Ever heard of a Parkin? Well you probably have in the UK, and most certainly if you’re from Yorkshire. It’s a sticky ginger, syrup, oat and molasses flavoured sponge that is traditional at this time of year. It’s most commonly served around bonfire night, when the sweet spicy sponge is likely to warm the cockles after a bracing evening standing in the cold. Definitely well worth making for November 5th or any wintery occasion!

I’d read about Parkin more than eaten it, and it seems that in its most authentic and traditional forms, it’s egg-free – hooray! But try as I might, no egg-free recipe could be found. Maybe most people think they might as well add eggs to a sponge mix to make it ‘better’? It’s funny because people make such presumptions – cake can only be nice if its made with eggs and milk/butter – but having eaten both varieties, I can safely say that I prefer the ones without. They are lighter, more delicate, with no discernible eggy-flavour. I reckon others would also think the same, if only they opened their eyes and gave them a go!

Despite being resolutely egg-free, I can’t say this Parkin is truly authentic – it’s devised to suit my taste with far less treacle than usual as I find the flavour hugely over-powering. Sorry to any Yorkshire folk out there, I apologise for messing around with your traditions! Feel free to up the molasses and reduce the syrup for a ‘darker’ flavour and do let me know how it turns out, maybe I’m missing a trick in being a molasses scaredy-cat!?

dairy-free egg-free parkin

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


2 cups plain flour

1 cup soft brown sugar

1 large handful of oats

2 tsp ground ginger

2/3 cup dairy-free margarine, melted

1 cup golden syrup

1 tbsp treacle or molasses

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp vinegar

1/4 pint dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 3
  2. Line a square baking tin with parchment and grease the paper or it will stick!
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, oats and ginger in a bowl and make a well in the centre
  4. Gently melt together the spread, syrup and treacle (do not let it boil) and pour into the well
  5. Sprinkle the bicarbonate onto the syrup mix and then sprinkle the vinegar over that. The bicarbonate will fizz and bubble. Pour the milk over the top and mix to form a very wet and sloppy batter
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until golden, risen and a knife cones out clean
  7. Once cool, cut into cubes.



26 Comments Add yours

  1. AAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAhhh! Parkin literally defines the sweet treats of my entire childhood! I thought it was some peculiarity to my family, as I’ve never met anyone else who knows what it was! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe – I’m delighted that it’s vegan! 🙂

    1. lucylox says:

      excellent – although I’m sure you grew up on a far more authentic one. Hope you give it a go, then you could let me know whats right and whats not!

  2. Oh yum! I could imagine eating a piece with a lovely cup of tea.

    1. lucylox says:

      now that is a good idea 😉

  3. eatmunchlove says:

    I’ve never heard of these before as a Canadian but molasses, ginger and sponge? These sound right up my alley! Thank you for introducing me to such a delight and your photos make them look so soft and delish!

    1. lucylox says:

      ooh thank you 🙂 you’re right who needs to have heard of it before when it contains such yummy flavours!

  4. pinkiebag says:

    Oh it looks so inviting. I think we will have to give a try at home, as looking for new ideas to try. Thanks for sharing.

    1. lucylox says:

      hope you enjoy – its a bit like a bear hug in cake form!

  5. andydhare says:

    Love Parkin, had it in yorkshire, really delicious. Nice recipe. Thank you.

    1. lucylox says:

      thank you – now i’d like to try one in Yorkshire, i bet that would be the best!

      1. andydhare says:

        You have to its the law😊enjoy

  6. nicolewaterman2014 says:

    I hadn’t heard of Parkin until I watched an episode of The Country Show Cook Off. This looks delicious, perhaps I’ll make a batch over Christmas, my other half loves old school recipes like this – especially with custard! Yummy! Love the blog Lucy!

    1. lucylox says:

      Thanks so much Nicole 🙂
      i think it would be pretty nice with some custard too

  7. Feast Wisely says:

    I feel ashamed – in originally from Yorkshire and enjoyed many a bonfire night but the only Parkin I can remember is Mr Parkin my old headmaster! Great recipe

    1. lucylox says:

      How funny, little S has a miss parkin as a teacher too!!

  8. Sophie33 says:

    MMMMMMMm8 A delectable Parkin recipe! I love it too! 🙂 On my list to make today! x

  9. Sue Ness says:

    Hi, I will give yours a try but I do use a vegan recipe for parkin from a fab site called ‘chocolate and beyond’ You might want to check the site out

    1. lucylox says:

      Thanks for the tip – looks like a great sits id never come across before

  10. Jess says:

    I’ve never heard of Parkin before this, but it sure looks and sounds delicious. Like an extremely moist gingerbread. Nice 🙂

  11. pinkiebag says:

    Oh delicious and perfect with a cup of tea, Chloe

  12. Lucy_loo says:

    My partner is obsessed with parkin and eagerly waits for me to make it each year. I find parkin can be overly sweet so instead substituted the syrup for date syrup and the soft brown sugar for molasses sugar. The end product lasted less than a day! Safe to say my boyfriend liked it!! Thank you!

    1. lucylox says:

      Brilliant! They sound like tasty additions x

    1. lucylox says:

      thanks for the mention 🙂

  13. Emma says:

    Is this two or three cups or two thirds of a cup of margarine? 😬

    1. lucylox says:

      Hi Emma, sorry for the delay replying. I was out ferrying people about! 🙈 it’s 2/3rds. Hope it turns out well x

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