Steamed Sponge Puddings

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

 

A real family favourite for a cold winter’s day. A very light sponge pudding that’s very quick and easy to prepare, and with a number of variations to choose from.

 

Steamed Sponge Puddings
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp)
  • 115g (4 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1 cup)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp milk

  • You will also need a 600 ml (1 pint) pudding basin and a steamer.


  1. Method
  2. Beat the egg in a small jug and then add the milk. Put to one side.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Then gradually fold in the flour alternately with the egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  4. Alternatively put all the ingredients in a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder. Beat until you have a smooth, creamy mixture that will drop gently from a spoon.

  5. Grease the pudding basin and add mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and be secured tightly. Then cut a second length to make a handle which will make it easier to remove the hot basin at the end of cooking.

  6. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep-sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than halfway up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil, and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert onto a plate and serve.

  9. Serve with a fruit or chocolate sauce.

  10. To make a pudding for 2
  11. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  12. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  13. To make a pudding for 6
  14. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  15. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.

  16. Variations of the basic recipe

  17. Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding
  18. Fruit Sponge Pudding
  19. Fold in 50g/2 oz sultanas to the basic mixture just before pouring into the basin.
  20. Serve the pudding with custard.
  21. (Click here for full recipe)

  22. Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding
  23. Jam Sponge Pudding
  24. Place 2 tbsp of jam in the bottom of the basin before adding the mixture. Raspberry jam works well.
  25. Serve with extra jam.
  26. (Click here for full recipe)

  27. Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding
  28. Syrup Sponge Pudding
  29. Place 2 tbsp of golden syrup in the bottom of the basin before adding the mixture.
  30. Serve with extra golden syrup.
  31. (Click here for full recipe)


Updated: January 9, 2019

Old Fashioned Rock Cakes

Old Fashioned Rock Cakes

 

Scrumptious, light and crumbly little rock cakes that are made with mixed fruits and spices.

 

Old Fashioned Rock Cakes
Prepares: 12 cakes
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 325g (12 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (3 cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 170g (6 oz) light brown sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • ½ tsp mixed spice (or ½ tsp made up of cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger)
  • 170g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 40g (1½ oz) currants (¼ cup)
  • 40g (1½ oz) sultanas (¼ cup)
  • 40g (1½ oz) raisins (¼ cup)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/ extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1–2 tbsp milk

  • Equipment
  • 2 baking sheets/baking trays, lined with parchment paper


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, breaking up any lumps of sugar that cling together. Next mix in the spices.

  4. Add the butter and rub in using the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  5. Now stir through the dried fruits.

  6. Sprinkle the egg over the mixture and start to bind in, adding a little milk, if necessary, until a stiff dough has formed.

  7. Make 12 mounds of the dough on the baking sheets but do not smooth them out, the surface needs to look irregular.

  8. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes until they become golden brown.

  9. Remove from the oven and leave for a couple of minutes to cool a little. Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling and then store in an airtight container.

 

Tea Break Cookies

Tea Break Cookies

 

These are the most delectable cookies ever. An oatmeal cookie with sultanas and finely chopped pecans, decorated with chocolate swirls. A firm family favourite.

 

Tea Break Cookies
Prepares: About 20 cookies
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick), plus extra to grease
  • 115g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft, light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) golden syrup* (¼ cup)
  • 130g (4½ oz) plain flour/cake and pastry (1 cup)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • 100g (3½ oz) jumbo porridge oats/large rolled oats (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 85g/3 oz sultanas (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g/3 oz pecan halves, roughly chopped (⅔ cup)

  • * Golden syrup isn’t readily available in North America. There are some supermarkets that sell it in Canada. Otherwise, I manage to get it in the small British stores that are around. The closest alternative would be runny honey. It is not quite as stiff as golden syrup, but close, and it does have some flavour too.

  • To decorate
  • 40g (1½ oz) plain/semi-sweet chocolate (6 pieces)

  • Equipment
  • 2 large baking trays/cookie sheets, lightly greased


  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F) (gas 3)

  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Separately, stir in the golden syrup and egg until combined.

  5. Fold in the flour, cinnamon and oats.

  6. Finally, gently fold through the sultanas and nuts.

  7. Put tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays. spacing them well apart, and bake for 12–15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Once melted, set to one side to cool a little, about 10 minutes.

  9. Once the cookies have become cold, drizzle over the chocolate. This can be done either by using a spoon or by piping (use a piping bag with a small, plain nozzle). Leave the chocolate to set before storing in an airtight container.

Updated: April 6, 2017

Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding

Fruit Sponge Pudding

 

Very quick and easy to prepare – a very light sponge pudding that has sultanas folded into it before steaming. Pour creamy custard over for a warming winter’s dessert. This is a modern version of the traditional British “spotted dick”, where suet has been replaced with butter.

 

Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, large(U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 50g/2 oz sultanas

  • Equipment
  • 500ml/1 pint pudding basin
  • Steamer


  1. Method
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  3. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  4. Fold the sultanas into the mixture.

  5. Grease the pudding basin and add the mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  6. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it on to a plate and serve with custard.

  9. To make a pudding for 2
  10. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  11. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  12. To make a pudding for 6
  13. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  14. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.