Parkin is a traditional cake native to Northern England. This better-for-you version is made with whole wheat flour and reduced refined sugar, but it is every bit as good as the original!
When I tell my American friends about Bonfire Night, or “Guy Fawkes Night”, they are often a little bewildered. Maybe it’s the way I explain it, “so there was this man called Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605, but he was caught. Now we celebrate by lighting fireworks and eating toffee”. Yes, bewildering indeed!
I will not use up anymore of this space laying out the facts of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, thats what google is for! What I REALLY want to talk to you about is Parkin. Oh lovely Parkin! This traditional cake is native to Northern England (where I hail from!) and it is usually served on Bonfire Night alongside the aforementioned toffee.
A classic Parkin cake is made with treacle, ginger and oats, and some versions might even contain lard…! My version of Parkin is a little better for you than the traditional as it contains whole wheat flour, reduced refined sugar and certainly no lard. Don’t worry purists (Hi Mum!), this Parkin retains every bit of its Northern character- it’s no nonsense, perfectly spiced, moist, sticky and dense. Absolutely perfect to nibble on a cold November evening with a hot chocolate.
It really is a favourite of mine, and not just out of sentimentality. Give it a try, and enjoy!
- 1 cup whole what pastry flour
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup maple syryp
- 1 tbsp treacle or molasses
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C
- Grease a 9 x 9 square pan
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger
- In a large bowl, combine yoghurt, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and treacle
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine
- Bake for 40 minutes until a knife or toothpick come out clean, and the edges of the cake start to pull away from the side of the pan
- Cool in the pan for an hour, and then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely
Recipe adapted from here.
Parkin keeps incredibly well and becomes more sticky and moist a few days after baking, just store in an airtight container.
More about Bonfire Night at this handy dandy Wikipedia Page!