Traditional Oatmeal Parkin. Unlive

Real oatmeal parkin is unbeatable, but do make sure you leave it at least a week before eating – that way it will become much more moist and sticky than when it was first cooked. Originally it was kept in proper wooden parkin boxes, but nowadays a tin will do instead.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Book of Cakes

Traditional Oatmeal Parkin.  Unlive
 8 oz (225 g) medium oatmeal
 4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour
 a pinch of salt
 7 oz (200 g) dark syrup or golden syrup
 1 oz (25 g) black treacle, plus 1 teaspoon
 4 oz (110 g) margarine
 4 oz (110 g) soft brown sugar
 2 level teaspoons ground ginger
 1 large egg, beaten
 1 tablespoon milk
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).

You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin, lightly greased.


First weigh a saucepan on the scales, and weigh the syrup and treacle into it.

Then add the margarine and the sugar to the saucepan and place it over a gentle heat until the margarine has melted down – don't go away and leave it unattended, because for this you don't want it to boil.

Meanwhile, measure the oatmeal, flour and ginger into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, then gradually stir in the warmed syrup mixture till the mixture is all thoroughly blended.

Next add the beaten egg, and lastly the milk. Now pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 1¾-2 hours.

Then cool the parkin in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out. Don't worry too much if the parkin sinks slightly in the middle – it sometimes happens in Yorkshire too, I'm told.

More cake recipes from Delia

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