Sticky Toffee Pudding – these moist, dense, and spongy mini cakes made with pureed dates are sure to win your heart. Soaked and filled with glorious gooey and sticky butterscotch sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect dessert delight. So indulgent and divine, you’ll want to make it all the time!
What is Toffee Pudding?
I’m really not a fan of dates. They’re too sweet for me and I just can’t stand them. Until I learned that this sticky toffee pudding is actually made with dates. And I was like, oh, okay! I need to make peace with dates.
Truth be told, if you’re not a fan of dates, you won’t taste the dates in this heavenly dessert, not even a hint. I guarantee you that!
The addition of dates makes this toffee cake extremely moist and sticky. They are incorporated into the batter adding natural sweetness and a lovely gooey texture to this toffee pudding.🤤
Surprisingly, it adds magnificent flavors, too! Similar to caramel but richer and deeper. And that creamy butterscotch sauce poured on this sumptuous dessert; definitely raises the bar.
You’ll be dreaming of this toffee pudding once you taste it. Fortunately, it’s easy to make. So, it’s a win! 😉
What is Toffee Pudding?
Sticky toffee pudding is a famous English dessert made with dates and served with a special homemade toffee sauce. It is also called Sticky Date Pudding in Australia and New Zealand.
The dish was believed to have a Canadian origin when two Canadian Air Force officers stayed in a hotel in Claughton and gave the recipe to Patricia Martin, the owner of the hotel, to whom Francis Coulson and Robert Lee got the recipe.
The two redeveloped the recipe back in the 1970s and came up with the butterscotch sauce. The sticky toffee pudding cake is then served in their hotel in the Lake District, in North West England.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutes
This toffee cake is made with sweet dates and caramel sauce. Definitely, a perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. And to make this heavenly dessert, you’ll need the following ingredients below.
- Dates – I used dried pitted dates in this sticky toffee pudding recipe. This one is a time-saver coz’ the seeds were already removed. If you’re not a fan of dates, pitted prunes and dried apricots are great substitutes.
- Baking Soda – This will help to soften up the dates faster for easier mashing.
- Dark Brown Sugar – Aside from dates, the brown sugar gives this toffee pudding a nice brown color and chewy texture. You can also use white sugar and just add more molasses. OR make your own brown sugar here.
- Unsalted Butter – This adds moisture and richness to our sticky toffee pudding cake. You can also use salted butter in this recipe and just use less salt than what the recipe calls for. I highly suggest using high-quality butter for best results.
- Eggs – Not only eggs add moisture to this pudding but it also gives this toffee cake its nice structure, too.
- Molasses – Together with pureed dates and brown sugar, they make our sticky toffee pudding rich and chewy. Plus, they add nice brown color, too. And since we don’t usually stock molasses in our pantry, you can just replace it with maple syrup, dark corn syrup, honey, or golden syrup using a 1:1 ratio. Or just add more brown sugar to this recipe, about 1 1/2 tablespoon coz’ brown sugar actually contains molasses.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – The magical ingredient that instantly makes every dessert extra luscious and delectable. To make this at home, please check out How to Make Vanilla Extract.
- All-Purpose Flour – A must-have in every kitchen pantry. It is an essential ingredient in baking and also used in savory dishes like Southern Fried Chicken and Southern Baked Mac and Cheese.
- Baking Powder – This aids in making our toffee cake rise while giving soft and dense textures as well.
- Salt – A pinch of salt is needed to balance the sweetness. Don’t skip this one coz’ it really makes a big difference in flavor. Feel free to skip this if you’re going to use salted butter.
- Brown Sugar – For richer and bolder toffee sauce use brown sugar. It will yield nice sticky and gooey consistency compared to white sugar.
- Heavy Cream – Use this to neutralize the sweetness and add creaminess to our luscious butterscotch sauce. You can also use half-and-half as a replacement.
- Unsalted Butter – The added buttery flavor to this caramel-like sauce complements the overall taste of this sticky toffee pudding cake.
- Vanilla Extract – That added vanilla touch to this cake makes it more flavorful and sumptuous.
- Ice Cream – Enjoy this dessert with a scoop of ice cream on top and you’ll have the best English pudding ever. 😉 A dollop of whipped cream makes a fantastic topping, too.
- Spice it Up! – Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or combinations of these spices to add more Holiday flavors.
- Fruity Swap – Aside from pitted prunes, dried apricots are great substitutes too. They are not as sweet as dates and prunes so it’s a bonus!
- Adding More Flavors – You can infuse the batter mixture with cocoa powder or coffee granules to add a more wonderful flavor.
- Make it Vegan – Vegan butter and golden syrup will effortlessly do the trick! 😉 For a completely vegan version recipe, try this vegan gluten-free toffee pudding.
Serving and Storage Instructions
- Make-Ahead – Bake it according to instructions, poke holes on the baked puddings, and pour toffee sauce generously making sure it covers the holes. Let them cool completely before storing.
- Store – Once cooled, wrap them individually with a plastic wrap then wrap again with foil or ziplock bag. Or place them in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze. These ones though can stay fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature.
- Refrigerate – You can refrigerate make-ahead toffee pudding or leftovers for up to 5 days.
- Freeze – Freeze the individually wrapped toffee pudding for up to 3 months.
Note: Store the excess butterscotch sauce in an airtight container or in a glass mason jar and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Reheat on the stove at medium-low until heated through or on a microwave on medium power at 30 seconds intervals until warm.
- Thawing – Thaw the frozen toffee pudding overnight inside the fridge when ready to serve.
- Microwave – On medium power, reheat it in the microwave for about 1 minute or until warm.
- Oven – On a preheated oven, heat the toffee cakes at 160 degrees C or 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until the butterscotch sauce is bubbling.
Figgy pudding is a British cake-like dessert traditionally served on Christmas. It is made of flour, suet (raw hard fat of beef or mutton), dried fruits, and infused with brandy. While sticky toffee pudding is a sweet dessert made with dates and butterscotch sauce and doesn’t contain any alcohol.
Yes! It is a spongy and dense pudding cake often served in mini cake sizes. But also can be baked in a bundt pan or any cake pan.
The secret to this sticky toffee pudding is the addition of pureed dates and molasses. They give this toffee cake its sticky, chewy, and gooey texture.
What Goes Well with Sticky Toffee Pudding?
This delightfully sweet dessert pairs well with beverages that are not too sweet to balance the sweetness. You can try these refreshing drinks below.
More Cake Recipes
- Chocolate Guinness Cake
- Italian Cream Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- White Molten Lava Chocolate Cake
- Cuatro Leches Cake
How to Make Sticky Toffee Pudding
Mash the Dates
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Chop the pitted dates – and add them to a bowl with hot water with baking soda. Let it soak for about 10 minutes. (Photos 1-2)
- Mash with a potato masher – until it becomes a chunky-smooth texture. (Photos 3-4)
Combining Wet Ingredients
- Cream the butter and brown sugar – until light and fluffy. (Photo 5)
- Add the eggs – and beat until fully incorporated. (Photo 6)
- Then add the vanilla and the molasses – mix gently until combined. (Photo 7-8)
Make the Batter
- Combine dry ingredients – in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. (Photo 9)
- Mix wet and dry ingredients – add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until everything is fully incorporated. (Photos 10-11)
- Then add the pureed dates – and mix until combined. Do not overmix. (Photo 12)
- Grease the pudding molds.
- Pour the batter – into the pudding molds about 2/3. Do not fill all the way up. (Photo 13)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes – or until a skewer comes out clean when you pierce the center. (Photo 14)
Make the Butterscotch Sauce
- Place the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan – over medium heat. (Photo 15)
- Stir – until the butter and sugar melted. (Photo 16)
- Then add the heavy cream and vanilla extract – let it simmer for about 2 minutes. (Photos 17-20)
Assembling the Toffee Pudding
- Poke the baked puddings – while hot to make holes for the butterscoth sauce. (Photos 21-22)
- Pour butterscotch sauce – pour a generous amount of butterscotch sauce into the pudding. Making sure it covers the holes. (Photo 23)
- Let it soak – for about 10 minutes. (Photo 24)
- Loosen the sides – with a thin knife.
- Turn the molds upside down – on a serving plate.
- Serve – Pour more sauce on top and serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Watch How To Make It
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- 8 oz or 227g pitted dates
- ¾ cup or 177ml boiling water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup or 76g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ⅓ cup or 65g brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp or 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp or 30ml molasses
- 1 ½ cup or 200g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cup or 300g brown sugar, loosely packed
- ⅓ cup or 76g unsalted butter
- 1½ cup or 360ml heavy cream
- 1 tsp or 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ice cream or whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Chop the pitted dates and add them to a bowl with hot water with baking soda. Let it soak for about 10 minutes.
- Mashed with a potato masher until it becomes a chunky-smooth texture.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated.
- Then add the vanilla and the molasses. Mix gently until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
- Then add the pureed dates and mix until combined. Do not overmix.
- Grease the pudding molds.
- Pour the batter into the pudding molds about 2/3. Do not fill all the way up.
- Bake for 20-25minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when you pierce the center.
- Poke the baked puddings while hot to make holes for the butterscotch sauce.
- Place the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir until the butter and sugar melted.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Pour a generous amount of butterscotch sauce into the pudding. Making sure it covers the holes.
- Let it soak for about 10 minutes.
- Loosen the sides with a thin knife.
- Turn the molds upside down on a serving plate.
- Pour more sauce on top and serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Tips & Notes:
- If you find this toffee pudding too sweet, you might want to make a lesser sweet sauce to pour in your baked puddings instead. Using the same butterscotch sauce recipe, use 3/4 cup of brown sugar instead of 1 1/2 cup. Add 1 cup milk or water and a slurry (2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water) and let it simmer to thicken.
- Do not overmix to get the perfect spongy and dense texture.
- Dates can be replaced with dried prunes or apricots.
- Add cocoa powder or coffee granules for more intense flavors.
- Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove can make your toffee pudding more delectable.
- If you don’t have a potato masher, you can just use a fork to mash the dates.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.
- Nutritional information below doesn’t include the ice cream as a topping.