ESB Bake Off : Pudding Week : Mini Syrup Sponges

Updated: Jan 31

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog! I hope you enjoyed the latest post in my ESB Bake Off blog series with its’ recipe for Poppy Seed Plaits. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can catch up here!

My next bake inspired by the signature challenges of the first series of GBBO is the perfect one to enjoy as we approach autumn – Puddings.

For Pudding Week, I have chosen a bake I have wanted to try for a long time – Mini Syrup Sponges. A Friday night tradition in our house is to have a supermarket bought steamed pudding as the dark nights draw in, and I have always been fascinated to try and make one myself. Having looked through recipes online, I landed on a simple one from Good Housekeeping which I have tweaked slightly and I will share my tips with you.

The main difference I have made to the recipe is to steam the puddings instead of baking them in an oven in a bain-marie. This was partly due to necessity but as we always steam the ones we buy, I wanted to be able to replicate the method. I used Tate and Lyle traditional golden syrup for my topping but you can obviously use any brand you fancy.

To accompany the recipe, here is my ukulele cover ‘Life’s a Happy Song’ from The Muppet Movie, that always makes me feel cosy when I hear it!

Without further ado, here is the recipe for Mini Syrup Sponges…


Makes 4 individual steamed puddings


4 tbsp. golden syrup (plus extra to drizzle)

125g butter, softened (plus extra to grease the basins)

125g caster sugar

125g self raising flour, sifted

2 eggs

Zest of a lemon

5 tsbp. milk

Cream, to serve


A large mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A table knife

4 mini plastic pudding basins (with lids)

A tablespoon

A large saucepan or steamer



  1. Use softened butter to heavily grease four mini pudding basins with lids, then spoon 1tbsp golden syrup into the bottom of each. (ESB Top Tip : Plastic basins with lids make it easier to steam, as they are water-tight. And although it seems odd, it is just as important to grease the lid with butter so it doesn’t stick to the mixture!)

  2. In a large bowl, beat together 125g each softened butter and caster sugar with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. (ESB Top Tip : I did this by hand with a wooden spoon so don’t be put off making this if you don’t have an electric mixer.) Gradually beat in 2 medium eggs, one by one, followed by the finely grated zest of ½ lemon.

  3. Next, fold in 125g self-raising flour and 5tbsp milk until smooth. Divide among the basins, then cover each basin with its lid. Place in a large saucepan on top of a heatproof saucer or scrunched up rough circle of foil to keep the bases of the puddings off the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour enough boiling water to come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the basins, avoiding pouring it on top of the lids. Steam on a strong simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until the sponge is thoroughly cooked through and looks like sponge. (ESB Top Tip : Plastic basins make this much easier as you can see the mix as it cooks!)

  4. Leave to cool in the basins for 5 minutes, then run a table knife around the inside of each basin to loosen. Then turn out each one on to a plate and drizzle over extra syrup, if you like. Serve immediately with cream. The perfect pudding for a dark evening!

Thank you for popping by my blog today. I hope you enjoyed the recipe for Mini Syrup Sponges which I shared with you. I would love it if you would like to join me in baking up some new delights, so if you decide to bake any of my selection, please do tag me in your pictures on Instagram @EnglishSingingB and use the hashtag #esbbakeoff.

I hope you can join me for my next instalment of ESB Bake Off but until then,

Happy Tuneful Baking!

English Singing Baker x

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