Ginger & treacle sponge pudding

Ginger & treacle sponge pudding

Suet is traditional in steamed puddings, but butter creates a lighter sponge. We’ve also added ginger and lemon to cut through the richness. The caramelised lemon zest topping is a showstopping flourish, but you can keep things simple and just scatter over a few strands of zest. 

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  • Serves6
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare40 mins
  • Cook1 hr 45 mins
  • Total time2 hrs 25 mins
  • Plusstanding

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  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • Custard, crème fraîche and/or vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)

Candied lemon zest (optional)

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest pared in strips


  • 3 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 6 balls stem ginger, roughly chopped


  1. Generously butter the inside of a 1-litre pudding basin. Cut out a large sheet of baking parchment and one of foil, both big enough to fit over the basin with a 4cm overhang. Put the baking parchment on top of the foil and, holding them together, fold a pleat in the middle. Butter the parchment, over the pleat.

  2. Put 3 tbsp golden syrup and 1 tbsp ginger syrup in the bottom of the basin; set aside. To prepare the steamer, put a small upturned saucer or trivet in the bottom of a saucepan large enough to hold the pudding basin.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the butter, light brown soft sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Sift over the flour, ground ginger and salt, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon or spatula until just combined. Tip into the prepared pudding basin and level the top. Boil a kettle.

  4. Put the prepared baking parchment and foil butter- side down on top of the pudding and tie tightly under the rim with string. Create a handle by tying the excess string across the top of the basin. Trim away any excess paper and foil, leaving a 2cm overhang, then tuck this under the string. Sit the basin in the saucepan, on top of the saucer/trivet. Add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the basin sides, cover with a lid, then set over a low-medium heat and simmer very gently for 1 hour 45 minutes, checking the water level every 30 minutes and topping up with more water if needed.

  5. Meanwhile, if making the candied lemon zest, line a plate with baking parchment. Put the caster sugar in a small frying pan and pour over 50ml just-boiled water. Set over a low-medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then add the pared lemon zest strips. Turn up the heat and bubble for about 5 minutes until the zest is sticky and turning golden, then carefully lift out with tongs and set aside on the parchment-lined plate.

  6. To check the pudding is cooked, insert a skewer through the foil and parchment – it should come out clean. Turn off the heat and carefully lift the basin from the water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the topping syrups in a small pan and bubble for a few minutes to thicken, then stir in the stem ginger.

  7. To serve, carefully remove the string, foil and parchment from the basin. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen the sides, then carefully turn out onto a lipped plate. Spoon over the syrupy ginger topping and scatter over the candied lemon zest, if using. Serve straight away with custard or crème fraîche and/or ice cream, if liked.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,821kJ/ 672kcals



Saturated Fat












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