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  • Parkin – Gluten and Dairy Free

    Parkin – Gluten and Dairy Free

    There are certain recipes that I read and think to myself “that would kill me”, such as macaroni cheese and butter shortbread. When my dad requested that we make parkin cake for our bonfire celebrations I had one of those moments.
    Not one to be beaten I decided to treat this recipe as though I had a normal digestive system, simply substituting in my usual Vitalite for butter and gluten free versions of the flour and oats. I have to say that it came out pretty darn good! And if you like obnoxiously sickly, sticky, ginger cake then this is the recipe for you! (who doesn’t love a cake held together by pure sugar?)


    • 200g  dairy free butter
    • 1 large egg (free range if possible)
    • 4tbsp dairy free milk
    • 200g golden syrup (the proper stuff not the watered down pancake syrup)
    • 85g dark treacle
    • 85g dark soft brown sugar (light also works)
    • 100g gluten free oatmeal (or oats)
    • 250g gluten free self-raising
    • 1-2tbsp ground ginger (to taste, try 1 first)
    • deep 9″ square cake tin (or any cake tin, square is just easier to portion.)



    1. Preheat the oven to 160C or gas mark 3.
    2. Grease and line your cake tin to make removing the cake easier.
    3. Put the butter, syrup, treacle, and brown sugar in a heavy base saucepan and melt over a low heat. When it has become the sugar mixture of dreams and the brown sugar has dissolved it’s perfect.
    4. If you have found gluten free oatmeal then you can skip this step. If you are working with whole oats then add them to a blender (I used a Nutri-Bullet and also a Magimix) and blend them into oatmeal. A few unblended oats don’t matter.
    5. To save on extra washing up just add the flour, oatmeal, and ginger straight to the pan. Or if you prefer, mix them together first in a separate bowl and then add them.
    6. In a mug lightly beat together the milk and egg before adding them to the cake batter
    7. Mix everything together until combined (it’s quite a wet mixture)
    8. Bake until a light crust appears on top and a knife comes out clean. This took me about 30 minutes.


    Keep an eye on your first cake, many internet recipes told me to bake it for nearly an hour, this resulted in a very dry and therefore crumbly gluten free version. I cut the time in half and this helped dramatically. The stickier in the middle the more it helps hold together.

    As with most gluten-free versions, this was still a bit crumblier than the original, but I found that what really helped was to leave it for a day or so to become stickier. Many recipes suggested leaving for up to 3 days before eating to allow the sugar to ooze and become gooey. Being the greedy sugar addict I am, it didn’t last this long and it was wolfed down crumbs and all whilst still hot.

    I hope you like this recipe as much as I did. The use of one pan made it super easy and other than blending the oats it was virtually faff free!

    Be sure to let me know if you try it!






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