Winter Baking: Steamed pudding

I have a love of steamed puddings and I don’t care that they are old fashioned and outdated. They are a supreme comfort food and remind me of my granny and her old pudding basin, tying the string just right so the greaseproof paper and foil was secure and left you with a little handle to gt the pudding out again. I have very fond memories of the smell of my granny’s golden syrup pudding steaming for hours on the stove and the anticipation of having to wait until after dinner to get any.

So… while trying to think of something I could cook that was all winter warmy and wouldn’t take up space in my oven as there was going to be a lasagne baking in there I came across this recipe for a steamed syrup sponge in Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess” ( a recent purchase).  All those memories came rushing back and I knew I was going to have to get this onto the stove as soon as I got home.

It may be all time consuming to cook but really the set up doesn’t take long.  I got this going as soon as I got home and after the rather long process of putting my lasagne together, by the time we were done eating dinner the pudding was perfectly done.
Well worth the effort and so very rich and decadent with all thatgolden syrup.. Yum!

On to the recipe, because warm gooey comfort is a good thing to share 🙂


175g soft unsalted butter
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
zest and juice of 1 lemon (I used limes as I am still trying to get through the box of limes I got at the markets recently)
3 tablespoons of milk

for the syrup

250g golden syrup
juice of 1/2 a lemon (lime)

The Nigella recipe just says to basically throw everything in together and mix. While I am sure this works out of habit I did it in the more traditional way:

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and eggs one at a time making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the lemon (lime) juice and zest, add flour and milk, mix until combined making sure not to over mix and toughen the batter. The batter should be a thick pouring consistency.

With the batter prepared mix lemon juice and golden syrup together then pour into the bottom of a pudding basin (1.5L should be fine). Gently pour in the batter over the top of the golden syrup mixture and cover the basin. If you have a basin with a plastic lid woot! for you, just remember to grease it.

I used pleated baking paper over the pudding basin then aluminium foil. The “lid” was then tied on with string remembering to make a little handle so it can be fished out of the boiling water later.

Lower the basin onto a pot of boiling water so that the water comes 2/3 of the way up the sides of the basin. place the lid on the saucepan and allow the pudding to cook for 2hrs. The water should be kept at a gentle boil the entire time. Cooking time should be at least 2hrs but it is not a drama if it is longer.

Once it is done turn the pudding out onto a plate (make sure it has a rime so the syrupy sauce doesn’t run everywhere). Serve with all the usual suspects, custard, ice cream , cream etc.

Ta Da!  comfort food extraordinaire.


  1. Comment by Adam on June 18, 2009 11:39 am

    Can you send me some golden syrup so I can try this? 😀

    It looks decadently delicious. *drools*

  2. Comment by nic on June 18, 2009 10:44 pm


  3. Pingback by Daring Bakers April 2010: Steamed Sponge Pudding « One Vanilla Bean on April 27, 2010 11:52 pm

    […] I was almost certain I would pass on this first challenge. Then I remembered that in November of last year I bought a pudding pan at a discount store because I wanted to try my hand at making Christmas pudding. This was my one chance to put that piece of equipment to good use! I thought that it is called a challenge for a reason! I had to find a recipe that would fit in with the spirit of the challenge and that would satisfy my craving for something light and sweet. I knew I would have to forgo the suet part, but stick to a dessert made with the steaming method. After some googling I found this website. […]

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