Treacle Pudding: Steamed Golden Syrup Sponge Recipe


Born in deepest Cornwall and now living in wild Wales, Bev is no stranger to treacle pudding. She hopes you will enjoy this recipe!

Fluffy, steamy and slightly stodgy, this delicious treacle pudding will take you right back to your childhood. If you grew up in Britain, that is!

Fluffy, steamy and slightly stodgy, this delicious treacle pudding will take you right back to your childhood. If you grew up in Britain, that is!

Traditional British Pudding

It's my husband's birthday, and I've promised to make him one of his favorite desserts: steamed treacle pudding. It's not made with dark treacle or molasses but with Lyle's Golden Syrup. Both my grandmothers would make this pudding, though one of them mostly used raspberry jam/jelly in hers. It's usually served with custard, but ice cream or heavy cream also works.

Treacle pudding is like angel food—if you've never tried it, then you are in for a delicious experience. However, I only make it a couple of times a year, as it is very fattening! Wonderful for family celebrations, steamed sponges are simple to make and, because they are made on the stove-top, they leave your oven free for the main course.

I thought you might like to join me as I make his birthday treat.

Ingredients for treacle steamed pudding

Ingredients for treacle steamed pudding

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour 30 min

1 hour 45 min

Serves 6


  • A double steamer. You can use an ordinary saucepan by placing an old saucer in the bottom, stand the pudding basin on it and fill it with water to come halfway up the basin.
  • Pudding basin 1 1/2 pint (900 ml)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Fork
  • Large metal spoon (a tablespoon is fine)
  • Waxed/greaseproof paper
  • Foil
  • String or thick elastic


  • 2 level tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) (100 grams) butter
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) (50 grams) granulated or caster sugar
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) (50 grams) soft brown sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) (150 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Method for Treacle Pudding (Quick Version)

  1. Set steamer to boil. Grease pudding basin and spoon Golden Syrup in.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla essence to beaten eggs.
  3. Gradually add beaten egg and vanilla essence, mixing well with each addition.
  4. Sift half the flour and baking powder into bowl and fold in gently with metal spoon. Repeat with remaining flour and baking powder.
  5. Add enough milk to obtain a dropping consistency, then pour batter on top of syrup in pudding basin.
  6. Cover basin with waxed paper and foil. Place in steamer, cover and steam for 1 1/2 hours. Detailed instructions follow.

Step 1: Prepare the Steamer and Pudding Basin

Fill the steamer base or saucepan up to the required level with water and set on the heat to boil. Grease the pudding basin with butter. (I always save my butter wrappers in the fridge for this sort of thing!) Spoon the Golden Syrup into the bottom of the basin.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Step 2: Cream Butter, Sugar and Eggs

Using the fork, cream the butter and sugars together until the mix is nice and squidgy.

Drip half a teaspoon of vanilla essence or flavoring into the beaten eggs.

Gradually add the beaten egg, mixing thoroughly each time. The mixture will almost certainly 'split'. When I first made this as a newlywed, I thought I'd done something wrong and threw everything away and started again. When it happened a second time, I nearly gave up in tears, but decided to press on anyway. It was fine.

Beat mixture until it has reached a good dropping consistency.

Beat mixture until it has reached a good dropping consistency.

Step 3: Add the Flour and Milk

Sieve half the flour and baking powder into the bowl and use a metal spoon to gently fold the flour into the butter and sugar. Repeat with the rest of the flour.

Now, you want the batter to be a 'dropping consistency'; in other words, when you scoop up a tablespoonful, the mix should slowly fall off the spoon and fall back in the basin. Add a little milk and test for 'dropping'. You may need to repeat this until the right consistency is obtained.

Pour the batter in on top of the Golden Syrup.

Pour the batter in on top of the Golden Syrup.

Make sure batter is level.

Make sure batter is level.

Make a foil lifting handle for the steamer.

Make a foil lifting handle for the steamer.

Step 4: Steam the Pudding

Tip and scrape the batter into the pudding basin right on top of the syrup that's already in there. Shake and tap the side of the basin to get the mixture level.

Cover the basin with a double layer of waxed or greaseproof paper, secure around the basin with string or elastic, then cover the whole shebang with foil to keep the steam out of the pudding.

Take a length of foil—about twice as long as your steamer is wide—and fold it lengthways until it is about two inches wide. Place this inside the steamer with the two ends hanging over the side; this will make it easy to lift the hot basin out of the steamer. I keep my foil 'handles' and use them again and again, making sure to unfold and dry them out.

Place the basin in the steamer, cover with a lid and steam on a low heat for 1 1/2 hours. You can let it carry on steaming for another half hour with no ill-effects. Check the water level now and then as you don't want it to boil dry.

Steamed Treacle (Golden Syrup) Sponge Pudding—Yum!

Steamed Treacle (Golden Syrup) Sponge Pudding—Yum!

A Slice of Golden Syrup Pudding

A Slice of Golden Syrup Pudding

Step Five: Serving Treacle Pudding

Carefully remove the pudding from the steamer using your foil handles. Remove the foil and paper – be careful – it's very hot! Place a serving plate on top of the pudding basin and quickly up-end it. Tap the bottom of the basin and lift it off the plate. Your glorious Golden Syrup sponge pudding should be sitting there in all its glory.

At this point, I have to physically restrain my husband from adding another tablespoon of syrup over the top (you can if you want to). Cut the pudding into portions as you would a cake and serve with custard, cream or ice-cream.

This pudding is also delicious served cold as Golden Syrup cake.

Gold Stars for a Golden Dessert?

What Is Golden Syrup?

Golden syrup is a light treacle that if formed during the sugar-refining process. In the old days, it was considered a waste product and was usually thrown away. A chemist who worked for sugar refiner, Abram Lyle, discovered the syrup could be further refined, and Lyle's Golden Syrup was born.

The Guinness Book of Records shows that the famous trademark is Britain's oldest brand. It is high in both fructose and glucose and, therefore, should not be consumed in great quantities. It's okay for the occasional delicious treat though!

Variations on Golden Syrup

Plop in a couple of tablespoons of any of the following instead of Golden Syrup:

  • Jam or Jelly. Any flavor works well.
  • Canned Fruit. You can't go wrong with pineapple or peaches.
  • Stewed Fruit. Blackberry and apple or rhubarb and apple are wonderful.
  • Mincemeat. Press a thin layer of mincemeat all over the inside of the pudding basin before pouring in the mixture.
  • Chocolate. Four level tablespoons of cocoa powder blended with a little water and mixed into the butter and sugar before adding the beaten eggs make a delicious chocolate pudding. Serve with chocolate sauce and cream. Yum!
  • Zest. Keep the syrup, but zing up the sponge with the zest of an orange or lemon added when creaming the butter and sugar.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you think marmalade would work in this recipe for treacle pudding?

Answer: I think it would, but I would be tempted to add a tablespoon of golden syrup as well. It depends if you want a more tangy pudding. Of course, you could also go with lime or lemon marmalade too.

Now you've made me want to try it!

© 2012 Bev G

Steamed Sponge Pudding - Yummy?

Shizette on February 13, 2018:

Omg, I haven't had this in a zillion years! Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 04, 2012:

@Natashalh - mm, I know, I could scarf some down right now!

@denisemai - yes, it's not really treacle in the proper sense, just that we always called it treacle as it has the same consistency as molasses.

@Judi Bee - I loved steamed puddings in school - except ones with sultanas in (slugs), yuk!

Thanks for the votings!

Judi Brown from UK on October 04, 2012:

We used to call steamed puddings "stodge" at school - there was chocolate stodge, jam stodge and the favourite - treacle stodge. Still love it!

Denise Mai from Idaho on October 04, 2012:

This looks fantastic and I can't wait to try the recipe. I've never heard of treacle. Thank you for sharing! Voted up and shared.

Natasha from Hawaii on October 04, 2012:

Oooooh, so delicious! My dad used to make to treacle pudding when I was a kid. I remember the lion on the syrup can always fascinated me, though I'm not really sure why. I love all manner of puddings, though I only have a very small pudding basin at present.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 10, 2012:

Thank you! xx

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on June 10, 2012:

I pinned it!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 07, 2012:

You are a sweetie!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on June 07, 2012:

Oh my lordy! It's just the best. Given it five stars cos I can't give it ten. Iow to pin it i don't know, but once I find out I'll pin it too...amazing.

Beautiful Hub! Voting normally too. That's the custard on the top.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 06, 2012:

It was a rare treat when we had it in school - it was usually plain sponge with either very runny or ultra thick custard - with skin! Hope you enjoy your pudding!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 06, 2012:

I loved this pudding when it was served for my school lunches! The golden syrup and the sponge pudding combine to make a delicious flavor. Thank you for the recipe - I know I won't be able to resist making it!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 06, 2012:

Mmm... very sweet - you couldn't eat too much of it - oh all right, you can eat too much treacle pud. If you ever do see any LGS, then you must try it. There are probably lots of other recipes that use it on the web. When I was young, I used to yearn for the stuff!

Cynthia Taggart from New York, NY on June 06, 2012:

Looks delicious and soooooo sweet a pound cake. But I don't know if we have Lyles Golden syrup in the U.S. Do we? I've never heard of it or seen it until today. Great photos and easy-to-follow recipe. Voted up.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 06, 2012:

Sorry in advance, SimeyC... but you must try it!

Simon Cook from NJ, USA on June 06, 2012:

Nooooooooooo! I'm in the middle of a diet and you go and show me how to make this superb dessert! Wow - great pictures, great description and got my mouth watering - if I put on weight this week (I'm dieting) I'm blaming your article!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 05, 2012:

Oh it is, Brainy Bunny! I mean, it was!

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on June 05, 2012:

Huh. I always wondered what treacle pudding was. Thanks for lesson; it looks quite tasty!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 05, 2012:

Thank you, Judi Bee. I can't do pastry at all - and I should be ashamed to admit it being a Cornish girl and all. My mum makes treacle tart with crushed cornflakes.

Judi Brown from UK on June 05, 2012:

Love treacle pudding, but don't like the phaffing about with steaming, so I usually make a treacle tart (so end up phaffing about with pastry and baking blind!). This does look lovely though ... and the instructions are so good ... that I might just be tempted to make it for Father's Day.

Now safely "pinned" to my new recipe board, ready for action!

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