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Delicious and Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

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.

sticky toffee pudding cakes on a board drizzled with toffee sauce

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 super-moist cake (aka “pudding” in Great Britain) and a rich, gooey toffee sauce. They are often studded with dates, which is what makes them sticky and sweet.

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.

sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce ready to eat with coffee

What are the ingredients of sticky toffee pudding?

The ingredients are quite simple:

  • Dates
  • Baking soda
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Butter
  • Sugar (granulated and brown)
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cream

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.

sticky toffee pudding on plates with forks and coffeeshot from overhead

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!

sticky toffee pudding on a plate with a forkful being lifted up shot from overhead

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Sticky toffee pudding pinterest pin #1
Yield: Serves 6

Sticky Toffee Pudding

sticky toffee pudding cakes on a board drizzled with toffee sauce

The cake is so moist that it will easily hold up if made a day or two ahead and stored, covered, at room temperature. You can make the sauce ahead too, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat it briefly in the microwave or on the stovetop to return it to a liquid consistency.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


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


  1. 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:

  1. Place the dates and baking soda in a bowl, pour the boiling water over, and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Bring the butter, cream, and brown sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan set over medium high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring constantly, about 8 minutes, until the mixture has thickened.

Before serving:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Poke several holes in the cake with a chopstick or skewer.
  3. 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.
  4. Broil for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly.
  5. Unmold the cake or cakes, cut into wedges if making one big cake, and serve warm, drizzled with the remaining sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 593Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 120mgSodium 514mgCarbohydrates 71gFiber 2gSugar 67gProtein 3g


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Sticky toffee pudding pinterest pin #2
Last Updated: October 18, 2019
By on October 18th, 2019

About Robin Donovan

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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9 thoughts on “Delicious and Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding”

  1. You guys posted this just at the right time- I was assigned to make dessert for my family for Christmas so I made this. As advertised, it was really easy and I couldn’t believe that I’d made something so special and delicious and so traditionally Christmassy. I took your advice and made the cake the day before. I used one of those pans that is donut-shaped like a bundt pan, but just has simple straight sides (no fancy work). Worked fine!

    We had leftovers the next day and just put it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. Seemed just as good.

    The leftover sauce is wonderful, by the way.

    The cake was so good I am considering purchasing mini-bundt pans just for this one recipe. I’m sure I’ll make it again, even if it’s not Christmas.

  2. I know what you mean about sticky toffee puddings. The guys round here hate the date bits in them and pick them out. Instead of getting rid of them all together we put them in a blender 🙂 Now everybody is happy!

  3. This was PERFECT. I’ve always loved this at a south african rest. I go to. It is 45 minutes away. Now I can make it at home (and it tastes even better)! Thank you thank you thank you!


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