Slowing Down: the Path That Brought Me Back to Golden Syrup Dumplings

The dreaded gastro visited our house last week. Fortunately only one of us got sick. There is nothing quite like being under house arrest with a highly contagious child to slow things down. My little girl felt pretty rotten for a good few days, so between the endless loads of washing and endless cuddles on the couch, on the bed, and back on the couch, and in the kitchen… you get the picture, there were lots of cuddles,  I got the chance to catch up on some blog reading. A happy upside to a pretty crappy few days.

Fellow blogger, Danni, from Eat My Street posted a lovely old recipe for a ‘Good Cream Cake’ that she found written on a slip of paper. I loved the idea of someone from another generation, perhaps passed on now, or maybe enjoying their old age somewhere lovely eating their good cream cake with a delicious frequency that old age deserves.

I was curious about the recipe as “Good Cream Cake” doesn’t give a lot away. I decided to look it up in my Mum’s go-to cook book – the PWMU Cookery Book. PWMU stands for Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union. My Mum wasn’t Presbyterian but someone in the know gave her this gem – it was either a ‘glory box’ gift, engagement or part of a wedding gift – I can’t recall which one.

It was the go-to cook book for everything when I was growing up. The original version fell apart when I was a young adult, but was replaced again. After Mum died, I ended up with it. It is loaded with recipes from my childhood and beyond, as it was first published in 1904.

I looked up this Good Cream Cake but found no such description, although I did find a recipe for a ‘Plain Cake’ which had the same ingredients, but slightly different quantities and method. There was no mention of good or cream, sadly. I think both words add some excitement to what is essentially a ‘plain cake’.

However, as I browsed the pages of Mum’s book, something I hadn’t done since I was a child, I became very nostalgic. Recipes for pikelets, Lemon Delicious, Date Loaf, Tea Cake, lemon cheese cake (a regular birthday dessert growing up, which only yesterday I made for my husband’s birthday), and one of my favourites… Golden Syrup Dumplings.

Sunday Special Treat. 

I had completely forgotten about their actual existence. As soon as I lay my eyes on this recipe I knew that sometime over the weekend my family would be enjoying these little bombs of sugar and love – carb coma, here we come! In fact, I was so excited by these that Golden Syrup was my topic for The 100 Day Project the evening that I made them.

I don’t think there is a person in the world that deserves to miss out on the most simplest of pleasures, that is the Golden Syrup Dumpling. So here is the recipe for you to enjoy. It is so easy and quick, and perfect for a Sunday evening treat.

A word of warning: they are not pretty, any effort to pretty them up will be wasted. Golden Syrup Dumplings are a sensory taste experience, they deliver 10-fold on this front, to make up for their lack of aesthetic qualities.

Image courtesy of – ours were devoured way too quickly to snap a photo!

The Dumplings

1 cup of self-raising flour (150g)

2 tablespoons butter (40g)


The Sauce

1.5 cups of water (375ml)

1 tablespoon of golden syrup

1/2 cup of sugar (125g)

juice of one lemon

Rub butter in flour. Mix to a stiff dough with a little milk. Form into balls (slightly larger than tea spoon size). Bring water, syrup, sugar and lemon juice to the boil. Drop the dumplings into the boiling syrup and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with cream or ice-cream. 

So, while illness is not fun, it can sometimes bring moments of lovely serendipity. It can make you slow down, look around (enjoy the multitudes of cuddles), and rediscover something lovely. 

I’d love to hear about your favourite recipes from your childhood.

Was there something lovely that your Mum used to make you?

Share in the comments below. xx


  1. Jenny Jessop says

    Sounds devine, ill have to give them a go! My mum would always cook our favorite dinner if it was our birthday or had just come out of any childhood sickness i.e gastro! It made us feel so special. She still does the same when any of us go home to visit her. Favorite memory meals would def be semolina, creamed rice and the not so nice tapioca pudding!

    • collette says

      Oh my gosh – creamed rice – definitely the same ilk I think. The dumplings come highly recommended, and you could do them savoury also, with a lovely slow cooked stew. xx

  2. says

    Oh I really must make these very soon. And date loaf, I remember that. It is particularly something that old ladies used to offer when you visited as a child, with butter spread on the slices of course, and rock cakes! Do you remember rock cakes? I have a little paperback called The Green and Gold Cookery Book ‘containing tried and tested recipes, contributed by experienced housewives and cookery experts’, circa 1923. It is wonderful! I am very nostalgic too now.
    May gastro stay well clear of you for a very long time to come xx

    • collette says

      Date loaf with walnuts! It was so yum, but yes only ever available from old people. I remember rock cakes, can’t say I was a fan though. I just love the old recipes – they really have stood the test of time! Fingers crossed that is the end of the gastro! xx

  3. says

    They look so good. Love the golden syrup drawing too. That’s the proof that you really slowed down: you had time to draw the ingredients!
    My mum made a coffee cake when I was young that I’ve tried to recreate so often and never quite got right. She shrugs it off as nothing special but I can still taste it. She’s lost the original recipe. Argh! So I will have to keep experimenting…

    • collette says

      I think there is a recipe for Coffee Cake in my Mum’s PWMU book, I can jot it down for you and you can see if it compares to your Mum’s. I feel like the PWMU book has all the answers. Let me know if you want me to look it up and I’ll share it here if you’re keen. xx

    • collette says

      So true! I am making a concerted effort to slow down our home life. My daughter used to complain on occasion that ‘we haven’t been out today’ – like it’s something terrible, but now she asks to cook something yummy, or play scrabble instead. I love that.

What are you thoughts?