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Gluten Free Parkin

by Katie Bucknell

Parkin is a traditional autumn cake that has been around for well… far longer than you or me! It is tough and oaty, rich in flavour yet not too sweet. I haven’t had parkin since I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease around 8 years ago, and I thought it was about time I work on a gluten free recipe. I have to say this one worked a treat! It was just as I remember and is so appropriate for this time of year, slightly sticky on top and a lovely gingery flavour. Yum.



  • 250g / 9oz golden syrup
  • 50g / 2oz black treacle
  • 115g / 4oz unsalted butter
  • 115g / 4oz dark brown sugar
  • 250g / 9oz Gluten free porridge oats (chopped in food processor) OR gluten free oatmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 90g / 3oz Gluten free self raising flour (I am using Doves Farm)
  • 25g / 1oz ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk (you can use regular milk instead)


  1. Preheat the oven to 140C / Gas Mark 1 and grease and line a medium square baking tin (you can do this in a round tin too, but I just prefer mine in squares).
  2. In a pan place the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter and heat on low until the butter has completely melted, do not let the mixture boil. It helps to heat the syrup or treacle slightly to help it pour better.
  3. In a seperate large baking bowl, mix the flour, almonds, pinch of salt, ground ginger and chopped porridge oats (or oatmeal) and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the melted mixture from the pan to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Finally add the egg (whisked) and the milk. You should have a dark, even cake batter.
  5. Pour into your tin and bake for 1 hour. Check it is cooked through by sticking a skewer through the mix (if it comes out clean, the cake is done).
  6. Remove from the tin and leave to cool before slicing. Store in an airtight container.
  7. Enjoy!

It is not as light as a traditional cake, it is quite dense and hearty. Some say it is an acquired taste, but it is so fitting for this time of year. Whip up a batch and enjoy it while watching the fireworks on bonfire night, perfect!

I hope you like this post!

Let me know what other gluten free recipes you would like to see!



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Suzanne 4th November 2016 - 11:24 am

Those pictures look amazing and it sounds delicious. I usually make gluten free carrot cake or g/f courgette cake, it will be nice to try something different.

Katie Bucknell 5th November 2016 - 2:56 pm

Thank you! Very glad you like. Let me know if you get chance to make it! I love to see pictures 🙂

Michelle Joseph 4th November 2016 - 11:41 am

That looks delicious. I’ve never heard of nor tried Parkin, so maybe it’s time. Even looks perfect for Autumn lol.

Mich x

Katie Bucknell 5th November 2016 - 2:55 pm

Aww thanks! Yes I would definitely recommend it… it is perfect for this time of year! 🙂 xx

David S 1st November 2018 - 3:24 pm

This is in the oven for my GF wife as I type. Smells delicious, thanks!

Katie Bucknell 2nd November 2018 - 8:57 am

Amazing! Thanks! Hope it turns out great…

Jeanie 13th November 2018 - 4:22 pm

I made this for daughter for bonfire night as she’s gluten free. We are Parkin lovers at the best of times but this was a first.
It was absolutely amazing x

Katie Bucknell 15th November 2018 - 5:01 pm

Ah I am so glad! Really glad you liked it. Thanks for making! x

John 5th May 2019 - 8:14 pm

Real Parkin is at it’s best when kept for a few weeks in an airtight tin – it becomes wonderfully sticky and rich. Will this keep the same, do you think?

Katie Bucknell 6th May 2019 - 3:25 pm

Hi John, it should keep well but due to the lack of gluten, it will probably not last quite as many days (just due to it drying out a little). Thanks!


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