Parkin

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!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

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!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little KitchenWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

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.

Whole Grain ParkinWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

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.

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

It really is a favourite of mine, and not just out of sentimentality. Give it a try, and enjoy!

Parkin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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!
Author:
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 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
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Grease a 9 x 9 square pan
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger
  4. In a large bowl, combine yoghurt, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and treacle
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine
  6. 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
  7. Cool in the pan for an hour, and then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely

Notes

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!

19 comments

  1. Colette says:

    You were right, it was perfect. We enjoyed it huddled around our bonfire watching distant fireworks. Lovely cold but dry evening in Lancashire! Ps thanks for the mention and the healthier choice, I do have a fancy schmancy dress to squeeze into soon……..

  2. themuffinmyth says:

    Mmmm, this cake looks practically perfect! Traditions come from strange places sometimes, but they’re still lovely and fun. I love that you’ve lightened up this cake as well – and left the lard out. Must try!

  3. cookwithmanali says:

    Interesting, love learning about different foods and cuisines. Never heard of parkin before but your version sounds super healthy. Pinning to try later!

  4. Joanne says:

    I’ve heard of parkin, but have never had it. Love your whole wheat version! Definitely sounds like something I must try at least once!

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