Gingerbread and Parkin

Yorkshire Comfort Food (Comment) Yorkshire Parkin Recipe 3
Basic Gingerbread Parkin Recipe 1
Yorkshire Parkin Recipe 1 Parkin Recipe 2
Yorkshire Parkin Recipe 2  Sponge Pudding

NB: recipe exactly as shown in "Complete Book of World Cookery" and "Mrs. Beeton's Cookery and Household Management", respectively. You'll need something to weigh the ingredients - and bear in mind UK spoons are one-third larger than the US variety and a UK pint is 20 oz., not 16! There's a measurements conversion table somewhere on the Net, can't remember where.

From Mrs. Beeton's

flour and oatmeal/1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Shortening:
    • 4-8 oz/1/4 to 1/2 US cup fat (butter, margarine, lard)
  • Sweetening:
    • 4-6 oz./1/2 to 3/4 US cup sugar
    • OR
    • syrup OR treacle up to 8 fl. oz.
  • Raising agent:
    • 1-2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
    • 2-6 eggs
  • Flavourings:
    • 2-4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 2-4 teaspoons cinnamon OR mixed spice
    • 1/2 lb. crystallised ginger, sultanas [golden raisins]/dates/almonds

Liquid: Milk or water--usually to make a thick pouring consistency, but this amount depends on the amount of liquefying ingredients such as treacle, syrup and fat.


Sieve the flour, soda and ginger; add the other dry ingredients and the fat and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warmed treacle and [then] beaten egg. Mix and add enough milk to give a fairly stiff consistency. Pour into a well-greased baking tin and bake in a moderate oven (350 F, mark 4) for about 1-1/2 hours. Cool
in the tin then cut into squares when cold.
The parkin, which will keep moist for a considerable time in an airtight tin, should not be eaten until 24 hours after baking. Gingerbread was one of the oldest English cakes and was baked for fairs, and for special holidays.


Susan Reddy

Parkin: A moist ginger cake usually served cut in squares. It originated in Yorkshire, where oatmeal is always used in its preparation.

UK teaspoons are about half the size of US teaspoons, so in USA use about half the amount given for ginger, cinnamon & baking soda.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. or gas mark 1.
Melt the fat. Add the syrup, treacle & sugar & warm over a very low heat till the sugar begins to dissolve, avoid overheating the mixture, keeping the saucepan warm rather than hot. Sieve the dry ingredients, make a well in the centre & gradualy beat in the liquid from the saucepan & the beaten egg. Mix to a soft consistency, adding a little milk if required. Pour into a greased flat tin so that the mixture is 1 inch in depth. Bake for 1 hour in a cool oven (300 degrees,or mark 1) and partly cool it in the tin, then turn out to finish cooling. Serve the parkin cut into squares. If you can't find black treacle - use molasses it's similar. Some overseas grocery stores do sell Tate & Lyles Golden Syrup (a UK product). If it's not available, pancake syrup is probably the closest thing to it, but the taste will not be the same, Golden Syrup is made from cane sugar not corn syrup.

If in doubt, bake for 5 minutes less, it tastes awful if burnt !

Best wishes, Susan.

Found with my late mother in law's things. Both her parents were from Yorkshire

1/2 pound of flour
1/2 pound of medium oatmeal
1/4 pound soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 egg
8oz of treacle
4oz of lard
1/4 pint of milk
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb-soda

Mix together the flour, oatmeal , ginger
Then melt the sugar, lard and treacle and add a little of the milk and well beaten egg
Put the mixture into the flour and mix to stiff batter .
Add the soda dissolved in rest of milk
Mix quickly , pour in shallow tin 11 inches x 9 inches x 2 inches
Bake 1 hour until firm in moderate oven.


PARKIN Recipe 1

Rub butter into oatmeal, add ginger and sugar.
Melt treacle.
Dissolve soda in milk.
Mix everything together.
Line baking tin with well greased paper and pour in mixture.
Bake in a low to moderate oven for 1/2 - 3/4 hour.

Recipe for parkin as requested, found in my mothers old cookery
notebook, copied exactly - she knew what she meant by slow oven - I
don't. [Ed's note - about 300?]

PARKIN Recipe 2

Rub 2ozs [1/2 stick] margarine and 2ozs [1/2 stick] lard into half a pound [2 US cups] of flour, add half a pound oatmeal and a quarter of a pound 1/4 cup] sugar. Mix well then stir in 4 tablespoonfuls treacle melted, a good half teaspoonful bicarbonate soda, mix to light batter with milk, put into a greased tin and bake in slow oven
about 1 hour. [Use 300 degrees, check at 45 mins with toothpick to see if done.]


Bake 1 hour in slow oven. (275-300 degrees, check at 45 mins.)