Steamed Sponge Cake

A photo of a slice of Steamed Sponge Cake.

We had a couple of friends over in May and I have been meaning to write and tell you about the fantastic Steamed Sponge Cake I made for dessert, but you know how it goes – the rabbits had babies, the ducks sat on eggs way too long, the sheep continue to behave as though they have no brain cells whatsoever – life got in the way! This dessert / cake is so easy and delicious – I’ve made it several times now and it is great every time so I have decided to share the recipe. But first, some stories…

I think that our ducks are actually more stupid than our sheep and they are really hard to beat. These idiot ducks sit on eggs for weeks and weeks and then once the babies are born (ducklings are hatched in real speak), they are like,
“I think I’ll go on vacation. What are those fluffy things following me calling me Mommy?”

Dumbest beasts I have ever seen. Mother finally decides that if these 6 hour old fluff balls won’t leave her alone, she’ll take them to the pond 2m below ground level. The two smallest don’t make the jump, so she eventually takes them back to the nest and leaves the other six screaming babies freezing in the almost empty pond (we’re having a dry summer). Their screaming was soon followed by my husbands as I made him go into the hole in the ground to “save” the babies, but they didn’t want to be saved. So he got all scratched and covered in mud and the babies hid, still screaming, under stones and brambles.

Eventually the terrible sickness of “Screaming Exhaustion” set in and my husband and I, both scratched and muddy, were able to save them and return them to their mother. Who proceeded to bite me. So she is going in the pot once the babies are big enough. Bitch. My joys did not end here, as now the other mothers don’t like the fluff balls either and keep trying to bite them! So I took out my biggest pot and paraded it around the garden with a head of garlic over my shoulder and a bottle of red wine in my other hand. Them bitches now know I mean business and one more peck at those little babies and I shall be wiping duck fat from my lips… See why I haven’t had time to post this recipe before?!

A photo of Rob, Joerg, Pikey and Em.

So back to our dinner. Em and Pikey came over with Rob as his wife, Egyptian Jane, was off jetting around the world. You have been introduced to my mate Jane in the post “Ducklings are born to us”, where I made cracks about her Egyptian eggs (did you notice the pun??). Well, she proved me wrong and her 6 hour boiled eggs kept for months and we had them for starters at their house on Friday. Deelicious they were, is all I can say, and if I can convince her to let me have the recipe after all my joking, it will be duly posted. Rob, as you well know, is my fantastic website designer ( and shares our love of Duck Stew as he also has Indian Runner ducks and knows the joys of these brainless birds. They even peck on his office window demanding food while there are all these slugs slithering about begging to be eaten.

But they are actually really cute our duckies, with their long necks and the way they tilt their heads to one side when they look at you – Joerg says it is because they have to try and get the brain cells to collect in one spot so that they can think.

I interrupt myself yet again, so forget the ducks and let’s get back to the dinner guests! Em and Pikey worked in Oman for years and have lots of fun tales to tell about their times there. Em worked for the Royal Family (I always have to throw in my important friends!) and jetted around the world staying in posh hotels and doing posh things. No, I’m not jealous…well, not a lot and only ‘cos I adore her! Pikey also worked on the Falkland islands and he tells of troops that actually managed to lose tanks in the swamps (or bogs or something along those lines). I love it.
“But Sir, I swear I parked it right over there last night and now it’s just gone!”

So there was Pikey to the rescue. He can find ‘em and fix ‘em. He can fix anything. Last month my washing machine felt like a day out and just stopped working, so we lugged it into the car and drove almost an hour to Pikey’s. Well, the damn thing saw him, decided to be on it’s best behavior and worked no problem. Pity you can’t eat washing machines…

And on that food note, let’s eat some Steamed sponge cake for pudding!

A photo of sponge cake in the steamer.

(Serves 6 easily)

This cake was absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare. I warmed it in the microwave for 30 seconds the next day, spread it with more syrup and it was still great. I use my bamboo steamer mostly for savory stuff and it did smell a little fishy (thanks Em) during the cooking process. This did not affect the taste of the cake because of the use of the greaseproof paper, but I have since found a new steamer basket and made this again (and again) and it is great with or without the fishy smell!!

I used an electric mixer to beat the eggs, but you could use muscle power if you have it! This was the first time that I had made a steamed cake/pudding in my steamer and was surprised how easy and well it went. So this recipe comes highly recommended.

2 eggs, beaten well
397g tin condensed milk, sweetened
2 tbsp melted butter
250ml / 1 cup flour
1 tsp / 1 pkt baking powder
2 tbsp golden syrup

1. Beat the eggs for a good few minutes until they are quite thick. Add the sweetened condensed milk to the egg and beat it together well. Stir in the butter and fold in the sifted flour and baking powder.

2. Line an 18cm bamboo steamer with greaseproof paper (baking paper), pour the mixture onto the paper and cover. Place the steamer over a wok or a pan of boiling water and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes. (I pour a little more water into my wok during the cooking process to avoid drying out and cracking my wok!)

3. Put onto a serving plate and spread with the syrup. (I originally left out this step as I thought it might be too sweet, but it isn’t and it’s really worth it.) Serve with extra syrup and cream if desired. Serve immediately as it tastes great still slightly warm. I served mine with some homemade raspberry sauce which was a great color contrast.

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