Parkin Cake is a rich, ginger, oatmeal molasses cake. Traditionally enjoyed in the U.K. for 5th November, aka Guy Fawkes night. This is England’s own version of gingerbread. If you’re from the North of England, you know what this cake is.

Square slices of parkin cake in a cast iron pot

Traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes night which is an annual event every 5th November (also known as bonfire night). 

You know that England comes with a lot of history and some of it seems a little whacky to others, but for kids, it’s a fun night.

Guy Fawkes was a bad dude who had a failed attempt to torch the Houses of Parliament this night in 1605, known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot.’ 

2 squares of cake stacked on top of each other

It is tradition to burn bonfires on this night and to burn a dummy ‘guy’ to signify the demise of Guy Fawkes. Celebrations also include fireworks and food, like sausages (or hot dogs) cooked over the fire and this Parkin Cake.

This cake is supposed to not be eaten right away. It is baked then stored to develop a sticky texture. Who can wait that long to eat cake? I don’t, it’s usually all gone within 24 hours.

2 pieces of parkin cake on a sliver plate

In England, black treacle is traditionally used, but this is hard to come by in the U.S., so molasses is substituted.

If you’ve tried this Parkin Cake or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 16 pieces

Parkin Cake for Guy Fawkes Night

Squares of parkin cake are piled in a grey dish

Parkin Cake is a rich, ginger, oatmeal molasses cake. Traditionally

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (128 grams) honey
  • 2/3 cup (85 grams) molasses
  • 1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) steel cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, beaten
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) milk, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (22 x 22 x 5 cm) square baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
  3. To a small saucepan over low heat add the butter and sugar and heat until the butter is melted. Stir in the molasses and honey until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add the molasses/honey/butter mix to the dry ingredients, stir or whisk until combined. Add the beaten egg, add the milk and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until you see the sides of the cake start to come away from the pan and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Wrap in parchment paper and store for 5 days before eating.


The cake can be kept in a sealed container for up to 1 week

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 piece

Amount Per Serving Calories 590Cholesterol 41mgSodium 322mgCarbohydrates 142gFiber 2gSugar 112gProtein 6g