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. Sorry I didn’t get to write up the recipe until after the big night, but it’s well worth making for 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!?
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 spread, 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
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 3
- Line a square baking tin with parchment and grease the paper or it will stick!
- Mix together the flour, sugar, oats and ginger in a bowl and make a well in the centre
- Gently melt together the spread, syrup and treacle (do not let it boil) and pour into the well
- 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
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for up to 1 hour, until golden, risen and a knife cones out clean
- Once cool, cut into cubes.