Steamed Treacle Sponge

4.7/5 - (8 votes)

Although I have called this a treacle sponge, which it how it is known in the UK, it actually has golden syrup, rather than dark treacle in it.  

It is a nice departure from baking in the oven, to steam a lovely sponge in a bowl in a saucepan of simmering water.  

This is a favourite from my childhood, and is still very popular today.  Very easy to make and just so tasty to eat, with custard, cream or ice-cream.  

Most recipes for this are very similar.  I liked the Tesco one but did adjust it slightly adding some lemon juice and zest to the sponge, as it will give a nice complementary flavour to the sponge.  Golden syrup is actually just sugar and water boiled with a couple of slices of lemon, so adding lemon to my sponge works perfectly.

The sponge is the base of this pudding, and you can easily vary the accompaniment, lemon curd or jam, for instance will work just as well as golden syrup.  So just give it a try and you will not be disappointed.

Steamed Treacle Sponge

                                 Steamed Treacle Sponge – Video

  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 175g softened, unsalted butter,
  • 175g light brown muscovado sugar(or caster sugar)
  • 3 large eggs(xl in USA)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon


  1. Grease the inside of a pudding basin(about 1.2 litres).
  2. Prepare a circle of parchment paper that overlaps the top of the basin by about an inch
  3. Prepare a circle of tin foil slightly larger than the parchment paper.
  4. Place the golden syrup in the base of the pudding basin.
  5. In a bowl( I did this is a stand mixer but by hand or with a hand mixer is fine too) cream the butter and sugar.
  6. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice.
  7. Add the baking powder and self raising flour.
  8. Mix until fully combined and smooth.
  9. Place the batter on top of the golden syrup and level off with a spatula.
  10. Grease one side of the parchment paper and place it butter side down on the tin foil.
  11. Grease the other side of the parchement paper and make a pleat down the centre of the parchment paper and tin foil.
  12. Place them over the top of the pudding basin and fold down over the sides.
  13. Use some string to tie the tin foil to the side of the pudding basin.
  14. Use more string to make a handle to make lifting the basin easy.
  15. Place a saucer, upturned, into a saucepan and place the pudding basin on top of it.
  16. Pour boiling water into the saucepan until it is about half way up the side of the pudding basin.
  17. Place the lid on the saucepan and simmer on the stove for two hours, or until a skewer poked into the centre of the sponge comes out clean.
  18. Carefully remove from the saucepan and allow to cool for at least ten minute.
  19. Remove the string and the foil/parchment cover from the pudding basin.
  20. Gently run a knife around the inside of the basin to ensure the sponge isn’t sticking.
  21. Place a large plate on top of the basing and turn it over to allow the sponge to slip from the bowl onto the plate.
  22. Your steamed sponge is now ready to eat, serve with custard, cream, ice-cream or whatever you wish.

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