Sticky Toffee Pudding is a decadent but simple dessert you’re going to love. We combine brown sugar and dates to make the perfect sponge cake and top it with a warm toffee sauce. Each bite will literally melt in your mouth.
The Best Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
A pub menu staple in Great Brittain, Sticky Toffee Pudding isn’t a pudding at all. Instead, it’s a buttery sponge cake smothered in warm toffee sauce. This decadent dessert is often paired with fresh whipped cream or cold vanilla ice cream. Yum!
My version of Sticky Toffee Pudding is absolutely AMAZING! The brown sugary date flavor of the cake combined with the warm toffee sauce is absolute heaven. Each bite literally melts in your mouth. It’s fancy enough to be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas desserts menu but simple enough to make on any day of the week. Your guests will love it!
I recommend using Medjool dates for this recipe. They add the perfect amount of sticky sweetness to the cake without overdoing it. We’ll soften them up a bit with a hot water and baking soda bath so they can be mashed up and added to the batter.
Why I Love This Recipe
There are many variations on this recipe, but here’s what I love about this one.
- The Number of Dates: This recipe uses enough dates to add great flavor, but not so much that they overpower the cakes.
- No Molasses: I tried this recipe using molasses and felt that even a small amount overpowered the flavor of the cakes. I even tried adding some to the toffee sauce, and it overwhelmed that incredible toffee flavor. I recommend leaving molasses out of all sticky toffee puddings in the future!
- Ease of Making: There’s nothing too complicated happening here. It’s your standard creaming method for making cakes.
- Amazing Toffee Sauce: The toffee sauce has fantastic flavor, plus it’s very easy to make.
- Several Sizes: This recipe can be made in several sizes without adjustments other than baking time. It makes it really easy to customize for what you need.
What You’ll Need
This easy dessert comes together quickly and uses ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Scross down to the recipe card for actual amounts.
For the Cake
- Dates. Finely chop the dates until you have about 1 cup loosely packed. We’ll use boiling water and a little baking soda to soften them up enough to use in the cake.
- Boiling Water. This will be used to help soften the dates.
- Baking Soda
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Unsalted Butter: Let the butter sit on the counter for an hour to bring it to room temperature.
- Brown Sugar: You can use dark or light brown sugar based on your preference. I used dark in this recipe, which gives the cakes a deeper flavor.
- Eggs. Let the eggs come to room temperature as well.
- Vanilla Extract
For the Toffee Sauce
- Unsalted Butter: Since we’ll be heating up the toffee sauce, you don’t need to soften these ingredients.
- Heavy Cream
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Dark Corn Syrup: Make sure to use dark corn syrup if you can. It contains a type of molasses that adds great depth to the sauce.
- Salt: Don’t skip the salt! Even a pinch adds great flavor.
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make Sticky Toffee Pudding
These cakes can seem intimidating at first glance, but they are incredibly easy to make. I promise that they’re no more complicated than any other cake recipe. And you don’t have to wait for them to cool before digging in!
To Make the Cake
- Prepare for Baking. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare six 6-ounce ramekins with baking spray.
- Soften the Dates. Combine the chopped dates, boiling water, and baking soda and stir together. Set the dates aside undisturbed for 20 minutes. The mixture will bubble a bit and change as it sits. After 20 minutes, mash the dates with a fork until it gets thicker and looks almost like a lumpy, thick applesauce.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar. Add the butter and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream them together on medium speed until it becomes light in color and fluffy. This should take about 2 minutes.
- Add the Eggs and Vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined after each. Then, add the vanilla extract and mix until it’s fully incorporated.
- Add the Dry Ingredients and Date Mixture: In this step, we will add ingredients in a specific way to give the cake the best texture. To start, add half of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, and mix together until everything is well combined. Then, add the date mixture and stir until it’s been incorporated. Finally, add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and mix until you have a cohesive cake batter. Don’t overmix.
- Bake. Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While the cakes bake, you can start on the toffee sauce.
- Cool. When the cakes are done baking, let them rest for about 5 minutes in the ramekins, then turn them out onto serving plates.
To Make the Toffee Sauce
- Melt the Butter. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on the stove.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients. Add the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt to the melted butter. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking it occasionally. Simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the Vanilla. Once the pan is off the heat, add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Cool. Set the pan aside to cool slightly. The toffee sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.
- Sauce the Cakes. Pour the toffee sauce over the cakes and serve warm.
Other Ways to Serve Sticky Toffee Pudding
This Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe is perfect for serving your family or a small party after dinner. But, if you’re expecting a larger crowd or need to travel with the dessert, try these variations.
- To Serve a Crowd. If you have a number of guests coming over, regular-sized cakes may not be practical. Instead, bake the cakes in muffin pans for a smaller serving size. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then tip them onto plates. Top each mini-cake with warm toffee sauce and serve. This should make between 12-14 mini-cakes.
- To Travel. Cooking this as a regular cake will be much easier if you need to travel with it. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan and bake it for 28-32 minutes. When you reach your destination, cut pieces of cake and pour warmed toffee sauce on top.
How to Store Leftovers
If you have leftover cakes, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Store the sauce in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve the cakes, warm them up and top them with heated toffee sauce.
Can I Freeze Sticky Toffee Pudding?
You can freeze the cakes for up to 3 months. Wrap each cake tightly in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze the toffee sauce separately. Thaw the cake and sauce in the fridge overnight when ready to eat. Warm the cake and pour hot toffee sauce over the top.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 cakes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Brittish
Sticky Toffee Pudding is a decadent but homey dessert you’ll love. We combine brown sugar and dates to make the perfect sponge cake and top it with a warm toffee sauce. Each bite will literally melt in your mouth.
For the Cakes
- 7 ounces (198g) pitted dates, chopped (7–10 dates, depending on size)
- 3/4 cup (180ml) boiling water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (168g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Toffee Sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup (168g) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp dark corn syrup
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare six 6-ounce ramekins with baking spray.
- Combine the chopped dates, water and baking soda and stir together, then set aside undisturbed for 20 minutes. It will bubble a bit and change as it sits. Mash the dates with a fork until it forms a thicker mixture, almost like a thick, lumpy applesauce.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Add the butter and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream them together on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at time, mixing until well combined after each, then add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until mostly combined. Add the date mixture and mix until well combined, then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until fully combined, but don’t over mix.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- While they bake, make the toffee sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Simmer for 5-8 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
- When the cakes are done baking, let rest for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto plates. Pour the toffee sauce over the cakes and serve.
To bake these in a muffin/cupcake pan, fill each about 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes. It’ll make 12-14 of this size.
To bake this in an 8 inch square pan, pour the batter into a greased pan and bake for 28-32 minutes.
Keywords: sticky toffee pudding, sticky toffee pudding cake, sticky toffee pudding recipe, Christmas desserts, Thanksgiving desserts
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I served this recently for a monthly dinner party and one of my guests said, “this is the best thing I’ve ever had”. Now that is high praise! This was an easy recipe to pull together and tasted wonderful. I highly recommend – it will quickly become a comfort dessert in your recipe file. Thank you for sharing!
Wonderful! I’m so glad it was a hit!
I would like to make this, but I don’t have any ramekins. Can I use a muffin tin?
Yes, the instructions for using a muffin pan are in the notes at the bottom of the recipe.