious, another bake I have not tried: must try for next years bonfire night ! x

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve used your recipe a couple of times now and it’s always tasted delicious. I’ve had to bake mine in a loaf tin as I don’t have the same size baking tray. Because of this it does takes a bit longer to bake. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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