Matthew Benson-Smith from the cooking school at Dean Clough near Halifax shares his recipe for the perfect Bonfire Night treat - Granny Smith's Yorkshire Parkin.

Yorkshire Parkin

I'm making my great granny's Yorkshire Parkin recipe - she was from Sheffield. It includes lard - although today most people would want to use butter or even margarine. If you are going to use salted butter then you could leave out the salt.

Subscribe to our podcast to be kept up to date with all cookery items.

Tips and techniques

  1. Put the lard and the syrup in a pan and melt then all the other ingredients go into a bowl. This recipe also includes golden syrup but you can also use treacle.
  2. The oatmeal gives the grainy texture. The oats in the Parkin recipe will absorb a lot of the cake's moisture when baking. Some of the popular versions of Parkin are the ones that are dark and rich. They've used the black treacle or molasses. The Lancashire Parkin is lighter. You need to make sure the the cake mixture is 'wet' enough when fully mixed, add a little extra milk in if it needs it.
  3. The key point in making Parkin is that it is left for at least a week before it is eaten. I like to give it 3 weeks to get the best taste. The stickiness of the Parkin comes through at the top and bottom and sticks to the top of the roof of your mouth.
  4. You can turn it into a pudding. I would heat it up and serve it with something like salted caramel ice cream.


  • 8oz lard
  • 1lb golden syrup
  • 8oz Demerara sugar
  • 1lb plain flour
  • 1lb medium oatmeal
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of milk as required

Equipment required

  • Medium saucepan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • 2lb loaf tin
  • baking paper to line the tin

Preparation method

Pre-heat the oven to 140℃. In a sauce pan over a medium heat gently melt the lard, syrup and sugar.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in the melted syrup mixture and mix together until thoroughly blended.

Test the dropping consistency of the mixture by seeing if it falls from the spatula. Add a splash of milk.

Pour the mixture into a prepared cake tin and bake at 140℃ for 1hour 45 minutes.

Cool the Parkin in the tin for 30 minutes and then turn out.

When cool keep the Parkin in an air tight container for 2 to 3 weeks before use.

Browse previous recipes

Seeking to create perfect pumpkin soup, cracking curry or unbeatable bread and butter pudding?

Browse our selection of Cook The Perfect... recipes

Related links

More Food on the BBC