Chocolate Parkin for Bonfire Night

Prep Time

10-15 minutes + cooling

Cooking Time

1 - 1 ½ hours

Now for those of you who aren't familiar with Parkin, it's a northern thing! It started in Yorkshire but our friends over the hill also have a version its thought it started to become popular during the Industrial Revolution when people needed cheap energy packed food. Parkin is now more closely tied to Bonfire Night. A sticky soft cake made traditionally with oatmeal, golden syrup, (lard) now butter and ginger. I have added chocolate and refined the original recipe a little.


  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g Divine Cocoa Powder
  • 175g oatmeal
  • 100g Divine 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped small
  • 200ml milk
  • 12g ground ginger
  • 55g butter, room temperature
  • 110g soft brown sugar
  • 110g golden syrup
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon



Preheat oven to 300F / Gas Mark 2 then grease and line a 23cm / 9" deep loaf tin.


Sieve all the dry ingredients together into a bowl.


Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large pan.


Stir in the milk and egg, and then add the oatmeal and the remaining dry ingredients including the chopped chocolate. Mix well.


Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 1 - 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.


Cool and cut into squares. No matter how tempting, don’t eat the parkin on the same day you’ve made it. It needs to be kept in an airtight box or tin for at least three days to allow for the flavours and stickiness to develop. - so get cooking early!