Treacle Sponge

This is an easy, delicious dessert dish that hearkens back to Dad’s British colonial roots.

It has one ingredient that Americans might find exotic: Lyle’s Golden Syrup. This is a difficult thing to substitute (though you can try) – it’s made from the sugar refining process like molasses, has the same consistency as corn syrup and the light color of tupelo honey, but tastes nothing like any of those. Try to find golden syrup at your grocery.

I found the recipe here, because if you can’t trust computer professionals with culinary arts, who can you trust?


  • 1 cup self-raising flour (or 1 cup all purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tbs) soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Golden Syrup

Mix everything but the syrup until smooth.


Have small hands use a bit of butter to grease your steaming bowl – this is either the inner part of a steamer (nice if you have one) or a heat-proof bowl small enough that it fits inside a large pot but large enough that the mixture only fills it about a third of the way.


At the same time, put a saucer or small dish face down inside that large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.



Pour three to five table- spoons of syrup along the edges of the bowl, then quickly pour in the mixture and cover with a greased piece of foil.

Carefully (grownup! with oven mitts!) lower the bowl into the pot so that it rests on the saucer, but not in the boiling water, for 90 minutes. You may have to add more water halfway through to keep the pot filled with steam. It can safely cook for a little longer, too, if it has to.

When done, remove bowl from pot, take off the foil, put a plate over the top and flip it over to serve. Drizzle with more syrup and enjoy – with custard, with ice cream, or just straight up.


One thought on “Treacle Sponge

Comments are closed.