Rich and indulgent sticky toffee pudding combines delicious Medjool dates in a moist cake that's topped with the most amazing toffee sauce! It's a well-loved British dessert that's easy to make, delightfully tasty, slightly addictive, and definitely a treat!!
Sticky toffee pudding is super moist, indulgent, and the perfect dessert!
Sticky toffee pudding, also called sticky date pudding, is truly one of the best desserts ever! It’s a super moist date cake that’s covered in an incredible toffee sauce and served warm. Pair it with a scoop of ice cream and you have an absolute winner on your hands!
My sticky toffee pudding recipe is not only amazingly delicious but also easy to make! It bakes up like a normal cake, and then my toffee sauce is superbly easy to throw together. Making a delectable, sweet indulgence has never been easier!
The origins of sticky toffee pudding are unclear and disputed, but it most likely originated in England in the 1970s. It takes after a long history of rich, moist “puddings” or cake-like desserts that are typically paired with a delicious, sweet sauce.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Sinfully Delicious! The buttery cake and sticky toffee sauce are so perfectly rich – serve with ice cream and this is a dessert like no other!
Perfect for the Holidays! The holiday season calls for warm, decadent desserts that will wow your family and friends – and this is no different!
Covered in Toffee Sauce! If you’re a toffee/caramel fan like me, you’ll love how this delicious cake soaks up all that buttery toffee sauce!
Sticky toffee pudding uses lots of dates—you can usually find those in the dried fruit & nut section of your grocery store!
- Dates – These super sweet, dried fruits should be pitted! Medjool dates are preferred because they’re extra rich and provide so much moisture.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda will help to soften the dates further.
- Water – You want the water to be boiling hot to soak the dates, so they plump up and chop up nicely.
- Butter – The butter should be softened to room temperature for the best results! You’ll need 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds that delicious, molasses-like sweetness that pairs very well with the dates.
- Eggs – These should also be at room temperature for the best results when mixing.
- Baking Powder – This is the main leavening agent for the pudding. Make sure not to mix up where to add the baking powder vs. baking soda!
- Salt – This will just balance the flavors of the pudding! You can use regular table salt for this.
- All-Purpose Flour – This will give structure to the pudding, of course! I don’t recommend using self-rising flour here.
- Butter – Any good toffee sauce needs butter! I like unsalted here, then adding a little salt at the end to control the flavor.
- Light Brown Sugar – This helps make our toffee sauce extra sweet and rich. I prefer light brown sugar to dark brown sugar for this.
- Heavy Cream – Cream turns the caramel into more of a sauce! You want to use a heavy whipping cream instead of a lighter cream.
- Light Corn Syrup – Corn syrup helps to prevent the toffee sauce from crystallizing and becoming grainy.
- Salt – Adding salt helps to balance the flavor and add a sweet and salty edge to the toffee sauce.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a lovely sweetness to the toffee sauce! I love the way vanilla extract complements caramel sauce.
You can add an equal amount of bourbon instead of vanilla if you want your toffee sauce to have a boozy bite! In fact, while I would max the vanilla out at 1 tablespoon, you can easily use up to 2-3 tablespoons of bourbon. Yum!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
My indulgent sticky toffee pudding is a breeze to make! It only takes 20 minutes to prep this decadent dessert.
Mix and Bake the Date Pudding
- Prep the dates. Begin by combining twelve ounces of dates with 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda and ¾ cup of boiling water in a heat-safe dish or mixing bowl. Submerge all the dates in the water, then set aside for 15 minutes to soften.
- Mix the batter. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream together 9 tablespoons of softened butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) and 1 ⅛ cups (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) until smooth and fluffy. Add 3 room temperature eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until well-combined. You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour if needed to prevent the wet mix from becoming curdled and grainy.
- Add dry ingredients. Mix in 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt, then mix in 1 ⅞ cups of all-purpose flour (1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons) then mix until you have a smooth batter. Next, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and then grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
- Make the date paste. Using a food processor or immersion blender, puree the soaked date mixture until it reaches a fine consistency. When it reaches the desired texture, fold the puree into the pudding batter until the dates are evenly distributed.
- Bake. Transfer the pudding batter into your prepared baking dish and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick, cake tester, or butter knife come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool slightly while you make the toffee sauce.
Boil the English Toffee Sauce
- Make the toffee sauce. In a large saucepan, combine the ingredients: 1 ½ cups of butter, 3 cups of light brown sugar, ⅔ cup of heavy cream, ⅓ cup of light corn syrup, and ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil (reserve the vanilla). Try not to stir too often but give an occasional stir to help prevent the sugar from burning. Keep the sauce at a low rolling boil for about 3 to 4 minutes until thickened.
- Finish and serve. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (or bourbon) then allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving over slices of pudding. This dessert is meant to be served warm and fresh out of the oven! Enjoy!
Now enjoy your amazing sticky toffee pudding! I love it served warm with the toffee sauce and a generous spoonful of chantilly whipped cream for an absolutely unforgettable dessert!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
The toffee sauce recipe makes a generous amount – you can cut it in half if desired!
- Sometimes I like to use a skewer to poke holes in the date cake. Then pour some of the toffee sauce over the pudding to let it soak in. Leave to soak in for a few minutes before serving portions with additional toffee sauce.
You should make sure the date/hot water mixture is fully cooled down before adding it to the rest of the batter.
- You don’t want the heat of the water to curdle the eggs in the batter!
I recommend using pitted dates for the easiest results, but you can pit your own!
- To pit the dates, simply use a paring knife (while holding onto the date to prevent it rolling) to slice the side of the date. Then squeeze out the stone and set aside. Repeat until all the dates are done, and you’re ready to soak!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
I recommend storing the toffee sauce and pudding separately. You can cover the cake with plastic cling film and/or store it in an airtight cover.
Put remaining toffee sauce in a jar and seal securely (if putting in a jar, make sure to leave approximately 1-inch of space between the sauce and the lid). The pudding and toffee sauce will keep for 3 to 4 days.
Freezing sticky toffee pudding is super easy too! Make sure the cake is completely cooled and covered with plastic wrap and/or an airtight cover, then you can freeze it for about 3 months! You can also freeze the toffee sauce, just make sure it’s in an airtight container.
Reheating Sticky Toffee Pudding
Since the pudding is best served warm, you can easily reheat portions in the microwave! Simply scoop servings into bowls and reheat for 30 seconds or until warm.
Then for the toffee sauce, you can also reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until warm and melted. Pour sauce over the puddings and enjoy!
Other Fantastic Desserts
Yes! If desired, you can pour the batter into buttered and floured ramekins or large muffin tins. Bake as usual, slice in half (top and bottom), sauce in the middle then replace the top, and serve warm with toffee sauce!
Due to the amount of water in the batter, it will be slightly thinner than a traditional cake batter, but this typically bakes up into a super moist cake! If the batter is extra watery, you may want to make sure you didn’t add too much water to the dates!
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Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 12 oz dates (pitted - Medjool dates preferred)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup water (boiling)
- 9 tablespoon butter (softened, at room temperature - 1 stick + 1 tablespoon)
- 1 ⅛ cups light brown sugar (packed - 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ⅞ cups all-purpose flour (1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons)
- 1 ½ cups butter (unsalted - 3 sticks)
- 3 cups light brown sugar (packed)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 tablespoons of bourbon)
- Prep the dates first by combining the dates, baking soda, and boiling water in a heat-safe dish or mixing bowl. Submerge all of the dates in the water, then set aside for 15 minutes to soften.12 oz dates, 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ cup water
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl cream together the softened butter and light brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until combined (add a tablespoon or two of flour if needed to prevent the wet mix from curdling).9 tablespoon butter, 1 ⅛ cups light brown sugar, 3 large eggs
- Mix in the baking powder and salt, then add the flour and mix just until you have a smooth batter.1 ⅞ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 pinch salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) then grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
- Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the dates until they reach a fine consistency. Fold the puree into the pudding batter until the dates are evenly distributed.
- Transfer the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick, cake tester, or butter knife comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the toffee sauce.
- Combine the sauce ingredients (butter, light brown sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and salt - reserve the vanilla) in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir only occasionally while dissolving the sugar and to prevent burning. Keep the sauce at a low rolling boil for about 3-4 minutes until thickened.1 ½ cups butter, 3 cups light brown sugar, ⅔ cup heavy cream, ⅓ cup light corn syrup, ½ teaspoon salt
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla (or bourbon) then allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving over slices of the pudding.1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- This dessert is meant to be served while warm and fresh out of the oven.
- This toffee sauce portion is generous - if desired cut in half (but you'll miss out on all of the gooey deliciousness)!
- Store the pudding and toffee sauce separately. Cover the cake with cling film and an airtight cover (if you have a fitted lid). Put any remaining toffee sauce in a jar and seal securely (make sure to leave approximately 1-inch of space between the sauce and the lid).
- Heat the toffee sauce then serve over a heated pudding portion when serving leftovers.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!