Treacle pudding


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (*omit if using salted butter)
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 40ml treacle
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter, extra to grease the pudding bowl


Rich in colour and flavour yet simple to prepare, this classic steamed pudding is a winner in the cooler months. This recipe is from The cookery book of good and tried recipes first published in 1895 (Angus & Robertson, Sydney, later published as The Presbyterian cookery book) well-worn copies of which survive in the Meroogal and Rouse Hill House & Farm collections.


Prepare the steamer and pudding basin.
Use a stockpot or large saucepan with a close-fitting lid, that can accommodate the pudding once the lid is on. Place a trivet (or an upturned saucer wrapped in a folded kitchen cloth) in the base of the pot. Stand the pudding basin on the trivet and fill the pot with enough water to reach 2/3 up the side of the basin. Remove the basin and bring the water to the boil as you prepare the pudding bowl.

Wipe the basin dry and grease the inside with butter. Line the base with a circular piece of baking paper cut to size.
To make the pudding
Sift the flour, soda and ginger into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt, if using and stir to combine the ingredients. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub them into the dry mixture until barely detectable.
Using a metal spoon dipped in hot water, drizzle the treacle into the dry mixture, then gradually stir in the milk to make a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pudding basin, and seal with pinch-pleated foil (for instructions see 'How to seal a pudding basin' in the recipe list or
Carefully place the pudding into the steamer, being aware that the water and steam can burn you. Adjust water level if necessary, and simmer for 2 hours, checking the water level every 20-30 minutes, topping up with freshly boiled water from the kettle as necessary.
Serve while still hot (remove the foil carefully), straight from the basin into bowls or invert the pudding onto a plate to cut into slices at the table.

Custard is the traditional accompaniment, or substitute for cream or ice-cream, with a sprinkling of grated nutmeg as a final flourish.

The pudding can be made in advance, and kept in the refrigerator in its sealed basin, once cooled. The pudding can be reheated in the steamer, but to avoid temperature shock, place the pudding into the steamer with cold water and heat he water and pudding together, simmering for half-an-hour or until the centre of the pudding is hot when tested with a skewer.

Have you tried this recipe?

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