Posted in Recipes on 22.10.2023
Parkin - Spiced Ginger Cake
prep: 20 mins / cook: 45 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 1 hour 5 mins / quantity: 9-12 portions Print recipe?
A traditional cake often made for Bonfire Night celebrations in the UK, Parkin is a deliciously moist spiced ginger cake made with oats and dark brown sugar.
The first mention of parkin dates back to 1728 where court records show an Anne Whittaker was accused of stealing oats in order to make it! Traditionally it’s eaten on Guy Fawkes Night (aka Bonfire Night) here in the UK, a custom that probably originated with the Pagan practice of enjoying celebratory cakes to mark the first day of winter.
It is made with oats, which gives parkin its dense texture, ground ginger (the cheapest spice in days gone by, though still a treat for most people) and black treacle which was introduced in England in the 17th century and imported from the West Indies through the ports of Lancashire.
And a cake this steeped in history and tradition shouldn’t be messed with right? Well I’ve made a couple of tweaks. Firstly by making it vegan obvs. Though early recipes actually didn’t include eggs and were much plainer than they are today. Secondly, I’ve used dark brown sugar instead of treacle (or molasses). I’m not the biggest fan of treacle. It’s just too dark a flavour for me. And because I don’t use it, I didn’t want to have a tin sitting on my shelf going rusty for the rest of the year. So dark brown sugar is the compromise.
How to make vegan parkin:
A cake this squidgy, sticky and delicious shouldn’t be this easy to make!
Start by whisking together the milk and apple cider vinegar. This thickens and curdles the milk slightly and turns it into something like buttercream. This gives vegan baked things extra richness! Set that aside.
Into a large bowl put the flour, ground oats*, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg and mix together.
*To make the ground oats simply whizz in a food processor or blender until very fine.
To the milk add the oil, yoghurt, sugar and golden syrup. Whisk vigorously until there’s no lumps of syrup remaining.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed together – stir up from the bottom of the bowl and make sure there are no flour ‘pockets’ left.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and tap the tin lightly to even the surface. I’ve used a 9 x 9 in (23cm) square baking tin that I’ve greased and floured round the sides and cut a square of parchment for the bottom.
Bake at 170 Fan for 40-45 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean with no raw cake mixture clinging to it.
Leave to cool in the tin for around 30 minutes then carefully lift out onto a baking tray to cool completely.
Storing the cake:
Store the cooled cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This cake can also be frozen – cut into squares and wrap in foil before freezing.
Looking for even more vegan spiced cake recipes? Try these:
If you make this recipe or any of the recipes from The Cook & Him I’d LOVE to see! Just snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #thecookandhim and tagging @thecookandhim in the photo itself (as this guarantees I’ll see your picture!)
Parkin - Spiced Ginger Cake
prep: 20 mins / cook: 45 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 1 hour 5 mins / quantity: 9-12 portions
- 1 cup (240ml) plant milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 + 3/4 cups (250g) plain flour
- 1 cup (100g) ground oats (see note)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup (55ml) light vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (120g) vegan yoghurt
- 1/2 cup (90g) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120g) golden syrup
- Preheat your oven to 170 Fan / 190 C / 375 F / Gas 5 and grease, flour and base line a 9 x 9 inch (23 cm) square baking tin
- Whisk together the milk and vinegar and set aside to thicken and curdle slightly while you weigh out the dry ingredients
- In a large bowl put the flour, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and ginger and mix well
- To the milk add the oil, yoghurt, sugar and syrup and whisk vigorously until there's no lumps of syrup left
- Add the wet to the dry and mix well, stirring up from the bottom of the bowl to ensure no flour 'pockets' remain
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, gently tap the tin on the counter to level the top then bake for 40-45 minutes
- Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a cocktail stick in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean with no raw cake clinging to it the cake is done, otherwise return to the oven for a few minutes and repeat the process
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for around 30 minutes before carefully lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely
- Cut the cake into squares once cooled and store in an airtight container at room temperature
- Grind oats in a food processor or blender until finely chopped
- This cake can also be frozen - I wrap the squares in foil before freezing
- It also doesn't suffer for a few seconds in the microwave and served warm with vegan vanilla ice cream!
Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.
We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Nooch. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.
So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full. And we make sure they just work.
All things autumn - warming soups, savoury bakes and delicious sweet treats!
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