• Ida's Golden Syrup Dumplings

Golden syrup dumplings always bring me happy childhood memories.  It was my grandmother, Ida, who introduced me to the dessert, and then she gave my dad the prized recipe typed up on her ribboned type-writer (the best novelty in the house when I was a kid).

We loved eating golden syrup dumplings: the sugary sauce, the warming liquid, the love that had gone into making them.

My grandmother told me a story, of a joke they once played on a greedy man.  He always served himself first, and always with the biggest portion.  To teach him a lesson, my grandmother and her friends schemed to make this dish with one big dumpling (the usual dumpling batter hiding an uncooked potato).  They were in hysterics when he bit into it.  The moral of the story?  Don’t be greedy and always serve others first.

When I first attempted to make this dish myself, I was surprised at how easy and quick it was.

On Saturday, my friends had travelled from interstate for Head of the Yarra.  With the dreadful weather forcing them to spend all day (from early morning till late afternoon) in the rain, I decided that this family favourite would be a well-received hypothermia cure.

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups of water

1 cup self-raising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
1 beaten egg
Milk to mix

As easy as GSD, put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, place on the stove and bring to the boil.

Whilst waiting for the sauce to heat, place the flour in a large bowl.  Rub in the butter.  Mix in the sugar and beaten egg.  Add enough milk to give a doughy texture like scones (a splash of milk is enough).  Mix together.

Place spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the boiling sauce.  Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.


  • If you have not had time to leave the butter for the dumplings out to soften before cooking, cut it into small chunks to make it easier to rub into the mixture.
  • Depending on how your lid seals your saucepan, you may need to add extra water before adding the dumplings if any has been lost while boiling.  Make sure it the water you add is boiling hot.  The liquid can then reduce once the dumplings are cooked.
  • The dumplings will expand as they cook.
  • If the sauce does not cover the dumplings entirely, turn the dumplings half-way through to ensure they fully cook.
  • Serve with lots of ice-cream or cream!  These goodies definitely need something to cut through the sweetness.  On Saturday we enjoyed ours with aniseed tea.  A glass of milk can also go down well.