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Orange, clove and ginger treacle sponge recipe

Orange, clove and ginger treacle sponge recipe

5 ratings

A steamed sponge pudding is a British classic and the perfect comfort food for cold weather. This sticky treacle sponge pudding recipe is extra warming with its orange flavour and gentle spices of cloves and ginger. Serve with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 10 mins to prepare and 1 hr to cook, plus cooling
  • 594 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup, plus 4 tbsp extra for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 orange, zested, plus 2 tbsp juice
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 2 stem ginger balls, finely chopped, plus 2 tsp syrup from the jar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

For the decoration

  • 200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 small oranges, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1 orange, zest pared with a vegetable peeler, then cut into long thin strips
If you haven't got any white bread, try using brown instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    22g 31%
  • Saturates

    12g 60%
  • Sugars

    77g 85%
  • Salt

    0.5g 8%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 100.2g Protein 5.8g Fibre 2.3g


  1. Grease a 750ml microwave-safe bowl generously with butter. In a mixing bowl, combine the golden syrup with the breadcrumbs and orange juice. Spoon into the base of the pudding basin.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the sugar, 1 tsp of the ginger syrup and the orange zest, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sift in the flour and cloves, then fold through. Stir through the chopped stem ginger. Spoon into the basin on top of the golden syrup mixture.
  3. Lay a large sheet of baking paper on top of a sheet of foil. Fold a pleat in the centre of the foil and paper to give the pudding room to rise as it cooks. Cover the top of the pudding basin so that the paper is next to the sponge mix and the foil is on the outside. Tie tightly with kitchen string to secure. Put an upturned saucer in a large, lidded saucepan. Place the pudding on top and pour enough boiling water into the pan to fill the bowl up halfway. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hr or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the bowl for 15 mins.
  4. Meanwhile, for the decoration, put the caster sugar in a pan with 250ml water. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices and pared orange strips, then simmer for 10-12 mins, until tender and the pith is translucent. Transfer the orange slices and strips to a wire rack set over a baking tray to cool.
  5. When the strips are cool enough to handle, wind them around a skewer of chopstick to create a spiral effect. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool completely.
  6. For the drizzle, mix the remaining golden and ginger syrups. Use a small palette knife to run around the edge of the pudding, then invert onto a serving plate. Spoon over half the drizzle. Decorate with the orange slices and spirals, then spoon over the remaining drizzle.

Tip: This treacle sponge can be cooked in the microwave. Cover with a single layer of baking paper (without the foil) with a pleat in the middle. Tie with kitchen string to secure, then cook on high (at 800W) for just 5 mins. It will still taste delicious!

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