Home Life & Style Nigella Lawson's microwave syrup sponge pudding is 'ridiculously light' – recipe

Nigella Lawson's microwave syrup sponge pudding is 'ridiculously light' – recipe

Nothing beats digging into a sticky sweet yet hearty pudding on a cold evening, however, whipping up a dessert can sometimes be time-consuming which is why we often reach for a chocolate bar instead.

Treacle sponge pudding, also known as syrup sponge, is a traditional British dessert that consists of a light, steamed sponge cake and runny treacle.

The dish is often accompanied by fresh cream, custard and even ice cream.

This recipe from Nigella Lawson from the Ocado website takes 15 minutes to prepare and six minutes to cook.

Nigella describes the syrup sponge recipe as “ridiculously light” with a “feathery and open texture”.

She added: “This version differs from the traditional model in one way only; it’s cooked in a trice in the microwave.”

How to make Nigella’s quick syrup sponge pudding


  • 125g very soft unsalted butter, plus 10g for greasing the pudding bowl
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • One lemon, finely zested, ½ juiced (approximately 30ml)
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • Half tsp fine salt
  • Two large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 300ml double cream, to serve


1. Firstly, grease the plastic pudding basin and its lid with roughly 10g of butter. If you don’t have a pudding basin, a Pyrex bowl with cling film wrapped all the way around it will do.

2. Next, measure the golden syrup into the basin and set it aside.

3. Measure out the remaining butter into a mixing bowl with the sugar and lemon zest. Squeeze half of the lemon into a bowl and set it aside.

4. Add the flour and salt to another bowl and stir it together, setting it aside too.

5. Next, cream the butter, sugar and zest together with a wooden spoon. Once pale, beat in the egg followed by 1tbsp of the flour mix before adding the second egg and another tablespoon or so of flour. Beat the mixture until the flour has been completely absorbed.

6. Beat in the rest of the flour one tablespoon at a time. Once incorporated, beat in the lemon juice.

7. Pour and scrape the batter into the basin on top of the golden syrup. Do not mix them together. Carefully spread the top of the batter to make it smooth and even.

8. Clip the lid onto the basin or wrap it with cling film a few times and cook it in the microwave on 750W for six minutes.

9. Once cooked, allow it to stand for a couple of minutes.

10. Tip the pudding out carefully using oven gloves into a shallow bowl or lipped plate. If the pudding doesn’t come out straight away, give it a gentle shake.

11. Cut the pudding into slices and evenly distribute the syrup between the bowls. Serve with double cream.


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