This vegan old-fashioned golden syrup loaf bread is adapted from a 1940s-1950s British wartime Margarite Patton recipe. As sugar was rationed, golden syrup was used to flavour and lightly sweeten the quick plain cake-like bread.
No yeast, no kneading, and no rising are required...and just five pantry ingredients. Also this quick bread doesn't need any oil or baking fat, or additional sugar. The result is reminiscent of a tea bread or banana bread consistency.
A slice or two of syrup loaf spread with vegan butter, jam or peanut butter is perfect for a tasty, budget-friendly breakfast, brunch, snack or supper.
Slices of syrup bread are especially delicious warm and toasted. Yum!
Origin of Syrup Loaf
The recipe for syrup loaf is adapted from a vintage Margarite Paton recipe 'Syrup loaf'. Margarite Paton was a celebrity chef and recipe book author, and during the Second World War she worked with the Ministry of Food to advise the public on how to cope with food rations and shortages.
Paton also provided many simple recipes that were a god-send to stressed out home cooks that were doing their best to make do with what little they had. These recipes were published in books, pamphlets and aired over the BBC radio show The Kitchen Front.
Sugar was subject to rationing during WW2, and although golden syrup was not included within the main rationing it was subject to a point system. Each person was provided with a set number of points and could choose from items including tinned food, dried fruits, cereals, pulses, biscuits and golden syrup depending on how many points they had to spend.
Many recipes were produced that sought to substitute the precious rationed sugar, and golden syrup [also known as light treacle] was a popular choice as it was very sweet with a thick velvety buttery texture, and lovely caramel flavours.
Although bread was not rationed during the actual war years 1939-1945, it was rationed for a few years after the war ended. So having recipes for quick and easy loafs of bread that could be prepared with a few simple ingredients were life savers for hungry families. Syrup bread fitted the bill nicely.
Cost of Living Crisis
Here in the UK, and of course many other countries, we are currently experiencing a cost of living crisis with rising fuel, energy and food costs.
Food prices on the Scottish island, where my family reside, have risen even more compared to the main land, as prices were already high before the current crisis began. Locals used to joke that they needed a second mortgage just to shop at our one and only supermarket!
So out of necessity I am currently researching and adapting budget-friendly but hopefully tasty vegan traditional recipes! Especially old wartime and great depression era recipes.
As always I appreciate any feedback and comments you may have about this blog and recipes, and I hope that you find the recipes useful.
I would love to hear about your own budget cooking experiences, advice or tips you may have. It would be wonderful if you would leave a comment below so that we can all benefit.
Also if you would like to see a particular traditional, vintage or old-fashioned recipe adapted into a vegan version, then do pop a message below and I will do my best.
Thanks so much!
How To Prepare Golden Syrup Loaf
Golden-syrup loaf is a plain quick bread sweetened lightly with a hint of golden syrup, so it is perfect for either sweet or savoury spreads or toppings.
To ring the changes, a few teaspoons of either cinnamon powder, ginger powder, mixed spice, or pumpkin spice can be added along with the flour, this also adds extra flavour.
Sieve self-raising flour [or replace with plain/all-purpose flour plus two teaspoons baking powder] along with bicarbonate of soda [baking soda] into a mixing bowl.
Pour the plant milk and golden syrup into a small saucepan.
Gently warm and whisk together.
Pour the milk-syrup mixture into the flour.
Stir and pour the batter into a 2 Ib loaf pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
The loaf is ready when it has risen, is golden and a skewer popped in comes out clean.
Leave the bread in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
[Please note: In case you are wondering the little craters on the bread are simply carbon dioxide from the bicarbonate of soda, which bubbles up during stirring and baking. I mention this as I was wondering the same thing!]
Recipe Notes and FAQS
Storage and freezing
Wrap syrup loaf with a layer of kitchen foil and place into a bread/cake container or a plastic food tub, and store in a cool, dry area, for 3-4 days.
Older slices can be toasted or popped into a warm oven for a few minutes to refresh.
If its very warm in your kitchen area then the syrup loaf can be stored within the refrigerator.
Syrup loaf can be frozen for 3-4 months. Place a piece of parchment paper between each slice as this will make it easier to pull out a few slices whenever needed. Or freeze the entire loaf, well wrapped.
A nice cup of tea, herbal tea, coffee, hot cocoa or a chilled glass of plant milk are all delicious accompaniments for syrup loaf.
Slices of syrup loaf are especially tasty toasted or grilled, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, snack or just whenever you fancy.
A few more ideas:
* Syrup loaf slices can be sliced and spread with vegan butter/margarine, vegan cream cheese, fruit jam, preserves, chutneys, pickles, vegan chocolate spread, Biscoff spread, etc.
* Top a slice of syrup loaf with mashed banana and perhaps a few broken walnuts.
* Slices of vegan cheese with perhaps some pickle/chutney
* A cup of wholesome rustic vegan soup such as Scottish lentil soup or old-fashioned Scottish potato soup or this budget-friendly tomato soup.
Golden syrup is a common British ingredient particularly well suited for baking recipes. The syrup is a by-product of the sugar-refining process and is also less commonly known as light treacle.
Golden syrup can usually be found within the baking aisle of British supermarkets, but if you are outwith the UK then the syrup can be found on Amazon or if possible check out your nearest British themed grocery store.
And yes golden syrup is vegan!
There are quite a few recipes on the blog that use golden syrup, so if you do invest in a jar or two then there will be no problem using it up! Golden syrup is also tasty drizzled over vegan pancakes.
Recipes with golden syrup:
* British chocolate flapjacks [oat slice]
* Old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies
* No-bake peanut butter cornflake cakes
* Slow cooker date and syrup steamed pudding
The loaf does require golden syrup for the subtle syrupy flavour and traditional feel, but of course you could experiment with a different syrup.
Although do bear in mind that a different syrup has not been tried and tested with this recipe. If you do use a different syrup do let us know how you get on.
More tasty vegan teatime breads and bakes:
Traditional Fruit Loaf Cake [the best and only one you'll ever need]
Old-Fashioned Golden Syrup Loaf
- 1 2 Ib loaf pan [1 kg/1 quart loaf pan]
- baking parchment [baking paper]
- 1 sieve
- 1 Small saucepan
- cooling rack or similar
- 4 tablespoon golden syrup [level measurements, dip the measuring spoon into boiling water before scooping up the syrup as this will result in cleaner, easier measures]
- 300 mililitres plant milk [such as soya/oat/rice]
- 255 grams self raising flour [or plain/all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder sieved through and a pinch of salt]
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan/180 C/ 356 Fahrenheit/ Gas 4.
- Pour the plant milk into the saucepan and add the golden syrup. Over a low heat stir with a fork or whisk until the milk and syrup are combined. Be careful not to boil, the milk mix should just be a little warm.300 mililitres plant milk, 4 tablespoon golden syrup
- Grease a loaf pan with a little margarine or oil and line with greaseproof paper if necessary.
- Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Stir through the salt.255 grams self raising flour, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 pinch salt
- Pour the plant milk and syrup mixture into the flour, scraping in any syrup that may be sitting at the bottom of the saucepan. Stir until everything is nicely combined.Although the cake batter doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.
- Scoop the mixture into the loaf pan and level the top.
- Bake on the middle shelf, for 25-30 minutes or until risen, lightly golden and a skewer popped in comes out clean. Fan ovens will likely bake quicker so check after 20-25 minutes to see how its going.
- Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes within the loaf pan before carefully removing.Cool on a wire rack or similar.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients can vary.
- Store syrup loaf wrapped in kitchen foil and place into a bread bin/cake tin or similar covered food container. Syrup loaf will be at its freshest for the first 1-3 days but will still be fine to enjoy for a few days longer.
- Slices of syrup loaf toasted or grilled and spread with margarine or vegan butter are really delicious as the edges of the loaf develop sweet crispy bits.
- Syrup loaf can be frozen for 3-4 months. Add a piece of baking paper between each slice as this will make it easier to pull our one or two slices whenever required.
- Golden syrup bread is delicious as a breakfast or brunch bread. Enjoy as is, or toast slices and then spread with vegan butter/margarine or your preferred spread. A dollop of fruit jam, peanut butter or mashed banana is also a tasty topping.
- For a snack have a slice of syrup bread along with a few vegan cheese slices, and perhaps a scoop of pickle/chutney, or a few sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Or for evening supper, enjoy a slice of syrup loaf with a nice cup of tea. Kids especially will love syrup bread slathered with vegan chocolate spread for an easy and inexpensive treat.
- For extra flavour or just for a change, add a few teaspoons of cinnamon powder, ginger powder, mixed spice powder, pumpkin spice powder, apple pie spice mix, etc.
Prepared this tasty golden syrup loaf recipe?
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Thanks so much, Jacq x