Sticky Toffee Pudding is a super moist cake that is made with dates and is drenched in sweet, buttery toffee sauce. It is surprisingly easy to make and guaranteed to impress your guests.
Where is sticky toffee pudding from?
I tasted my first sticky toffee pudding while visiting Edinburgh, Scotland when I was pregnant with my son. It seemed nearly every restaurant menu boasted some version of this sweet, gooey dessert.
While it seems (at least to my American mind) like an olde English dessert, it appears to have been created as recently as the 1970s. That’s when it was served at Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in northwest England. But the recipe may have come to England via Canadian Air Force officers during World War II. So, who knows!
There are endless variations of this cake, which is a popular holiday dessert. What they all share is a base of
Pregnant or not, I could eat sticky toffee pudding any time. I ate a lot of it in my week of being pregnant in Scotland. It has since become my family’s traditional Christmas dessert.
What are the ingredients of sticky toffee pudding?
The ingredients are quite simple:
- Baking soda
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Sugar (granulated and brown)
- Vanilla extract
That’s it! And the only equipment you need is a mixing bowl, a spoon, a baking pan, and small saucepan.
Is it a steamed pudding?
Sticky Toffee Pudding is surprisingly easy to make. It’s just a simple cake batter enriched with dates that have been soaked in hot water. You can bake it in a Bundt pan, souffle dish, or individual ramekins or mini-Bundts. You can even make it in a regular round or square cake pan. I like to make it in either a 6-cavity mini fluted tube pan or a 6-cavity mini bundt pan.
While some versions of this dessert are steamed, similar to persimmon pudding or figgy pudding, this version is simply baked. The soaked dates and their soaking liquid make it very moist, so the end result is similar to those steamed desserts.
Can you make Sticky Toffee Pudding in advance?
Yes, it will keep just fine at room temperature for a couple of days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months. Store the sauce separately in the refrigerator, or make it fresh just before serving.
Thaw the cake overnight at room temperature before serving. If you like, warm it up a bit in the microwave before pouring the sauce over the top.
If you’ve already poured the sauce over the cake, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat it in a 325ºF oven for about 20 minutes, until the sauce bubbles, before serving.
So what are you waiting for? Get your Mary Berry on!
More SMALL-BATCH recipes you’ll love
For more fun, festive desserts, try my layered Toffee Cookies, Honey Cake, Dulce de Leche Cookies, Honey Cookies, Hamentashen, Kolacky, Eggnog Bundt Cake, Apple Cider Donut Cake, Biscoff Cheesecake, or Air Fryer Fried Ice Cream.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the cake:
- Vegetable oil spray or butter for greasing the pan
- 4 ounces pitted Medjool dates finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the toffee sauce:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a 6-cup bundt pan, 9-inch round or square cake pan, 2-quart soufflé dish, or a 6-cavity mini tube or bundt pan
To make the cake:
- Place the dates and baking soda in a bowl, pour the boiling water over, and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture in several additions, beating after each until incorporated. Stir in the dates and their soaking liquid.
- Spoon or pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven until it is browned, set, and firm on top, about 20 to 25 minutes if making 6 mini cakes or 30 to 35 minutes if making one large cake. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
To make the toffee sauce:
- Bring the butter, cream, and brown sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan set over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring constantly, about 8 minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Poke several holes in the cake with a chopstick or skewer.
- Spoon about 1/3 of a cup of the sauce over the cake (still in its pan), spreading evenly and letting it run down into the holes.
- Broil for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly.
- Unmold the cake or cakes, cut into wedges if making one big cake, and serve warm, drizzled with the remaining sauce.