Steamed Lemon Sponge Pudding

4.7/5 - (10 votes)

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned dessert?

This recipe for a steamed lemon sponge pudding is one such dessert. It has a lovely light and soft texture when steamed. Served with a lovely lemon sauce it is just so good. Custard is also a good addition, adding a creaminess to the eating experience.

But for my dessert I decided to make just the steamed lemon sponge pudding and also a lovely sweet, but tart, lemon sauce.

Ingredients explanation

The recipe is not difficult and doesn’t use too many ingredients. One ingredient that some people may not have is self raising flour. That is a flour that has a raising agent already in it . However, for those who only have plain or all purpose flour, making your own is easy. To do that, for this recipe, simply use the prescribed 175g of plain flour and add in 9g(2 1/4 tsp) of baking powder.

Another ingredient needed, for the lemon sauce, is a thickening agent. I used potato starch. However you could use arrowroot instead. Both of those will thicken the sauce leaving it nice and translucent. But, if neither of those are available, cornflour works too, though the sauce will be opaque instead of translucent.


The cake-style batter is steamed for the pudding. Steaming is easy too. There are different ways to do that. If you have a steamer large enough to hold your pudding basin you can use that. But if not then you can simply place an upturned plate in a pan and stand the pudding basin on that. Then add water until it is halfway up the side on the basin. Then when the water is boiled, gently, it will steam the pudding.

For the pudding basin I used a plastic 1.2 litre(5 cup) plastic bowl with a lid. It is specifically designed for the purpose. However a glass bowl or a ceramic bowl of the same capacity will work fine too. However without a lid it is necessary to tightly cover the top of the bowl. For that use some aluminium foil, either crimped around the bowl or tied with string.

So, to make a lovely dessert we just need to make a batter and steam it, and then make a nice sauce to pour over the top.

My Sponge Pudding.

I steamed my sponge pudding for 90 minutes, in my steamer. I did add more boiling water during that time, to ensure the pan didn’t boil dry.

Then I made the lemon sauce which is very simple, just a mixture of water, lemon juice and zest, sugar brough to the boil. Then the thickening agent is added.

I turned out the pudding onto a plate and poured some sauce over the top. Then cut a slice and added a little more sauce to it before tasting. The taste was wonderful. Then sponge pudding had a great taste and was so light and delicate. The sauce was great too, sweet but with that edge of tartness too.

Altogether this is a really great dessert. As mentioned above, custard is a great addition too.

Steamed Lemon Sponge Pudding – Video

For another steamed pudding try Steamed Treacle Pudding

Steamed Lemon Sponge Pudding

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Cakes, Desserts


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Sponge Pudding
  • 175(12 1/2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 130g(10 tbsp + 1 tsp) caster sugar

  • 3 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 175g(1 cup+2 1/2 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) self raising flour – see note below for plain/all purpose flour

  • grated zest of 2 lemons

  • 60ml(1/4 cup) lemon juice

  • pinch of salt

  • Lemon Sauce
  • 90ml(6 tbsp) lemon juice

  • grated zest from 2 lemons

  • 300ml(1 1/4 cups) water

  • 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar

  • 12g(1 tbsp) potato starch or arrowroot(you can use cornflour too)

  • 15ml(1 tbsp) water for the potato starch


  • Grease and flour a 1.2 litre(5 cup) pudding basin/bowl
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until combined.
  • Then add the zest and whisk again.
  • Tip the flour onto the mixture and fold it in until combined.
  • Pour in the lemon juice and stir it into until fully combined.
  • Spoon the batter into prepared bowl and cover with its’ lid, or with aluminium foil sealed around the rim.
  • Place the basin/bowl into a steamer that has water in the base and bring to the boil and then simmer for 90 minutes (If you don’t have a steamer place an upturned saucer or plate in a saucepan and place your bowl onto it. Then add water until it is halfway up the side of the bowl) check the water level during steaming and top up as necessary with boiling water.
  • Stir the potato starch into the tablespoon of water and stir to create a thin slurry.
  • Pour the lemon juice, zest and water into a saucepan, along with the sugar, and bring it to the boil.
  • Turn off the heat and slowly add the potato starch mixture, stirring all the while.
  • Gently heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture has thickened to a nice pouring consistency.
  • Remove the pudding bowl from the steamer and remover the cover.
  • Turn the sponge pudding out onto a plate and pour over some of the lemon sauce. Leave it for a few minutes, then serve in slices adding more sauce as desired.


  • If using plain or all purpose flour add in 9g(2 1/4 tsp) baking powder and stir to combine.

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