Irish Lemon and Blackberry Sponge Pudding

My oldest daughter made several trips to Ireland and always brought back an Irish cookbook for me.   In May of 1987, she brought home a copy of Irish Country Kitchen and on June 17, I made this wonderful sponge pudding for the first time.  We were living then in rural Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border, and every day I went to our back yard and picked a big bucket of wild blackberries.  I made several kinds of pie, jam, jelly, preserves and was running out of ideas when I tried this recipe.  It took a little adapting because of conversions and size of baking pans, but became a favorite.

This is a simple, light dessert of blackberries with a light sponge cake on top – just right for a summertime meal.


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries*
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F

Have at hand 4 individual casserole dishes.  Mine measure 4-1/2″ diameter across the top and are 2″ deep.

Have a large pan with sides in which you can bake the 4 casseroles.

Heat water for the pan in which casseroles are baked.

Place about 1/2 cup of blackberries on the bottom of each of four individual ungreased baking dishes and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.  Add the lemon juice and lemon peel, beating to blend.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the flour.  In another container, mix the two egg yolks and milk.

Add the dry ingredients to the lemon mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Fold into the batter.

Pour the batter over the berries (about 1/2 cup per serving).

Place the puddings in a flat pan with sides holding 1″ of hot water.  Bake the puddings @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown and gentle pressure with a finger tip leaves no impression.

Carefully remove pans from hot water and place on a rack to cool. 

*I can’t say whether frozen blackberries would work in this dish or not.  The original recipe called for fresh and that’s all I’ve ever used.

We like this dessert slightly warm or at room temperature.

We used to love this as our dessert after having a supper of a serving of meat and multiple servings of vegetables fresh from the garden (like new potatoes, peas, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, leaf lettuce, radishes, etc.).

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

7 thoughts on “Irish Lemon and Blackberry Sponge Pudding”

    1. Thank you. Nancy and I like this – Shannon won’t eat blackberries because of the seeds.

      The bowls are among the things that Nancy brought when she came to live here. Lillian

  1. I was looking for a recipe for an apple sponge pudding that my Aunty Mary used to make for us when we’d go over to Ireland when I found your blog. I relaised that I have this recipe book too but, shame on me, I’ve never cooked from it (I think my mum found it in a charity shop) I’m definitely going to give this recipe a go when the blackberries are in season – can’t wait! Now I need to track down the apple sponge recipe!

    1. I’ve made several recipes out of that cookbook. I’m waiting for the fresh blackberries, too. I’d also like to have the recipe for the apple sponge pudding – that sounds wonderful. Thank you for visiting and for introducing me to your blog. I scanned down through a couple of posts and found Elvis, the King – perfect. Lillian

      1. I’ve tried pinning down the recipe from my aunty but she’s one of those bakers that bakes by eye – a bit of this and a bit of that, and then maybe a little bit more of this. She’s been making it for years so she really knows what it should look like. It turns out perfectly every time and is absolutely delicious with softly whipped cream… brings me right back to my childhood!
        I’m looking forward to having a devle through your recipes tonight!

      2. Bakers like your aunt are the best kind. I’ve never been able to do that – I’ve always needed a recipe. It sounds so delicious. Lillian

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