Parkin is a traditional British cake from Northern England, particularly popular in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the past, it was usually eaten in November, following the oat harvest. Since then, parkin has been linked to Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, on the 5th of November.
Either way, it makes a wonderful cake any time of the year when you’re after a comforting treat. We’ve added pears to our parkin and topped it with roasted hazelnuts and a foolproof treacle caramel sauce for extra excitement.
FOR THE PARKIN
225g Unsalted Butter 110g Lyle’s Golden Syrup 110g Lyle’s Black Treacle
2 Eggs 125ml Milk of your choice
225g Plain Flour 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
225g Light Soft Brown Sugar 225g Rolled Oats (go for small soft oats rather than jumbo sized ones) 4 Conference Pears (optional)
Roasted Hazelnuts (optional)
FOR THE TREACLE CARAMEL SAUCE
85g Light Soft Brown Sugar 60g Unsalted Butter 65g Lyle’s Black Treacle 65g Lyle’s Golden Syrup 90ml Double Cream or Heavy Cream
FOR TREACLE CARAMEL SAUCE
Add the butter, brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup in a pan set over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the ingredients are all combined and the mixture starts simmering, remove the pan from the heat. Then slowly pour in the heavy cream whilst continuously whisking until well combined. Place the pan back on the heat and leave to thicken for 5 minutes whilst continuously stirring.
Finally, remove from the heat and set aside to cool down at room temperature. You can keep this treacle caramel sauce for up to two weeks in the fridge.
FOR THE PARKIN CAKE
Preheat your oven to 170˚C/ 160˚C fan oven and line a 20×30 cm tin with baking parchment.
Place the butter, black treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan, over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and set aside.
Add the milk and eggs to a bowl or jug and beat together.
Next, in a large bowl, add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, light soft brown sugar and oats and combine well.
Pour the melted butter and syrup mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined. Then, add in the milk and egg mixture and mix well.
Now pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin. Add this stage, you can add the pears.
TIP – Parkin can be stored for up to a month in an airtight container. This will make your cake chewier and stickier as the treacle flavour will develop. If you plan on doing this, omit the pears in this recipe. The pears add a lovely freshness to the spiced cake and work great if you’re planning on serving your parkin on the day.
Simply slice your pears in two, remove the stalk and pips, then with the flat side down, cut some thin slices down. Slightly fan them out before placing them on top of your parkin mixture, pushing them down very slightly.
Bake your parkin for 45-55 minutes until it has risen and springs back when pressed. If you have added the pears on top of your parkin, you may need to bake it slightly longer.
To serve your parkin cake, drizzle with the treacle caramel sauce and sprinkle with some roasted hazelnuts for added texture. With the added pears, your parkin will keep for up to three days.