Parkin {gluten-free, vegan}

Parkin is the most moreish treat in your cake tin, sticky, chewy and laced with spices. This vegan and gluten-free take on this classic British bake is studded with stem ginger and has a non-traditional but irresistible tangy lemon icing.

side view Ginger Parkin on a wire rack

Who can resist a glorious chunky piece of homemade parkin? This is a real homely bake which 

What is Parkin?

Yorkshire Parkin is a traditional British bake made with chewy oats, butter, milk, golden syrup and plenty of gingery spice.

Why is this Parkin a little bit different?

If you are a traditional Yorkshire lad or lass then you’ll probably be shuddering in terror. Not only have we removed all the butter from your parkin but we have also studded it through with stem ginger and drizzled it in a tangy blanket of lemon icing.

I promise though, once you forgive my blatant flagrancy of the word ‘parkin’ you will learn to love these little changes. This gluten-free vegan Parkin is a lighter version and the zesty lemon gives a lovely textural and tasty balance. Don’t worry though, I haven’t messed around with the thick oozy golden syrup which is what gives parkin its personality.

And I think we all agree that anything which includes little nuggets of stem ginger throughout is a little bit special.

READ MORE >>> Homemade Stem Ginger in Syrup

Overhead shot of Parkin on a wire rack with a knife

Why is Parkin such a brilliant bake?

  • It’s difficult to find anyone who can resist the charms of parkin.
  • It’s a bit like gingerbread but stuffed with a lot of oats so is a little chewier.
  • The golden syrup used in the recipe makes the treat gloriously sticky.
  • Chewy, sticky, packed with spice and definitely homely. 

Overhead shot of Parkin on a wire rack

Gluten-Free Parkin

In order to make this Parkin gluten-free we need to switch out the regular flour for a few gluten-free favourites:

  • Sweet Rice Flour – we double down on the chewy texture of the parkin by using sweet rice flour. This flour was absolutely made for this bake!!
  • Oat Flour – It makes sense, this is a bake whose main ingredient is oats. Why not use oat flour for more butterscotch flavour.
  • Tapioca Flour – we need this starchy flour to help hold everything together.

How do you make a Vegan Parkin?

Traditional Parkin is made with butter and milk but switching up some of the ingredients to make a vegan parkin is no hardship.

  • Instead of the butter we use melted coconut oil which gives a lovely lightness to the bake.
  • Swap the milk for any non-dairy milk of your choice. I use almond milk but really the choice is yours.

READ MORE >>> Homemade Almond Milk

How long does Parkin last?

Parkin just seems to last and last, as my Mum can attest to having forgotten about the parkin she had stashed in her handbag and re-discovering it 5 days later.

Parkin definitely improves after a couple of days of resting in the cake tin as it gets more sticky. If you don’t want to eat it straightaway then I would recommend leaving it whole and only cutting into pieces when you want some. Although you will find it difficult to restrain yourself.

side view of Parkin on a wire rack

I urge you to give this Gluten-Free and Vegan Parkin a try. If you do then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own culinary creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

side view of Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin on a wire rack
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Parkin {gluten-free, vegan}

Parkin is the most moreish treat in your cake tin, sticky, chewy and laced with spices. This is a vegan and gluten-free take on a classic British bake with a tangy lemon icing.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 squares
Calories: 451kcal


Stem Ginger Parkin

  • 300 g golden caster sugar
  • 125 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g oat flour
  • 35 g tapioca flour
  • 185 g gluten-free oats
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 300 ml almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 165 ml coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3 balls preserved stem ginger finely chopped

Lemon Icing

  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C / 150°C fan / gas mark 3 and line and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, flours, oats, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside for a minute.
  • Take a medium sized saucepan and pour in the almond milk, golden syrup, coconut oil and cider vinegar. Turn onto a gentle heat and stir the ingredients together until everything has melted together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, along with the stem ginger and beat well with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, leave the parkin to settle for ten minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar until the icing is pourable.
  • Pour the icing over the cooled parkin, leave to set and then cut the parkin into 12 squares.


* A lot of gluten-free oats are of the rolled or jumbo variety but that doesn’t work as well for this recipe. Look for gluten-free porridge oats which are a finer oatmeal give the best texture as the oats are able to become a part of the cake without being too granular. I use Nairn's Gluten-Free Porridge Oats


Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.1mg