Syrups (honey included) are a great way of sweetening and flavouring cake. Their viscous nature and rich flavour enhances almost any sponge far more than most sugars – this recipe for syrup sponge cake is no exception. Their use is a fool-proof way to ensure a moist, dense and well-textured crumb, as well as a deep, almost burnished flavour.
Syrup, in my opinion, also does away with the need for overly sweetened layers of icing, which usually have the effect of drowning the natural flavour of your sponge in a little too much decadence. Any syrup you can think of will work well here (except perhaps corn syrup), particularly golden syrup or maple syrup.
You may have noticed that I’m rather keen on golden syrup, though it has been brought to my attention time and time again that many of you don’t know what it is – I guess it doesn’t really exist on the other side of the pond. Golden syrup is technically pale treacle, produced by refining – inverting – sugar cane juice to produce a sugar. By far the largest producer of golden syrup in Britain, and probably the world, is Tate & Lyle, first founded in 1881 (though it was known simply as Lyle’s until 1921).
By the way, today is World Baking Day, so get baking and sharing – everyone appreciates a slice of cake or two (three). You know, this syrup sponge cake wouldn’t be a bad place to start – if I can make it, you certainly can!
Syrup Sponge Cake
Makes one 20 x 20cm tray cake
• 125ml of syrup, golden or maple
• 30g caster sugar
• 110g butter
• 50g ground almonds
• 2 eggs
• 200g self-raising flour
1. Grease and line your cake tin, heating the oven to 170C. Melt together the syrup, sugar and butter over a low heat. Beat in the eggs and almonds before folding in the flour and pouring into the prepared tin.
2. Bake the cake for around 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. Cut into squares and enjoy with a healthy dollop of ice cream.
Cost: Considering everything it offers, syrup is a very reasonably priced ingredient. However, readers in Britain are unlikely to use maple syrup as it can be a little more costly than golden syrup and is probably better saved for pancakes! Still, this cake should set you back around £1.80.
68 replies on “Syrup Sponge Cake”
Oooh, syrup sponge is one of those cakes/desserts that is packed full of childhood memories. It’s been sadly overlooked in my adulthood, I shall rectify this stat!
Absolutely – you really must.
This cake looks like to be very moist & yummy!
Oh it is – it’s a pleasure to eat.
I do wish you wouldn’t post these yummy looking cakes right when I am working! I’m hungry for a slice now and would rather be baking and eating than writing!!!
I can almost smell the syrup!
Great post. X
Dreadfully sorry – thanks 😀
My favourite store in London (the other one, in Canada) carries golden syrup. I really must try some!
Ahha – you must! No excuses.
I’m going to go one better one of these days and make a cake featuring a syrup that I bet you haven’t tried before. In the interest of remaining mysterious, I’ll let you know when I’m making it!
Haha – I look forward to it 😀
I was just the lucky recipient of some incredible maple syrup from Quebec – this sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy it!
There’s no better way 😀
Whoohoo, World Baking Day! I am definitely going to embrace this (perhaps I can convince the family that it’s World Baking Week?) …and I will most certainly give this recipe a go!
Or perhaps World Baking Year?!
Lovely recipe mate, and great pics, especially the one with the drip of cream down, yum.
Thank you very much, Marcus!
An absolute classic! And this looks just about perfect. Lovely!
Thank you – it was superb.
This is my absolute favourite recipe ever. When I feel low I call my mum, she tells me the recipe (it is stored in her head) and I make it with her on the phone! I never write it down, and then promptly forget the recipe. I am going to make yours and see how it matches up… great minds though as I was going to do this as an up-and-coming food gem!! LOVE IT and I LOVE the addition of almonds. x
Blimey – glad you like it so much! Hope it matches up favourably!
Syrup just makes everything better!
You’re quite right!
I am fortunate enough to live in Northeastern Ohio, where fabulous maple syrup is prevalent. However, I’m also fortunate enough that my company has offices in Reading, UK where I get to visit a couple of times a year – and bring back delicious golden syrup! I do love the caramelized flavor. Can’t wait to try this cake, as I still have some left from last trip.
Fantastic! Though Reading isn’t the nicest place!
Most attractive and classy looking syrup sponge I’ve ever seen!
Looks great! I love Golden Syrup!
What a great looking cake! Yum!
I really need to find a supplier of golden syrup this side of the pond… 🙂
that is a damn fine looking cake!
Hah – thanks!
This looks delish! Now I’ll have to figure out a suitable substitute on the German market for golden syrup… ideas?
Maple syrup? You’ll probably find it over there to be honest.
Oh I was thinking more of the golden syrup… Maple syrup is here, but can be pricey.
It’s costly here too.
I agree about syrups and honey…this is a nice recipe. I am sorry that I haven’t been around, but I have not done much visiting and have not posted on my Food,Friends, Family blog for a long time, that is,until last night.I am glad to see you posting away and I will make the time to come back and see what I have been missing!
Thanks! I’ll be here for a while yet :D. Though I’m finding time more scarce!
1 in the morning here, I’m drinking a cup of tea, and I am dying to have a slice of that fluffy cake of yours. Looks very light and simple, and I can’t wait to try making it! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your comment – glad you like it.
Beautiful – I adore Golden Syrup and it really does add something special to cakes!
It really does – this one was so delicious.
Yummmm! I can’t wait to try this tasty looking recipe & endresult! 🙂
This looks wonderful and simple. Will try this tonight!
I love syrup too! It seems really old-fashioned, in a lovely, comforting sort of way. This recipe looks so easy, and the results so fluffy! Good work 🙂
It is old fashioned, but so utterly divine.
One word: MMMMMMMMMM!
Is that a word? 😀
Just made this, first one was an edible disaster… oven is a bit off temperature. Second one is in the oven now, but the first edible disaster was absolutely delicious (it had collapsed a bit in the middle, but only lost a little bit of it). I’m making a cake for our pop-up Cafe Yes, which has it’s second opening tomorrow. It is a Cafe where you pay what you think your food was worth or, if you cant afford to pay, you don’t have to. Lovely idea.
Shame about the disaster. Hope the second works better. I love the idea of your pop up cafe!
Can’t take the credit for it, there are ‘Cafe Yes’ pop ups all over the world, particularly in the USA. I went along, met some friends, made some new friends and came home with two free tomato plants. Lovely afternoon!
p.s. Second cake was lovely! Mr O is a new fan.
I’m glad the second cake turned out well! I’ve never seen a pop up like that here in Britain, but I think it’s a fabulous idea.
That cake looks so moist and delicious ! I love the idea of brushing syrup over cakes rather than icing.
I’m not a huge fan of icing…
The next step is supposed to be dipping the still-warm cakes into hot butter and sugar. I’ve tried to cut corners again by using demerara sugar instead of something finer. When will I learn? The crystals are just too massive!
Sometimes known as treacle sponge, it is more often, however, made with golden syrup. This great national institution was created by a thrifty Victorian Scot from the waste-products of his sugar refining business, and enjoyed by generations of doughty pudding lovers including Scott of the Antarctic, who commissioned photographs of penguins pecking at the familiar tins in an early example of product placement.
This looks delicious. We have a syrup in the American south called Golden Eagle that will work just fine.
Thank you for clearing that up! I was also confused about what golden syrup (and treacle) was. I saw a similar steamed sponge in Nigella’s book. This looks really delcious! I once tried making a cake using only honey as a sweetener, but it did not come out sweet enough.
No problem at all!
I served this as a cake with a cup of tea, but it would also be heaven warm with custard for dessert. It’s a joyously sticky cake – best eaten with a fork! At first it’s all about the golden syrup then the ginger burns through and you get that heavenly warming sensation in your mouth – I love ginger!
I love your blog, I bake no fuss down to earth cakes and I guess you can’t get much more down to earth than golden syrup cake. I would like to know however whether some of the sugar can be cut. If it can, would 20% be too much, or would it really, really affect the yumliness of the cake? I promise I am not a robot so would appreciate some advice.
Can you make it without the almonds? I have 2 nut-allergic children… very inconvenient when presented with recipes like this cake, which looks delicious.
Yes – don’t worry too much about the almonds. It’ll be lovely anyway.
Just adore golden syrup sponge, even better with ground almonds, we all loved it!
Comfort food at it’s finest…Gorgeous!
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