Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Recipe

Last updated on May 17, 2024

Mary Berry Treacle Sponge
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins

Mary Berry Treacle sponge is a quintessentially British dessert that has warmed the hearts and homes of families for generations. Its rich, sweet flavor, paired with the comforting texture of sponge cake, makes it a perennial favorite.

This recipe serves 6-8 people and takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish, including both preparation and cooking times.

Follow along as I guide you through each step of making this iconic dessert, offering practical tips to ensure your treacle sponge turns out perfectly.

What is Mary Berry Treacle Sponge?

Mary Berry’s Treacle Sponge is a traditional British dessert made with a golden syrup-infused sponge cake, typically steamed to a soft and moist perfection.

Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Timeless Appeal: The classic flavors are a hit across all ages, making it a perfect family dessert.
  • Comforting Texture: Its soft, moist texture makes every bite simply delightful.
  • Versatile Serving Options: Excellent on its own or paired with custard or cream.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Treacle Sponge

  • Golden Syrup: 300 grams (about 10.5 ounces or 0.66 pounds) – This is the star of the dish, providing a rich, caramel-like sweetness.
  • Butter: 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces or 0.22 pounds), softened – Adds creaminess and helps to create a fluffy texture.
  • Sugar: 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces or 0.22 pounds) of caster sugar – For that perfect sweet balance.
  • Eggs: 2 large – They bind the mixture together and contribute to the sponge’s airy lift.
  • Self-Raising Flour: 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces or 0.22 pounds) – Contains a leavening agent to help the sponge rise.
  • Milk: A few tablespoons to loosen the batter if needed.


  • Steaming Pot: Cook the sponge thoroughly, preserving its moisture.
  • Mixing Bowls: For preparing the batter.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure all your ingredients.
  • Pudding Basin or Heatproof Bowl: This will hold your batter and syrup in the steamer.
  • Whisk or Electric Mixer: To ensure your batter is smooth and well-combined.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Treacle Sponge

Step 1: Prepare Your Steamer

  • Fill your steaming pot with water up to about a quarter of its height and bring it to a simmer. Make sure there’s a trivet or rack at the bottom to place the pudding basin on.

Step 2: Grease the Basin

  • Lightly butter a 1.2-liter pudding basin. Drizzle about 4 tablespoons of golden syrup at the bottom.

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients

  • In a separate bowl, sift together the self-raising flour and a pinch of salt.

Step 4: Cream Butter and Sugar

  • In another bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.

Step 5: Add Eggs

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Step 6: Combine with Flour

  • Gradually fold in the sifted flour, mixing gently to keep the air in the batter. If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of milk to reach a dropping consistency.

Step 7: Pour into Basin

  • Spoon the batter into the prepared basin on top of the golden syrup.

Step 8: Cover with Foil

  • Securely cover the basin with a piece of greased foil, then place a lid or another piece of foil on top. Ensure it’s sealed well to prevent steam from entering.

Step 9: Steam

  • Place the basin in the steamer and cover it with a lid. Steam for about 1.5 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated. Top up with boiling water if needed.

Step 10: Test and Serve

  • To check if the sponge is done, insert a skewer into the center. It should come out clean. Once cooked, let it cool slightly before inverting onto a plate. Serve warm.

Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Recipe

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Treacle Sponge?

Enhancing your treacle sponge with complementary sides can turn a simple dessert into an extraordinary treat. Here are some perfect pairings:

  • Classic Custard: Pour a generous helping of warm, creamy custard over the sponge for a traditional touch.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream adds a delightful contrast with its cool and creamy texture.
  • Fresh Cream: Lightly whipped cream balances the sponge’s richness beautifully.
  • Seasonal Berries: Scatter a mix of fresh berries for a refreshing and colorful addition.
  • Lemon Zest: Sprinkle lemon zest atop for a zesty twist that cuts through the sweetness.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Treacle Sponge

To ensure your treacle sponge is as delicious as possible, here are some expert tips:

  • Measure Accurately: Use precise measurements to keep the texture and flavor balanced.
  • Low and Slow: Steam gently to avoid the sponge becoming tough or chewy.
  • Check Water Levels: Keep an eye on your steamer’s water level to prevent it from running dry.
  • Seal Well: Ensure the foil is tightly sealed around the basin to keep steam from escaping.
  • Test Doneness: Always check with a skewer to confirm it’s perfectly cooked before removing from the heat.

Variations of Mary Berry Treacle Sponge

Experimenting with different flavors can transform the classic Mary Berry Treacle Sponge into something uniquely delicious.

Here are some creative variations to try:

  • Chocolate Chip Twist: Stir chocolate chips into the batter for a delightful chocolaty surprise.
  • Citrus Infusion: Integrate grated orange or lemon zest into the batter to add a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • Caramel Swirl: Before adding the batter, swirl some caramel into the golden syrup for a gooey, decadent twist.
  • Spiced Delight: Mix in cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for a warmly spiced version of this classic dessert.
  • Fruity Flair: Layer the bottom of the basin with sliced apples or pears for a fruity version that complements the syrupy sweetness.

How do I Store Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Leftovers?

Storing your treacle sponge properly ensures you can enjoy it for days after cooking.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Cool Down: Allow the sponge to cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Airtight Storage: Transfer the sponge to an airtight container to maintain its moisture and freshness.
  • Refrigerate: Keep the container in the refrigerator to preserve the sponge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing Option: For long-term storage, wrap the sponge well and freeze it. It can last up to 3 months when properly frozen.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Leftovers?

Reheating the treacle sponge correctly will help retain its delightful texture and taste.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Oven Reheating: Warm in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes.
  • Microwave Quickly: For a speedy option, microwave slices on high for 30-60 seconds until warm.
  • Steam to Revive: Re-steaming the sponge can help bring back its original moistness, especially if it has dried out a bit in storage.
  • Avoid Direct Heat: Don’t reheat directly on a stove or in a toaster oven, as these methods can dry out or burn the sponge.

Nutrition Value (per serving):

  • Calories: Approximately 300
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sugar: 35g


What Ingredients Are Needed for Mary Berry Treacle Sponge?

To make Mary Berry Treacle Sponge, you’ll need golden syrup, butter, caster sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, and a bit of milk. These ingredients combine to create a moist, flavorful sponge that’s a staple in British dessert cuisine.

How Long Does It Take to Make Mary Berry Treacle Sponge?

The total time to make Mary Berry Treacle Sponge is approximately 1.5 hours. This includes about 15 minutes of preparation and 1.5 hours of steaming, ensuring the sponge is perfectly soft and moist.

Can Mary Berry Treacle Sponge Be Made in Advance?

Yes, Mary Berry Treacle Sponge can be made in advance. It stores well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Ensure it is wrapped tightly to maintain its freshness and texture.

What is the Best Way to Serve Mary Berry Treacle Sponge?

Mary Berry Treacle Sponge is best served warm. It pairs wonderfully with custard, cream, or ice cream. Serving it warm enhances the sponge’s moisture and allows the golden syrup to be more flavorful, providing a comforting and satisfying dessert experience.

Final Words

There you have it, a sweet and simple treacle sponge, just like Mary Berry would make. It’s a classic British dessert that’s sure to bring smiles all around. Remember, it’s all about that golden syrup base and the soft sponge on top. Steam it, flip it, and serve it with your favorite side—custard or ice cream works wonders. Don’t worry if you’re prepping ahead of time; just keep it in the fridge. And if it’s too runny, breadcrumbs are your friend. Happy cooking, and even happier eating!

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