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Burnt Sugar Steamed Pudding

Burnt Sugar Steamed Pudding

  • Author: Sylvie Taylor
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 10
  • Category: Crumbles & Puddings
  • Cuisine: New Zealand


A real Maori treat is this traditional steam pudding that is often found served on special occasions such as a hangi or alongside a family gathering with a boil up.


Burnt Sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
1 cup freshly boiled water
350 grams / 2 1/2 cups plain flour
250 grams / 1 1/4 cups superfine/caster sugar
250 grams / 8.8 ounces butter, cubed and chilled
1 teaspoon ground spices (see note)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs, beaten


  • Before you do anything, make sure the bowl you will be using to make the steamed pudding fits well into your pot with water in it (you want it be a little snug so it doesn’t bounce around in the simmering water).
  • Place the sugar into a saucepan on medium high heat and ensure the sugar is evenly covering the base of the pot.
  • Meanwhile, boil your water and measure out a cup.
  • As soon as the sugar is a caramel color and fully dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in a third of the boiled water.
  • Add another third of the water and stir, repeating with the last portion.
  • Pour the burnt sugar mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • With your prepared pot to steam the pudding in (see note), place on low to medium heat with the lid on.
  • To make the pudding, place the flour and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add in the cubed butter and rub the butter in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add in the ground spices and baking soda and stir through, making a well in the center, add in the beaten eggs and burnt sugar syrup.
  • Fold the dry mixture into the center to incorporate until the mixture resembles a loose batter.
  • If you are using a different bowl to steam your pudding, lightly flour the inside and pour your pudding into it, otherwise simply wipe the edges of your bowl so the baking paper can sit on top cleanly.
  • Measure out greaseproof baking paper that has at least 2 inches overhang on the edges of the bowl. Measure out aluminum foil that has at least 2 1/2 inches overhang.
  • Lay the greaseproof paper down on your work bench and lay the aluminum foil on top ensuring it covers the greaseproof paper completely.
  • Pinch the middle of the two grabbing a 1/2 an inch and fold over to allow a small overlap in the event your pudding expands.
  • Lay the greaseproof and aluminum foil on top of the pudding (greaseproof side down) and press firmly to tighten the edges all around your pudding bowl.
  • Wrap twine around the edges tightly twice and tie one side, allowing an overhang of remaining twine to each the other side of your bowl.
  • With the overhang, pull tightly to the other side of your bowl and tie securely to the twine that has been wrapped (this will be your ‘handle’ to remove the bowl from the pot later).
  • Place the covered pudding in your pot for 2 hours with the lid on.
  • Remove the pudding from the heat and carefully unwrap.
  • Test it is fully cooked through with a skewer.
  • Invert onto your serving plate.
  • Slice and serve while warm with some pouring cream or custard.


Burnt sugar type: The sugar is not specified in most versions of this recipe so I stuck with superfine sugar for both the burnt sugar and pudding, however, the burnt sugar would be great if made with raw or light brown sugar also.

Type of ground spice in this dish: Only one recipe specified that usually the spice included in this is ground allspice, with some other versions calling for ground cinnamon, I’ve opted for a slight mix here with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Though this could easily have 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon alone included as the spice flavor is very light.

Size of pot this steamed pudding was cooked in: My pot allows 6 1/2 liters and I had water up to the 2 liter mark for my bowl to fit securely therein.

Covering your bowl correctly before steaming: If you are unsure on how to cover the pudding bowl with greaseproof paper and aluminum foil, skip to minute 8 of this video.

Adapted from


  • Calories: 420 calories per serve
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