Baking British Cake Recipes Vegetarian

Syrup Sponge Cake

Syrup Sponge Cake Recipe

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).

Syrup Sponge Cake Recipe

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.

How to Make Syrup Sponge Cake

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.

Recipe for Syrup Sponge Cake

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!

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!

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!

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

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you like my recipes, photos or food please leave a comment here...