Monday, October 27, 2008

Sugar High Friday - Yorkshire Parkin with Lemon Neufchâtel Frosting

Yorkshire Parkin with Lemon Neufchâtel Frosting
A sturdy, oatmeal gingerbread of northern England,
Yorkshire parkin is a warming treat even if you aren't
in the neighborhood to watch the burning of the Guy.

Yorkshire Parkin
Traditionally served without frosting, it is best
cut with a very sharp knife after it cools, but you
will want to tear into it fresh from the oven.

Yorkshire Parkin with Lemon Neufchâtel Frosting
(Parkin adapted from The Argenta Cookbook recipe; frosting, my own recipe)


2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons very fresh ground ginger
1 cup quick-cooking oats (also known as thin oats)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
½ cup golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
½ cup treacle (or molasses)

(N.B. – There is no egg in this recipe.)

8 ounces American Neufchâtel or cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1-2 cups confectioners sugar (according to your texture preference)
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice with 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel)

Candied lemon peel for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, soak oats in milk for one hour. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and ground ginger. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add melted butter to oatmeal along with golden syrup and treacle. Mix well to combine, then add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat with a large spoon until very well blended. Pour batter into a greased 13-inch by 9-inch cake tin or glass baking dish. Position on middle rack of oven to bake for 30 minutes or until cake is lightly browned, and a knife inserted into its center comes out clean.

In medium bowl, beat cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Incrementally add confectioners sugar, beating very well, until desired consistency is reached. Beat in lemon flavoring. Adjust consistency one last time, if necessary. Dollop or pipe frosting onto cut squares of fully cooled cake. Garnish with candied lemon peel. Well-wrapped, leftovers without frosting will keep beautifully for days. Leftover frosting must be refrigerated. Serves 12. --
Yorkshire Parkin with Lemon Neufchâtel Frosting

This is my zero-hour contribution for Anita of Dessert First, hosting the October edition of Sugar High Friday - Spices - for Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess, the creator of Sugar High Friday, the long running and popular monthly sweet event. Anita will have her beautiful round-up online this Friday, October 31. I will have the pleasure of hosting Sugar High Friday for November. Please stay tuned for the announcement on November 1.


  1. Parkin sounds just the thing for when it gets parky - this looks deliciously seasonal and the lemon frosting looks just right

  2. Susan, I'm in awe with this dessert - that icing looks extremely light and the whole combo of flavors got me craving this now!

  3. Delicious! My grandmother (who's name was also Parkin and from "oop north") used to make this for me as a child and the stickier it is, the better!

  4. Such a delicious looking dessert!Thanks for sharing the recipe! Yum!

  5. I always learn something by reading your posts. I had never heard of parkin. As usual, your rendition is a pleasure for the eyes.

  6. I love gingerbread, especially at this time of year when the aroma of anything cinnamon-y baking in the kitchen makes it feel more like Fall. This looks lovely.

  7. Where have I heard of Parkin? Not even sure if I've heard it mentioned as an eatable or a last name! A ginger cake that I tried in a Caribbean restaurant looked a lot like this, without the frosting, of course.

  8. Susan, lovie ~ Cakes and dessert breads which incorporate strong doses of ginger have long been a favourite delight, parkin included. I have a slightly heavier hand when it comes to treacle, always preferring the darkest grade (or blackstrap molasses). The good thing is that these sorts of cakes seem to mature - tightly wrapped for a couple of days, the spices develop and become more nuanced, rounding out the ginger. What a glorious afternoon treat - I only hope there is a similary offering when I go to High Tea with a friend this weekend.

  9. I'm not normally mad about gingerbread - but with that lemon frosting, it's somehow really, really appealing...

  10. This looks lovely, fragrant, and perfect for the season. Thanks for sharing it!

  11. I have to try your frosting Susan! And great presentation with those candied peel bits.

    Love the warm colors in your photos too.

  12. Oh My! That frosting makes by knees tremble...It looks beautiful.

  13. That looks delicious. I'm glad you explained what Parkin was because I had no idea.

    Glad to hear you are hosting for November. I will have to participate! I did one event and then got busy with other things but have missed it. I love the challenge.

  14. hi there..this is such a lovely place..luv ur fotogrpahs!!!too gud

  15. What a great dessert ... and the frosting on top is so adorable ^_^

  16. Susan, those photos are perfection. I'm sure the parkin is, too. And those little squares of lemon bits on the top? Ohhhhh...heaven!

  17. Very nice. It's always a pleasure to look at your captures.

  18. I've never had parkin, but it sounds wonderful, especially with the lemon! Wonderful photos as well!

  19. I adore gingerbread, love oatmeal, and think cream cheese frosting is one of the most wonderful things on the planet. What a perfect recipe! : )

  20. Funny how I never think about making gingerbread - I wonder why? Bonfire night is the perfect excuse.

  21. I love gingerbread,,,very great recipe,,,thanks for sharing,,

  22. Johanna - Thanks. It certainly is seasonal in these parts, and the lemon frosting was a great compliment.

    Hi, Patricia. Good to see you! Thanks so much.

    Dear Freya -- Sticky is best...more treacle, I say, next time I make it.

    Thank you, Farida!

    Simona -- Thank you. There is a whole world of eats that no one has yet to entirely discover.

    Thank you, Lisa!

    Lydia -- Me, too. Gingerbread is meant for this time of year. Thank you.

    Sra -- Dunno, but it is an ancient English primitive gingerbread.

    Welcome, Del Sister! Thank you!

    Hello, Shaun! Thank you. If only we can keep them long enough for them to mature. I'm with you; I adore the bitter, almost belacose flavor of treacle. I don't know why others think it's difficult. To each his own.

    Hello, Forkful! Thanks. I thought this would appeal to you on some level. : )

    Marilyn, welcome! Thank you for visiting!

    Lori Lynn -- Thanks. The warm colors are perfect for a northern fall.

    Thank you, Elise! Welcome! So very dear of you.

    Kelly -- Thanks. At this point, I have well gotten your entry. Thanks so much. It's a winner.

    Hi, Kitchen Scientist! Welcome! Good to see you!

    Wiffy -- Thanks, sweetie. I know you want to dip your finger in the frosting. ; }

    Dear, Toni -- Thanks so much. Hope you are well.

    Thanks, Jude. I appreciate the feedback. : )

    Hi, Andrea! Welcome! Thank you. Lemon is a good foil for spices.

    Welcome, Farmgirl Susan! Thank you so much!

    Rosa -- Southern France has so many of its own charms, but parkin must sometimes make you think of Canada.

    Welcome, Recipe4u. Thank you very much. Good to see you.