Saturday, February 5, 2011


A good friend in England who I have known nearly all my life was asking for my Mothers Parkin recipe she remembered how good it was.  It was something that I had not thought of in a long time but I too remember my Mothers parkin fondly, but I could not find the recipe.

But the other day when I was looking for something else,  (which I probably did not find) I came across a small notebook with my Mothers handwriting in it.  I think it was the recipes that she took from her Mother when she got married in the very early 1950's.  What a treasure, and lo behold in it was the recipe for Parkin.

I looked Parkin up on Wikipedia and this is what it said. Parkin or Perkin is a soft cake traditionally made of oatmeal and molasses,[1] which originated in Northern England. Often associated with Yorkshire, particularly the Leeds area.  My Mother grew up in Tingly a small town very close to Leeds in Yorkshire, so Wikipedia seems to be very accurate in both the source and the ingredients.  

The Recipe (as written by my Mother)
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of flour
2 oz butter (1/4 cup) (she called for margarine but this was a war time recipe)
1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of treacle (dark molasses in North America)
1/2 cup of bicarb mixed in 1/2 cup of milk (baking soda)

Her instructions

Rub in marg add milk and treacle 300

Let me tell you what I did based on this rather cryptic description. 
I put all the dry ingredients into a bowl then rubbed in the butter until it was thoroughly incorporated.

Then added the milk and molasses (treacle).

Stirred it all together until combined and poured in to a greased square baking tin. Next time I would line it with parchment paper.

Ready for the oven

I placed it in a 325 oven for 30 minutes until it was firm and a skewer pushed in to the centre came out clean.  

The finished product
I had a little trouble getting it out of the baking pan, so next time I would line the baking tin with parchment paper, I seem to remember that was what my mother did.  Parkin only improves with time and gets better and stickier after a couple of days. When my Mother made this she would wrap it in greaseproof paper and keep it in a tin for a couple days before we ate it, though we had it fresh today and it was fine.  I remember eating this on bonfire night (November 5th) and it is the only thing that I like to drink a glass of milk with. I still like Parkin it is not too sweet and has a wonderful sticky chewy texture and was quick and easy to make.

I had a small glass of ice cold milk and a piece of parkin today and remembered those long ago bonfire parties that we used have when I was little and how exciting they were.  The taste of certain foods more than anything else bring back memories.  I will be going through this little treasure of a book and making some more of these wonderful traditional recipes.


  1. That sounds absolutely gorgeous! :D And I love how you used and showed us your Mother's recipe too! Thankyou!

  2. Wow, this is not only a wonderful recipe, but the way you wrote it all down just made me imagine all of that. Your Mother's book is definitely a treasure. I have to try this out :)