Although this Small Batch Parkin recipe was created to be a layer of a trifle, it’s also a really easy and delicious way to make a smaller quantity of traditionally spiced parkin. This oaty twist on rich and sticky gingerbread cake stores well and can be eaten cold or warm, ideally with lashings of custard.
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Parkin is a bit of a new revelation for me. I’ve always thought of it as the slightly sad and dry cousin of the soft and sticky gingerbread that I love. But having made it for reasons I describe below, I’ve been converted.
The texture is actually great and the oats soften as the cake is stored. It is a little more substantial then gingerbread although the flavour is similar. But where it really came into its own for me was served as a hot dessert. I served it with lots of my hot Ginger Custard and boy was that a winner.
Small Batch Parkin for the Official Coronation Trifle
I started testing the Official Coronation Trifle recipe as soon as it was released on the official coronation website. After creating my Cheat’s Platinum Jubilee Pudding to provide people with a cheaper, easier and more realistically sized trifle than the competition winning official version in 2022, I was waiting for it. And I wasn’t let down.
I fully expected to just start this exercise to simply create a less “from scratch” option. But some of the instructions (or lack of) led me down the path of creating what I think are better versions of the from scratch recipes.
Despite apparently being written by a Michelin starred chef, the recipe is not helpfully written although as they are currently on version III with 7 weeks to go at the time of writing, it might be better by May!
My version of parkin is not a world away from the official recipe. It is however a little darker, richer and much less sweet. I have a serious sweet tooth and do not sky away from sugar, but even I found the original recipe cloyingly sweet.
One of the biggest changes is the size of the recipe. The original version of the official trifle made enough parkin to make 30 generous servings of trifle. The revised version which silently replaced it still makes 15. My version makes only slightly more than what you need for my 8 serving cheat’s version.
Cheat’s Coronation Trifle – Strawberry & Ginger
Ingredients for Yorkshire Parkin
You can use any butter or margarine you prefer for this recipe. Proper butter will give you the best flavour. If what you are using is unsalted, you’ll want to add a little extra salt.
Golden Syrup & Black Treacle
Confusingly, golden syrup is often called treacle but these are two different syrups with two very different flavours. Golden syrup is rich and sweet and treacle is dark and bitter. You do need both these syrups to create the distinctive taste of parkin.
If you are in the US and can’t get hold of the syrup and treacle from a specialist section or store, you can sub in corn syrup and blackstrap molasses. It won’t be quite the same but you’ll be in the right ballpark.
I’ve found that regular porridge oats work great in this recipe. Anything marked rolled oats, Scottish oats or porridge oats will be good. Steel cut oats will work too.
Ginger is the dominant flavour of parkin but it does also have a little warming kick from other classic sweet spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
I find the easiest way to add this is my using just a little “mixed spice”. This is a blend of spices – don’t confuse it with allspice which is a specific spice all of its own. If you want to just use a little cinnamon instead, that works just fine.
You can also sub in pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice which also contain similar sweet spices to mixed spice.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Please don’t be tempted to skip the step of mixing the bicarb (baking soda) with the milk before adding. It won’t combine with the rest of the batter swiftly enough if it is just added dry. You can mix with just water if you prefer.
Please don’t confuse this with baking powder which reacts differently to bicarbonate of soda even though it is one of the ingredients.
How to Make Vegetarian or Vegan Parkin
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians as written. To make vegan parkin, you will need to make a few substitutions.
Butter – Use a dairy free substitute.
Egg – If possible use a vegan liquid egg replacer. You can otherwise sub 1 tbsp neutral oil like vegetable per egg. The texture won’t be quite the same but it won’t be far off.
Milk – Just use water or any plant milk.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free Parkin: Firstly you will need to replace the plain flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
Secondly you will need to carefully consider the oats that you are using. Oats themselves don’t contain gluten but are often processed in gluteny environment – make sure to look for oats which are marked gluten free. This should be fairly easy in the UK and US. Australia has different standards so check carefully.
Dairy Free Parkin: Use a dairy free butter or margarine and replace the milk with water or a plant based milk.
Egg Free Parkin: This is the hardest to substitute but not impossible. The best option is to use a liquid vegan egg replacer. If you cannot, replace the egg with 1 tbsp of vegetable or other neutral oil.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Small Batch Parkin
In order to make this cake as small as possible but without using any too specialist equipment, I’ve used a standard 900g/2lb Loaf Tin. Its taller than you need but the surface area of the base id just right for the amount of batter.
I line my tins with Paper Liners to make things super clean and easy but you can use spray oil or butter to grease the tin instead.
I also utilise a Microwave to speed up melting the butter/sugar/syrup. If you don’t have a microwave you can use a small pan on the stovetop.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
It is best to get ahead when making parkin. You can eat it fresh out of the oven but the texture and flavour improves if you wrap it well and store it in a cool dry place for a week or so.
Leftover Ginger Parkin
Leftovers will last several weeks when properly stored. It doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge but you can freeze it if you wish.
Small Batch Parkin Tips
You don’t need the syrup/butter/sugar mix to boil in the microwave – everything just needs to be melted and properly combined.
Taking an extra moment to sieve the flour into the batter will help prevent lumps from forming.
Please don’t skip the step of mixing the bicarbonate of soda with the milk as this will help it combine.
If for any reason you need to make the batter in advance, you can do this up to a few hours ahead. But don’t add the bicarb until you are just about to pour into the tin and bake.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Recipes for Coronation Trifle Layers
Easy Homemade Ginger Custard For Coronation Trifle
Roasted Strawberries for Coronation Trifle
Easy Candied Pistachios for Coronation Trifle
Small Batch Parkin Recipe for Coronation Trifle
- 50 g Salted Butter
- 30 g Golden Syrup
- 30 g Black Treacle
- 40 g Light Brown Sugar
- 25 g Porridge Oats
- 60 g Plain Flour
- 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
- ¼ tsp Mixed Spice - or Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Eggs
- ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- 1 tbsp Milk
- Preheat the oven to 160c fan | 170c | 340f. Line a loaf line with paper liner.
- Measure 50g Salted Butter, 30g Golden Syrup, 30g Black Treacle and 40g Light Brown Sugar into a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat in 30 second bursts stirring each time until everything is fully melted and combined – around 2 minutes in total. Alternatively you can melt everything together in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.
- Measure 50g Porridge Oats, 60g Plain Flour, 1 tbsp Ground Ginger and ¼ tsp Mixed Spice directly into the butter/syrup mix. Mix thoroughly until everything is combined
- Crack in 1 egg and mix thoroughly again.
- Combine ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda with 1 tbsp Milk in a small bowl.
- Add to the parkin batter and stir thoroughly again.
- Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes – just until there is no wobble in the middle of the cake.
- The parkin can be served hot or allowed to cool. It can be wrapped and stored for up to a week to mature before serving for maximum flavour and sticky texture.
Sisley White - Sew White says
Thank yo so much for the recipe. It’s so great to have a recipe for a smaller portion.
This parkin is so delicious! So useful to have a smaller recipe too.