Yorkshire Recipes


Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

There are many variations on the making and baking of Parkin – the Yorkshire Cookery Book, published in 1917, for example, showed seventeen versions! However, this recipe gets somewhere near to how it was originally made – with oatmeal.

An early reference to oatmeal as a staple ingredient was at the West Riding Quarter Sessions of 1728, when Anne Whittaker was accused of stealing oatmeal to make Parkin.

The original recipe would have used a coarsely-ground oatmeal – and probably dripping, too – but this version spares you the dripping.  And the oatmeal you are likely to use today will almost certainly be a more refined version of the type that poor old Annie pinched.


  • 8 oz (225g) plain flour
  • 8 oz (225g) medium oatmeal
  • 4 oz (113g) brown sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 oz (113g) butter
  • 8 oz (225g) black treacle
  • 1 egg
  • ½  teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 fl oz  (¼ pint ) milk


  1. Melt the sugar, butter and syrup over a low heat.
  2. Beat the egg and add to the syrup mix with some of the milk
  3. Sift the flour, oatmeal and ginger into a bowl and pour in the syrup mix.
  4. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the remaining milk and add to the rest of the mix.
  5. Stir well, then transfer the mixture to a greased flat baking tin, e.g. 11″ x 9″ x 2″ deep
  6. Bake until firm in a slow to moderate oven (300-325 F, gas mark 2-3) – about 50-60 minutes.
  7. Keep it in a tin for a week before eating – it becomes deliciously stickier by the day.

Source: Mary Hanson Moore (1980) A Yorkshire Cookbook published by David & Charles.

See also a parkin recipe without oatmeal at Parkin. Version 2

7 Responses to Traditional Yorkshire Parkin

  • Carol Webb

    We lived in Ilkley for several years and my neighbor, Jean Storr, made us the best Parkin.  Loved it!  Thanks for the recipe.
    Carol Webb – An America who had the privilege to live in Yorkshire.

  • Diane Dickson

    we always called this parkin’ The best bits are the corners

  • Melissa

    Some friends of ours here in Texas got married out in the country on Guy Fawkes Day five years ago. The bride is originally from Leeds, so I made parkin to take to the wedding.  It was just the thing for a (very) late night snack after much revelry. 

    I now make it every Bonfire Night and it helps me remember to wish them a happy anniversary.  I have tried many recipes and look forward to trying yours!

    • Colin Neville

      Do let us know, Melissa, how this version compares with the one you usually make.

      • Melissa

        Hi Colin, I am making it tonight to serve on Saturday!  Wishing I had one more day for it to age, but I’m sure it will be delicious.  Will let you know.

  • Melissa

    Hi Colin,

    Reporting back! I had to convert the recipe to gluten-free for a friend, and unfortunately I’m afraid I overbaked it.  55 minutes at 350 degrees was too long and/or too hot.  Perhaps I should have gone with 325? I googled “moderate oven” and got differing answers. Also, gluten-free recipes often benefit from underbaking, so I really should have been more careful and tested it earlier.

    However, the taste was delicious. We resuscitated it by placing slices in a baking dish and drizzling them with melted butter and golden syrup, then covering with foil and heating in a 225 degree oven for 20 minutes and before serving.  This made them moist and even richer.  Fantastic. 

    I certainly will try again and be more careful with the bake time! Thank you.

    • Colin Neville

      Hi Melissa.  Yes, I think 325 would have worked better, and with gluten flour reducing time to around 40-45 minutes.  But I’m glad it worked out and tasted OK in the end; that’s what really matters.

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