Sunday, 22 May 2011

Yorkshire Ginger Parkin

I spent my student years studying up in the wonderful city of York and one Christmas time worked in Betty's Tearooms. Betty's is possibly more famous in York than the Minster or the Vikings. People queue for hours to taste the traditional cream tea, the pikelets or the Fat Rascals.

I worked in the shop and as part of my 'training' I was required to sample every single item on sale, from the mouth-watering cakes and patisseries, to the melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, the speciality breads and the delicate, delicious savoury tarts and pies. I thought I'd died and gone to foodie-heaven. No other job has, or will, match my brief, but illustrious time at Betty's.

And in honour of my time there, I've been meaning to bake a Yorkshire Ginger Parkin for yonks.

At work we work very closely with the local hospice, who are holding a Family Fun Day this weekend. I leapt at the chance to bake for their cake stall. I think you're on to a winner with a traybake, such as this Parkin, for a cake sale or stall. Easy to portion out, easy to make and great for batch baking. For more inspirational traybakes, check out BBC Good Food's traybakes.

Yorkshire Ginger Parkin
(by James Martin)


225g self raising flour
110g caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 eggs
200ml milk
55g butter
110g golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 22cm/8in tin.
  1. Sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
  2. In a small pan gently heat the butter and syrup until melted.
  3. Beat the egg into the milk.
  4. Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir. The mixture will be thick.
  5. Pour in the egg and milk and stir until smooth and pour into the lined tin. Bake for 1 hour

Baker's notes...

  • It actually tastes better 2-3 days after baking, allowing you to make it nicely in advance if you are baking for the entire stall. After 2-3 days it becomes deliciously sticky, moist and syrupy.
  • I popped the squares of Parkin into little clear food gift bags I'd spotted in the homewares aisle of Waitrose from a company called 'Millie's Kitchen'


  1. Wow, working at Betty's must have been a dream!

    I've made this Ginger Parkin and isn't it delish. I would love a slice of yours now!


  2. What a hardship it must have been to try everything at Betty's - you've got me green eyed with envy now. I visited York for the 1st time last month, but as I was there for work didn't get much time to look around. I managed a very quick foray into Betty's though and bought a curd tart as I'd been told that was what they were particularly famous for.

    Parkin is delicious - I'm sure yours sold really well.

  3. I have always wanted to pay a visit to Betty's and will get there one day!
    Your parkin looks great, I'm a sucker for anything with ginger in it!

  4. Love the 'training'! Parkin looks utter delicious!

  5. I've always wanted to visit Betty's! This looks amazing - I'm a huge ginger fan, but I've never given parkin a go. Now I've got no excuse!

  6. Maria- It is indeed a favourite recipe of mine, properly tasty and not too complex a recipe either

    Chocolette- Ahh, the curd tart! The memories of the curd tart! I think I got away with requesting to taste two of those as part of my 'training'!

    Hanna: The 'training' was definately, without doubt, the best thing about working there: 'You want me to taste another cake? Ahh, go on then, if you insist!'

    Caked Crusader and Alice- I might be biased, after all they fed me continously for three months, but Betty's is most definately, 100% worth a visit (or failing that, they do mailorder)!

  7. I love ginger cakes, parkin is one of those things I've heard of but never taken much notice of what it actually is! I've only been to Betty's once in Harrogate, it was before my cake obsessive days and I regret I cannot tell you what we had!

  8. Ahhhh Bettys! Make me home sick now! I love York. roll on September lol

  9. I come from neat York and LOVE Betty's tea Rooms! Lovely post!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  10. I'm from malton just made this cake last week. It's lush. Lesley

  11. I'm a little confused- the main ingredients of a traditional parkin are definitely oatmeal and molasses and yet they don't seem to be present here. I'm sure this recipe tastes great all the same but you can't really say it's parkin without those two. I'd say it's basically just gingerbread. Check any other parkin recipe to check. Thanks!

  12. Ey Up!. this is ginger cake, not Parkin. Proper Yorkshire parkin is made with medium oatmeal [equal to the flour]. T'owd Yorkshire recipe has no eggs, its just Flour, Oatmeal, margarine and golden syrup [no black treacle please!] and ground ginger.


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