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Sticky Date Pudding

This Sticky Date Pudding is one I have been making for years. This recipe was given to me by a friend and it has been tried and tested many times. It really is one of my favourite desserts!

The decorated pudding is on a plate that is sitting on a wooden board. There are flowers, a cake spatula and jug in the background.

This dessert is also known as Sticky Toffee Pudding in the UK. It is a delicious and moist pudding-like cake that has a sweet caramel sauce poured over it. Served with a good quality vanilla ice-cream, it really is one of the best desserts and particularly good in the cooler months. It can be served with cream, however our favourite way to eat it is with ice-cream as the contrast of cold ice-cream and warm pudding is such a treat! I sometimes like to add freshness in the way of fruit and fresh figs are a great choice when they are in season.

A close up showing the inside of the cake as a slice has been removed.

Why I love this recipe:

While this is a dessert recipe, a bonus is you can also choose to bake the cake only without the caramel sauce and have it as a Date Cake. It can be cut and served as is, or with a spread of butter during the day or with a cuppa. The cake itself is beautifully moist with great flavour.

Another reason I love this recipe is that the cake and sauce are very easy to make and both can be made up a day (even 2 days) in advance and simply reheated before serving, making this an ideal dessert when entertaining.

A slice of pudding is on a serving plate with a scoop of ice-cream on top of it and fresh figs alongside. In the background is the pudding, a cake spatula and flowers.

Ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Dried Dates – you can use normal or Medjool dates for this recipe. You can also use dried figs or dried Jujube (a red Chinese date) instead of dates if you prefer.
  • Baking Soda – this is added to the dates along with boiling water and left to soak for 30 minutes at the very start. The baking soda helps to soften the dates as well as lighten the texture of the cake.
  • Boiling Water – used to soak the dates and once soaked, the dates including the liquid, is added to the cake.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted butter is fine.
  • Brown Sugar – used in both the cake and the caramel sauce.
  • Eggs – try and use room temperature eggs in all your bakes. It helps avoid any splitting of the batter.
  • Self-raising flour – sifted. You can use gluten-free self-raising flour.
  • Cream – pouring or thin cream is preferable, however I have made this many times with thickened cream and it is fine.
  • Vanilla Extract

Step by step Instructions:

Tips and Important Notes for success:

  • Before starting the recipe, make sure your butter is softened. It should be very soft when you press on it. Also use room temperature eggs.
  • Chop your dates first and get them soaking for 30 minutes, and in the meantime you can prepare the baking pan and start prepping other parts of the recipe. To save time, I sometimes chop my dates the night before and leave them in a sealed container.
  • When creaming the butter and sugar, the ratio of sugar to butter is high, so it won’t be as creamy as recipes using more butter. Also if your mixture splits a little when adding the eggs, don’t worry as it doesn’t affect the outcome of this cake. It is a very forgiving recipe.
  • To avoid using an extra bowl, I sift my flour directly into my creamed butter and sugar mixture.
  • The caramel sauce and cake can both be made a day in advance (even up to 2 days) and kept covered in the fridge.
  • This cake is also suitable to freeze for up to 3 months. When freezing cakes, I like to cover them in baking paper, then add a layer of tin foil to completely enclose the cake. I then place it into a sealed container or freezer bag and freeze.
  • This recipe is for a 20cm round cake, however it can be made in a 20cm square tin or even in individual muffin tins or pudding moulds. You will need to reduce the cooking time for the smaller size to say 25-30 minutes.
The Sticky Date Pudding is on a plate with the caramel sauce poured over the top. It is decorated with a pile of fresh quartered figs on top.

More dessert recipes for you to try:

The Sticky Date Pudding is on a plate on top of a wooden board and sitting on a linen tablecloth.

Sticky Date Pudding

This Sticky Date Pudding is one I have been making for years. This recipe was given to me by a friend and it has been tried and tested many times. It really is one of my favourite desserts!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Sweet
Cuisine: American, Australian, English
Keyword: caramel sauce, date cake, dates, dessert, pudding, sticky toffee pudding
Servings: 8
Calories: 465kcal
Author: Katrina | Katy’s Food Finds

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Heat-proof bowl
  • 20cm (8in) Cake Tin
  • small saucepan
  • Hand-held Beater

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 185 g dried dates pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 ml boiling water (1 cup)
  • 50 g butter softened
  • 150 g brown sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 185 g self-raising flour (1 1/4 cups) sifted

Caramel Sauce:

  • 150 g brown sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 250 ml pouring cream (1 cup) or thickened cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25 g butter salted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 170° (340°F) and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with butter and baking paper.
  • Place the chopped dates, baking soda and boiling water into a heat-proof bowl or jug, stir and set aside for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • While the dates are soaking, add the soft butter and brown sugar into a large bowl and cream together using a hand-held beater or whisk. Beat until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth (make sure the first egg is mixed through before adding the second egg).
    Sift the flour directly over the top of the mixture and gently fold through with a large spoon. When the flour is almost all fully incorporated, add the date mixture (including the liquid), and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the lined baking tin and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest in the tin for 10 minutes before removing.
    The cake can be used straight away or if using later, turn it out onto a wire resting rack to cool completely.

Caramel Sauce:

  • Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and place on the stovetop over a low heat. Stir until the butter has melted completely and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
    Use straight away or allow to cool and refrigerate for use later.

To Serve:

  • There are two options to serve this pudding:
    1. As a whole pudding: Place the warm cake on a serving plate and pour enough of the warm caramel sauce over the top so it covers the top of the cake and drips down the sides a little (use a jug to do this). Place fresh fruit in a pile on top of the cake or serve alongside (optional). Serve slices with ice-cream or cream and the remaining caramel sauce (for people to add more if they like).
    2. To serve individually: Slice the cake into serving size wedges and place on individual plates. Place a scoop of ice-cream on top and pour the warm caramel sauce over the top. Serve with fruit (optional) and extra caramel sauce in a jug for people to add more if they wish.

To Reheat Cake and Sauce:

  • Cover the cake loosely with a piece of aluminium foil and reheat in a preheated 160°C (320°F) oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until warmed through) or:
    Place individual portions on plates and reheat them individually or in groups of two, in the microwave for approximately 20 seconds.
    The sauce can be reheated over a gentle heat in a saucepan (stirring) or in the microwave in 30 seconds bursts (stirring in between) 2-3 times or until warm.

Notes

You can add a pinch of salt to the caramel sauce if you want to make it a salted caramel sauce.
Make sure your baking soda is not out of date!

Tips and Important Notes for success:

  • Before starting the recipe, make sure your butter is softened. It should be very soft when you press on it. Also use room temperature eggs.
  • Chop your dates first and get them soaking for 30 minutes, and in the meantime you can prepare the baking pan and start prepping other parts of the recipe. To save time, I sometimes chop my dates the night before and leave them in a sealed container.
  • When creaming the butter and sugar, the ratio of sugar to butter is high, so it won’t be as creamy as recipes using more butter. Also if your mixture splits a little when adding the eggs, don’t worry as it doesn’t affect the outcome of this cake. It is a very forgiving recipe.
  • To avoid using an extra bowl, I sift my flour directly into my creamed butter and sugar mixture.
  • The caramel sauce and cake can both be made a day in advance (even up to 2 days) and kept covered in the fridge.
  • This cake is also suitable to freeze for up to 3 months. When freezing cakes, I like to cover them in baking paper, then add a layer of tin foil to completely enclose the cake. I then place it into a sealed container or freezer bag and freeze.
  • This recipe is for a 20cm round cake, however it can be made in a 20cm square tin or even in individual muffin tins or pudding moulds. You will need to reduce the cooking time for the smaller size to say 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 613IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you cooked one of my recipes? I’d love you to tag me @katysfoodfinds or #katysfoodfinds!

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