Simple Syrup Recipe by William Curley

Simple Syrup Recipe by William Curley

This is a basic recipe used mostly for soaking sponges and cakes.

Makes 400ml (14fl oz/13 /4 cups)

  • 225ml (8fl oz / scant 1 cup) water
  • 190g (6 1/2oz / scant 1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 1/2 peels of lemon zest
  • 1/2 vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways


1. Put the water, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean) into the water and drop in the empty pod (bean) too. Bring to the boil and cook for 2–3 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Flavor variation

Light Syrup: make a syrup as above using 600ml (1 pint / 2 1/2 cups) water, 300g (10 1/2 oz / 1 1/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar and the 1 split and scraped vanilla pod (bean). Makes 800ml (28fl oz / 3 1/3 cups).

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