This 10 minute wonder of a pudding is a perennial favourite that I’ve been making since I was small. And I continue to make Microwave Syrup Sponge Pudding because what’s not to love about a steamed sponge dupe that’s soft, sweet and begging to be eaten?
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I published my recipe for Microwave Jam Sponge Pudding not too long ago and it’s been such a hit that it seemed churlish not to share some of the other variations that I love to make. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I make at least two or three of these microwave sponges a month over winter. And sometimes in summer too.
Its always a toss up whether I choose jam, golden syrup, a chocolate or lemon version. I’d say that syrup wins out at least 50% of the time – its a classic, who can blame me. I add a little lemon juice to the sponge to balance out some of the sweetness from the syrup and there are always lashings of custard powder custard.
Treacle Sponge Pudding?
As a note, this is often called a treacle sponge pudding here in the UK. For some reason we often use “treacle” to refer to golden syrup. This is despite “black treacle”, also shortened to “treacle” being a totally different product – its similar to the American blackstrap molasses.
I may well use the terms interchangeable here but please be in no doubt, this is a golden syrup sponge!
- How to Serve Syrup Sponge Pudding
- Ingredients for Microwave Syrup Sponge
- Equipment Notes for Microwave Steamed Sponge Pudding
- Get Ahead
- Leftover Microwave Syrup Sponge
- Quick Sponge Pudding Tips
- Full Step-By-Step Recipe
How to Serve Syrup Sponge Pudding
Because this pudding is cooked in 4 or 5 minutes, there is little reason not to cook it and eat it hot and fresh. Served warm is absolutely fine, especially if its covered in piping hot custard.
Unlike a lighter Victoria sponge style cake, this is not a sponge to serve cold. Whist the microwave cooking method results in a perfectly light and soft sponge, once cool I find it a bit drier and more heavy. Not to fear, it reheats back to its lovely warm and soft state.
You’ll see from the images that custard is my go-to sauce for sponge pudding. Unlike with a good crumble which stands up to cream or ice cream, sponge needs custard in my book. But you serve it exactly how you prefer!
Ingredients for Microwave Syrup Sponge
Golden syrup is a product that is really quite unique. Its been a mainstay of British baking since forever but isn’t especially well known outside of the UK. It has a presence over in Australia and New Zealand but generally needs to be sourced from speciality stores in the UK.
Tate and Lyle syrup bought in green and gold tins is the original and the best. But I am a sucker for a squeezy bottle.
Supermarkets sell their own branded versions but they are not all created equal. Look for one that has a dark golden, almost ginger colour and not a lighter glow. Also look for how viscous (thick) it is. The inferior versions are more runny and are best avoided.
Now you have some golden syrup in the house, give these recipes a try too…
I have specified margarine in this recipe rather than butter because I prefer the lighter texture that you get from a margarine or spread. The other benefit is that it is useable straight from the fridge.
By margarine I’m really talking about some kind of light spread. I’m not into “baking” margarines like Stork – they have an odd taste and I don’t really understand why they’re so popular. Just a regular, cheap spread will do nicely.
If you prefer to use butter, please do. My preference is only slight and I certainly wouldn’t not make a sponge if I only had butter and I’d be unlikely to go and buy some specially. You do need to make sure that the butter is soft before you start or the batter won’t mix properly.
Nowadays I use white caster sugar in my sponges. But for most of my life, granulated was the only sugar on hand and that worked just fine.
You can use an unbleached/golden sugar but please don’t substitute with brown or dark brown sugar as the quantities may be out and the flavours will likely clash with the syrup.
If you prefer to use plain flour, you will need to add baking powder – you can use this guide from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen to work out how much you need to use.
I’ve also made this recipe many times with white spelt flour and you’d never know the difference.
I mostly use large eggs but if you only have medium, this recipe will work just fine.
You can also mix things up with the actual sponge. This recipe includes a little lemon juice in the sponge to add a little contrast to the sugary syrup. I’ve stopped short of making the lemon very prominent but you can add a tablespoon or two of zest to really amp it up. I would be cautious of adding any more juice as the texture of the sponge will be affected.
Orange zest would also add a lovely complementary flavour – but use lemon juice with orange zest. Adding ground ginger to the batter would be another lovely option.
Making a microwave chocolate sponge pudding is easy too. Replace 2 tbsp of the flour with cocoa powder and simply don’t use the syrup. Although saying that a cherry jam and chocolate sponge would be wonderful.
More Microwave Sponge Pudding Recipes
Find all of my best Microwave “Steamed” Sponge Pudding recipes in one easy place. From 10 minute everyday sponges to a festive favourite in a fraction of the usual time, the best thing is you’ll never know they weren’t steamed for hours!
Allergy Friendly Syrup Sponge Pudding
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free Syrup Sponge Pudding: To make the recipe gluten free, you will simply need to use a gluten-free flour blend.
If the blend you choose doesn’t contain a raising agent, you will need to add baking powder.
Dairy Free Syrup Sponge Pudding: The only dairy in this recipe is the margarine. Plant based margarine is incredibly easy to come by nowadays so simple sub that for the regular margarine.
Egg Free Syrup Sponge Pudding: If you can use a liquid egg replacer (whole eggs, not just egg white), that should be simple swap.
If you cannot get hold of such a product, use 1 tbsp vegetable oil in place of each egg. The texture won’t be quite the same but you’ll end up with a perfectly serviceable egg free pudding.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Vegetarian or Vegan Syrup Sponge Pudding
This microwave treacle sponge pudding recipe is vegetarian friendly as written.
To make a vegan syrup sponge pudding you will need to take on board my suggestions above to make the recipe both dairy and egg free. Not that tricky at all.
Equipment Notes for Microwave Steamed Sponge Pudding
I think it should be quite obvious by this point that the speed of this recipe does hinge on having a Microwave.
I use the microwave on full power and the times given are for a 700/800x microwave. If you have a more or less powerful microwave, you may need to adjust the cooking times by 30 seconds one way or the other.
Although saying that, providing that you use an ovensafe pyrex dish, you could easily cook this in the oven. But it would take about 45 minutes to cook.
I do almost always use electrical assistance to make a quick sponge. It is much easier to get an all-in-one cake mixture to mix properly this way.
You can mix this by hand using just a spatula or wooden spoon but I would usually mix the butter and sugar together first then add the eggs and vanilla and mix then the flour. Its going to take a couple more minutes but this will ensure that everything is properly mixed together and it will cook evenly.
Despite the images in the recipe showing me using a glass pyrex bowl to make this sponge, I do more often than not just use a basic thin plastic mixing bowl. I own a bunch of them in various sizes and use them for nearly everything. But they’re not very clear and are not helpful to show you what I’m doing!
You can really use any microwave safe dish you like. Plastic will not absorb as much heat as pyrex glass or ceramic so the cooking time I’ve given is less as the food itself will cook faster. The pryrex bowl that I have used in the recipe process images is 1 litre in size.
What you should avoid using is melamine or bamboo dishes. They absorb all the heat, get far to hot and leave your food uncooked.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
But not by much! You can make up the syrup and sponge batter a couple of hours in advance at most. It isn’t ideal to let a batter with a raising agent sit for too long (unless it is intentional like with this Ma Lai Gao Steamed Cake). Saying that, this recipe is so forgiving, a couple of hours won’t hurt.
You can then throw the bowl in the microwave just before you want to eat.
Leftover Microwave Syrup Sponge
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated again in the microwave. Heat in 30 second bursts because a portion won’t take long at all.
Quick Sponge Pudding Tips
Hot syrup is very very hot so please be extra careful when turning out the pudding. If you’re worried, don’t turn it out and simply serve from the bowl using a large serving spoon.
This recipe says that it serves 6. This is the kind of portion that you’d serve after a decent roast dinner. If you want a heartier portion, this recipe will serve 4 as written.
You can always pop a microwave on for another 30 seconds but you can’t rewind time. So if you are not sure about the power of your microwave, err on the side of caution.
It is often said that baking is a science and this puts the fear of god into people. I often eyeball this recipe and its not failed yet so don’t stress over it. Don’t go too crazy either, I will not be taking responsibility if you use 8 eggs and wonder why you have a microwave explosion of slop.
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Microwave Syrup Sponge Pudding Recipe
- 150 g Golden Syrup
- 120 g Margarine - plus extra for greasing
- 120 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 120 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Grease a microwaveable bowl and measure in 150g Golden Syrup.
- Measure 120g Margarine, 120g Caster Sugar and 120g Self-Raising Flour into a medium sized mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl).
- Crack in 2 Eggs and add 1 tbsp Lemon Juice.
- Use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer to beat the ingredients together until fully combined.Note – Do not continue mixing past this stage as you could make the sponge tough.Note – Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed in.
- Give the syrup a little swirl around the bowl so it sits up the sides a little.
- Transfer the sponge batter into the microwaveable bowl on top of the syrup layer. Roughly smooth out the top.
- Microwave on full power for 5 minutes if using a glass/pyrex bowl and 4 minutes if using a plastic bowl.
- Once cooked the sponge may look a tiny bit wet on the top but don’t be fooled, the sponge will be fully cooked.
- Use a plastic knife or spatula to loosen the edges of the sponge from the side of the bowl.
- Carefully turn the sponge out onto a serving plate or you can simply use a large spoon to serve straight from the bowl.Note – Be very careful as the syrup will be piping hot.
- Serve hot with lashings of custard.