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Parkin or perkin is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal and black treacle, which originated in northern England . Often associated with Yorkshire, particularly the Leeds area , it is very widespread and popular elsewhere, notably in Lancashire. Parkin is baked to a hard cake but with resting becomes moist and even sometimes sticky. In Hull and East Yorkshire, it has a drier, more biscuit - like texture than in other areas. Parkin is traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes Night , 5 November , but is also enjoyed throughout the winter months. It is baked commercially throughout Yorkshire, but is mainly a domestic product in other areas.