Sticky Toffee Pudding: A traditional English dessert with a moist date sponge cake topped with a mouthwatering silky rich toffee sauce.
Sticky Toffee Pudding has long been a favorite dessert of mine. I’ve watched Gordon Ramsay make this no less than 500 times over the years on television. I could watch him cook forever. He makes it look so effortless! This version is different than his, but It’s so delicious. Rick and I may or may not have been rather vocal when enjoying it! It did not last long in our house!
What is Sticky Toffee Pudding?
The exact orgins of Sticky Toffee Pudding are unclear. However, it is said to have originated in the 1940’s in England. It is a moist sponge cake with dates and sweetened further by a delicious, rich, and silky toffee sauce. Typically, Americans think of pudding of a creamy semi-liquidy dessert. This cake will have you asking “Jell-O Who?!”
I know what you’re thinking…”Um, dates?” Yep, dates. I promise you that they make everything about this dessert incredible. Plus, they’re puréed, then added to the cake batter. They add the best subtle sticky sweetness!
Pitted Medjool Dates – creates the ‘sticky’ in Sticky Toffee Pudding
Water – used to help soften the dates before being puréed
Flour – used to create the base of the cake
Baking powder – used to help the cake form and rise
Baking soda- used to help the cake form and rise
Salt – adds additional flavor
Unsalted butter – allows you to control the salt in the recipe
Light brown sugar – creates a depth of flavor to the cake
Egg – binds the ingredients together
Vanilla – adds another layer of flavor
Heavy cream – the creaminess of the sauce
Dark brown sugar – gives that delicious deep toffee flavor – you cannot substitute granulated sugar here. it would create caramel and we want toffee
Unsalted butter – creates the buttery flavor (obviously) of this homemade toffee sauce
Salt – helps balance the sweetness
Vanilla – just another level of flavor
How to make Sticky Toffee Pudding
Date Cake: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder then, whisk together and set aside.
Next, over medium-low heat in a small sauce pan add the diced dates and water. Stir occasionally and allow most – but not all of the water to evaporate – leave about 2 tablespoons of liquid with the dates. Then, add dates and remaining liquid to a food process or blender and purée. It’s OK for the mixture to not be completely smooth.
Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the date purée and mix until well incorporated. Next, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Careful not to over mix. Evenly distribute batter between 4 large or 6 small ramekins.
Note: This can also be made in an 8×8 pan. If deciding to use a cake pan, bake at 350*F for roughly 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the pan clean.
Toffee Sauce: While the cake is baking, add sugar, butter, and salt to a medium sauce pan. Over Medium heat allow butter and sugar to full melt together – do not stir. Constantly stirring will lead to a grainy sauce. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the burner and slowly whisk in the cream and add vanilla. When the cream has fully incorporated, move the sauce to a cool burner and allow to sit until ready to serve.
Can I freeze Sticky Toffee Pudding?
Unfortunately, I do not recommend freezing this recipe. Sticky Toffee Pudding is best served fresh. It is a light moist sponge cake. The longer it sits, the drier it becomes. It can be reheated the next day but, expect it to lose some moisture and gain density.
If you chose to store overnight, cover container tightly and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, microwave for roughly 60 to 90 seconds until nice and warm, but not piping hot.
Tips for the best Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Be sure to leave a little bit of liquid when softening the dates. This helps emulsify the dates in a blender or food processor. If you find that too much liquid has been cooked out, add 2 tablespoons to the dates and blend smooth. I find it helps to dice up the dates before softening.
- Do not substitute out for different sugars. Typically, this is OK to do, however, for this particular recipe, the specified sugars lend best to the overall depth of the flavor profile.
- Heavy cream is a must in developing the toffee sauce. Because it is a full fat cream this helps bring the sauce together.
- Before taking the cakes out of the oven, ensure that they are done baking. To do this, use a toothpick to test the center of the cakes. If there is still wet batter, allow to cook for another 90 seconds at a time until the center is cooked through. If the center of the cake is not fully cooked, the center of the cake may fall after it is removed from the oven.
- Allow to cool for roughly 15 minutes before serving.
- Feel free to use a toothpick to poke some hole in the top of the cake to allow the homemade toffee sauce to seep deeper into the cake.
- There are several different ways to enjoy this – as is, with a dollop of whipped cream, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or even a drizzle of heavy cream (a traditional English finish) or any other way you think would be incredible!
- Beware – you will want to drink the sauce with a straw. I only recommend this AFTER you have enjoyed your sticky toffee pudding! 😉
- Date Cake
- 8 pitted and diced Medjool Dates
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Toffee Sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- small pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon quality pure vanilla extract
- DATE CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Prepare ramekins by lightly spraying them, place on cookie sheet and set aside
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder then, whisk together and set aside
- Next, over medium heat in a small sauce pan add the diced dates and water
- Stir occasionally and allow most - but not all of the water to evaporate - leave about 2 tablespoons of liquid with the dates
- Then, add dates and remaining liquid to a food processor or blender and purée until mostly smooth
- In a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy
- Add egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly
- Add the date purée and mix until well incorporated
- Next, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined
- Evenly distribute batter between 4 large or 6 small prepared ramekins
- If using 4 large ramekins - 350*F for 30 minutes
- If using 6 small ramekins - 350*F for 20-22 minutes
- Before removing from the oven, check the center of the cake with a toothpick. When it comes out clean it can be removed. If removed too early the center of the cake may fall.
- TOFFEE SAUCE
- While the cake is baking, add sugar, butter, and salt to a medium sauce pan
- Over medium heat allow butter and sugar to full melt together - do not stir frequently, allow the ingredients to meld together in the pot mostly untouched
- Once the sugar has melted, turn off the burner and slowly whisk in the cream and add vanilla
- When the cream has fully incorporated move the sauce to a cool burner and allow to sit until ready to serve
This can also be made in an 8x8 pan. If deciding to use a cake pan, bake at 350*F for roughly 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the pan clean.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 369mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 2gSugar: 80gProtein: 4g
The nutritional values above are auto calculated by a nutrition program and can vary based on brands of ingredients used. We cannot guarantee their total accuracy.
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