Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Back Back to benefits Go to benefits
Search Magazine

Fig and pecan parkin

07 September 2015

This parkin recipe uses treacle for a deep rich flavour, and dried figs and pecan nuts add crunch. Why wait until Bonfire Night?

Fig and pecan parkin
Luis Troyano's fig and pecan parkin

Preparation time

30 minutes

Cooking time

40-45 minutes


16 slices


  • 300ml of your favourite ale or beer
  • 200g black treacle
  • 250g golden syrup
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 85g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 85g cold lard, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 100g dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 100g pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 225g medium oatmeal
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 50g rolled oats for the topping

Essential equipment

  • A 20 x 30cm rectangular tin; I use a traybake tin, 5cm deep, with a loose bottom. Grease and line with non-stick baking parchment.


It seems a shame that parkin is associated with Bonfire Night and ignored for the rest of year. Well, I refuse to wait 12 months for it. Parkin is a rich cake that has many versions from all over the north of England. Thought to originate from the early 1700s, it’s one of those great cakes that get better in the days after you bake it.

My version is a little different. I use lots of treacle for a deep rich flavour, and figs and pecan nuts to add an amazing crunch.

Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/160°C/285°F/gas 3.

Place the ale, treacle and golden syrup in a large saucepan over a low heat and gently stir until the treacle has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, butter and lard in a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub them together using your fingers. Place them in a large mixing bowl and mix in the figs, nuts, oatmeal and egg to a stiff mixture.

Add the beer mixture and mix to a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the rolled oats evenly over the top.

Bake for 40–45 minutes. After 40 minutes, test the parkin with a skewer inserted into the centre: the skewer should come out completely clean and the cake should have shrunk away from the sides of the tin slightly. It may need a few more minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut into slices when cool. The slices will keep for up to 7 days in an airtight container.

This recipe is from Bake it Great by Luis Troyano, published by Pavilion. Recipe photography by Clare Winfield.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.