golden syrup dumplings

I adore these. They remind me of my childhood in the best possible way. We also made them at the cafe during winter and they were a bit of a hit; some people coming in especially on the days they were on. Which I think is a bit odd, because they are super easy to make and really best freshly cooked (although I do like them cold for breakfast, another childhood memory). G on the other hand, thinks they are horrid and a perfect illustration of bad anglo/australian cooking. Maybe it's the lemon. For me they have to be lemony.

It's really a boiled scone recipe and like with scones, it's important not to overhandle them. Quick and light is the way to do it.


For the dumplings
I cup white self-raising flour
pinch of salt
about 50 g butter
about 1/4 cup of half milk, half water

For the syrup
1/2 a cup of sugar
3/4 cup of golden syrup
juice of one reasonable sized lemon
2 cups of water

To make the dumplings
  1. Chop the butter into small pieces and rub into flour and salt, lifting to aerate. Don't worry if tt's not compltely even.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the mix and add in the milk/water mixing with a knife as you go, until you have a medium consistency scone like dough.
  3. Knead very lightly and briefly in the bowl. Just enough to make the mixture cohere.
  4. Roll into balls the size of a twenty cent piece (but round). The balls need to be reasonably smooth and well stuck together. Sit on a plate while you make the syrup.
To cook and serve
  1. Bring the syrup ingredients to a slow boil in a medium size saucepan.
  2. Drop balls into boiling syrup one at a time. They will puff up and double in size quite quickly.
  3. Don't overcrowd them, I usually cook the dumplings in two batches, adding a little extra water to the second batch.
  4. Move gently with a spoon to make sure they don't stick together.
  5. Cook for three to four minutes or until they are done in the middle.
  6. If you are not serving them straight away, store the dumplings on a tray and the remaining syrup in a separate container. They reheat pretty well in the microwave.
  7. Serve 2 or 3 per person with a little extra syrup, warm and with cream or icecream. I like either and it's hard to pick which one, but unlike some in my family, I think cream and icecream together is an abomination. I tend to go with the icecream here. Hot, cold. Very sweet.


  1. I think there may be as many variations of these as anzacs! I never had them as a kid and was first served them by a friend who added a quarter of an uncooked apple to the inside of each dumpling and baked the whole lot in the oven. They were totally fabulous. I tried to reproduce them using a recipe from the Age and they were a bitter disappointment. My friend says the syrup should have lots of butter and less sugar and golden syrup, but she couldn't find her recipe. Dammit. Then a few weeks ago I saw Karen Martini make them on the TV and she uses your stove top method, but also had butter in the syrup...I think I may be too scared to try them again lest I become obsessed by getting the recipe right and thus set myself up for eating them another 20 times...

  2. Sooz, I have a recipe from Cookery the Australian Way (circa 1977) which doesn't have lemon (I don't think, too lazy to go check), and Shula put one on her blog once. So now you have three recipes to scientifically test.
    (Hi Janet).

  3. I'm going to try these this weekend.