Pear Parkin Recipe: Easy, Healthy, and Tasty

Parkin is one of the most popular traditional desserts in Britain. It’s a Yorkshire cake usually made for bonfire night, but you can buy it at markets throughout the cold, winter months. Traditional Yorkshire parkin is made with a load of treacle (molasses), giving it a rich, dark color. It’s the kind of cake you can imagine ramblers taking to fortify them on a wild, blustery walk on the moors.

I’ve adapted the old-fashioned parkin recipe somewhat (which is probably sacrilege), but even just looking at a traditional recipe for parkin is enough to make your teeth fall out. Most call for 200 grams of treacle, plus at least 150g of golden syrup, plus a considerable amount of sugar.

The easy spiced parkin recipe
Oatmeal is an essential element for true Yorkshire parkin, without which the authentic character of this treat remains incomplete.

I love sweet stuff, but I can’t even cope with that. I’m also not the biggest fan of treacle, so I’ve made a lighter, brighter parkin cake recipe and added a pear topping. It’s still gingery and made with plenty of rolled oats, so it’s got that parkin texture – somewhere between cake and flapjack.

Feel free to add treacle or pumpkin spice if you want, especially for that bonfire flavor. But here is a simple and healthy pear parkin recipe:

Pear Parkin

A lighter twist on traditional Yorkshire parkin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 16
Calories 173 kcal


  • 100 g golden syrup
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 170 g self-raising flour I used a gluten-free blend
  • 150 g rolled oats I used certified gluten-free oats
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 100 ml milk
  • 3 tsps ground ginger
  • ½ pear


  • Preheat the oven to 170oC, and line a shallow, rectangular baking tin.
  • Heat a pan of water on the stove and place a bowl over the top.
  • Put the golden syrup, sugar and butter into the bowl, and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and fold in the flour, oats and ginger.
  • Stir in the egg and milk.
  • Cut half of a pear into long, thin strips
  • Transfer to the tin, and top with the pear slices.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until golden and hardened on the surface.
  • Cool on a wire rack, then cut into small squares.


– The homemade parkin cake can be eaten right away, but it is better after a day or two stored in an airtight container, when it goes deliciously sticky.
– Eat on its own, or serve with custard for a satisfying pudding.
– If you don’t like pear, you can use apple instead.
– To make vegan pear parkin, you can use vegan block butter and
Keyword British, cake, dessert