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Healthy ginger cake (parkin)

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  • Chef: Mandy
  • Type: Cake
  • Serves: 12
  • Cost: £2.50
  • Cuisine: England

We made this healthy ginger cake in our Healthy Living Kitchen to celebrate Bonfire Night. In the north of England a ginger and oat cake called parkin is traditionally served on Bonfire Night (5 November).

The traditional version contains sugar and treacle but we’ve made ours healthier by sweetening it with dates.

We served this to our hot meals recipients along with this vegan sausage and bean stew, potato wedges and greens.



225g dates

250g wholemeal plain flour

100g ground oats

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

100ml rapeseed oil

225ml cold water




  1. First chop your dates and soak in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor and pulse to a paste. Add a little water if needed – you will need to be able to mix your paste in with the other ingredients. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a hand held immersion blender or a pestle and mortar. Alternatively finely chop your dates into very small pieces.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Place your flour, ground oats, ground ginger, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add your oil, water and date paste to the flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Transfer to your prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.