Sticky Toffee Pudding

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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.

Eating the sticky toffee pudding

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
  • Salt
  • 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.
Combing dry ingredients for stick toffee pudding
  • 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.
Fully mixed sticky toffee pudding batter
  • 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.
Drizzling toffee sauce over the cake
  •  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. 
A bite taken out of a sticky toffee pudding

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.

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Sticky toffee pudding on a white serving plate
Recipe

Sticky Toffee Pudding

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Brittish

Description

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.


Ingredients

For the Cakes

  • 7 ounces (198g) pitted dates, chopped (710 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare six 6-ounce ramekins with baking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the eggs one at time, mixing until well combined after each, then add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  6. 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.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

 


Notes

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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10 Comments
  1. Jennifer

    I made this recipe for our monthly Supper Club and got rave reviews. One guest even announced it was the “best dessert ever”! ❤️. This is decadent without much effort. So scrumptious!!

    1. Lindsay

      I mean, it’s made with dates, so you could call it a date cake. I’m not really sure what you mean though.

  2. Alaina

    This is a delicious recipe that is fairly east to make. I have made it a few times now for special events and now it is requested from my family. Probably one of the best desserts I have ever made. Thank you for your easy to follow and delicious recipes.

  3. Jennifer

    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!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29