Who doesn’t love Sticky Toffee Pudding, whew. This famed British dessert is a moist brown sugar and gooey date-based cake that’s also known as sticky date pudding. It’s smothered in rich and luscious toffee sauce and served with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to seal the deal! The most swoon-worthy treat!

sticky toffee pudding with scoop of vanilla ice cream on small white plate with spoon

My jubilation for sweets is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Butter, flour, and sugar are the literal joys of my life, y’all. Okayyy, there are other things, ha! With annual love day around the corner, I wanted to share a new recipe that wasn’t something red velvet or the typical Valentine’s Day-themed sweet treat. Aside from a deep chocolatey slice of cake, sticky toffee pudding is my all-time favorite. This dessert right here, oooeee. You are going to love it, friends!

Sticky Toffee Pudding!!! 😍

This sticky date pudding is everything, so let’s tap into all the details. There are 2 main components that encompass this sticky toffee pudding situation: a tender, date-infused sponge cake and an ultra lush, homemade toffee sauce. The cake is so moist and fragrant and it soaks up that decadent toffee sauce. The flavors compliment each other so well; it’s unapologetically rich and definitely a showstopper treat to enjoy anytime, but especially for special occasions.

More BBR eats: the best crab cakes, my fave spiced sorrel tea, caribbean staples like brown stew chicken, these fun dill pickle ham and cheese sliders, and coziness like ricotta pancakes and biscuits and gravy– oh yea.

toffee sauce being poured over sticky toffee pudding

The Origin of Sticky Toffee Pudding

It is said that the dessert’s true origin is hard to pin down. However, sticky toffee pudding has a backstory of origin in both British and English culture. That’s right, the United Kingdom and England are the most notable places of inception to have birthed this famous confection. There are many recipes and variations for it, too. Although, at its core, sticky toffee pudding consists of a moist date + brown sugar-centered sponge cake paired with toffee sauce.

Why is it called “pudding” though? Great question! In this culture, pudding is often referred to as a dessert but dessert is not always classified as a pudding. A pudding to a Brit is known as the sweet course of a meal. The word pudding is synonymous with dessert, thus the origin of sticky toffee pudding.

ingredients for sticky toffee pudding laid out on beige surface

What You’ll Need For The Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the date cake: Medjool dates, flour, baking soda + baking powder, salt, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. This cake is so moist and flavorfulll.
  • For the toffee sauce: Brown sugar, butter, salt, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. This toffee sauce is what sweet dreams are made of, swoon.

Ingredient Spotlight: Medjool Dates!

A medjool date is one of the most popular date varieties in the world. This type of soft, dried fruit is native to Morocco and has a sweet, nutty, and rich taste. It’s also associated with the Middle East and North African regions and known as “the fruit of kings.” For a while, medjool dates were only exclusive in their region of origin but have evolved to being grown in the United States.

This date variety has a wrinkled surface texture with a gooey, moist, and caramel-like sweetness in taste. All of that medjool date goodness goes into the cake, creating a deliciously remarkable taste and texture that hits. You simply cannot make sticky toffee pudding without ’em, they add so much depth 🙌🏾.

How To Make Sticky Toffee Pudding- prep dates:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or generously coat the pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  • Prepare the dates: Place the dates into a bowl and cover the dates with boiling water. Let the dates soak in the boiling water for 10 minutes or until the dates have softened. Afterwards, transfer the soaked dates and soaking liquid into the body of a food processor or high-speed blender. Blitz the mixture together a few times until the dates take on the texture of chunky applesauce. Then set the mixture aside.

Making Sticky Date Pudding- bring batter together:

  • Meanwhile, prep the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon- whisking well to combine. Set dry ingredients aside.
  • Make the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy and combined, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and vanilla, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • On the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients into the bowl, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients- beating until just combined after each addition. Fold in the chunky date mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top, as needed.

Finish it up- bake away & prep toffee sauce:

  • Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Then transfer the pan to a cooling rack while you prepare the toffee sauce.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Let the mixture simmer, swirling the pan every so often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the cream and vanilla extract and whisk well to fully combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook the sauce, whisking occasionally, until the toffee sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  • Poke holes every 2-3 inches or so over the top of the cake. Pour about 1/2 cup of the toffee sauce over the cake surface and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the sauce around. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
toffee sauce in large pot with whisk on the side

Serving Sticky Toffee Pudding:

  • Slice the cake into wedges and serve, passing remaining toffee sauce over cake servings. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and chopped pecans/walnuts, if desired. Enjoy!

Y’all, the toffee sauce takes it over the top, it’s so rich and buttery and decadent and lush, my goodness. Meanwhile, the date cake (pudding) is super tender and warmly spiced, it soaks up the toffee sauce like a sponge, yummm 👅!

Sticky toffee pudding assembly & variations:

  • Serve sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream (my faveee!), whipped cream, or vanilla custard. For some texture, sprinkle with walnuts or pecans!
  • Bake off the pudding in individual portions by pouring the batter into greased ramekins or cocottes (about 6-8 ounces). For personal-sized cuties like these, reduce the baking time to about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean. Yay.
  • Make a bundt cake! This batter will bake up beautifully in a 10-cup bundt pan, too! Be sure to grease the pan super well (get every nook and cranny for a flawless release!). For this pan, the baking time will be around 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
spoonful of toffee sauce being poured over sticky toffee pudding

Make-ahead & Freezing Notes

Ideally, this sticky toffee pudding shines its best the very day that it’s made, but it can also be made ahead and frozen if you’d like ♡:

  • Make ahead pudding (cake): The pudding can be made up to 2 days in advance. Let the pudding cool completely after baking. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator. When ready, reheat in the oven at 300°F until warmed through. Then prick the cake with holes and pass over about 1/2 cup of the toffee sauce. Slice into wedges and serve as directed in the recipe card, below.
  • Make ahead toffee sauce: The toffee sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance. After cooking, let the sauce cool completely. Then transfer the sauce into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. When ready, place the sauce into a saucepan and reheat on the stovetop over low heat just until warmed through.
  • Freezing pudding: You can freeze the cake up to 2 months in advance. Let the pudding cool completely after baking. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil (to prevent freezer burn) and store in the freezer. When ready, thaw pudding in the refrigerator overnight. Then prick the cake with holes and pass over about 1/2 cup of the toffee sauce. Slice into wedges and serve as directed in the recipe card, below.
  • Freezing toffee sauce: For the best taste/texture, I’m not a big fan of freezing the toffee sauce. However, if you’d like, it can be frozen for up to 1 month. After cooking, let the sauce cool completely. Then transfer the sauce into an airtight container and store in the freezer. When ready, thaw toffee sauce in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, place the sauce into a saucepan and reheat on the stovetop over low heat just until warmed through.
sticky toffee pudding slice on white plate with spoon on the side

This Sticky Toffee Pudding is *thee* dessert you need to make asaptually, peeps. So decadent, so scrumptious! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More sweet thangs you cannot miss:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
sticky toffee pudding slice on white plate with spoon on the side

Sticky Toffee Pudding

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British, English

Description

Who doesn’t love Sticky Toffee Pudding, whew. This famed British dessert is a moist brown sugar and gooey date-based cake that’s also known as sticky date pudding. It’s smothered in rich and luscious toffee sauce and served with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to seal the deal! The most swoon-worthy treat!


Ingredients

Scale

For the date cake:

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk

For the toffee sauce:

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For serving sticky toffee pudding- optional:

  • vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chopped pecans/walnuts, as desired

Instructions

For the date cake:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or generously coat the pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  2. Prepare the dates: Place the dates into a medium bowl and cover the dates with boiling water. Let the dates soak in the boiling water for 10 minutes or until the dates have softened. Afterwards, transfer the soaked dates and soaking liquid into the body of a food processor or high-speed blender. Blitz the mixture together a few times until the dates take on the texture of chunky applesauce. Then set the mixture aside to cool for 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prep the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon- whisking well to combine. Set dry ingredients aside.
  4. Make the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy and combined, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and vanilla, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. On the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients into the bowl, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients- beating until just combined after each addition. Fold in the chunky date mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top, as needed.
  6. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Then transfer the pan to a cooling rack while you prepare the toffee sauce.

For the toffee sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Let the mixture simmer, swirling the pan every so often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the cream and vanilla extract and whisk well to fully combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, lower the heat, if necessary. Cook the sauce, whisking occasionally, until the toffee sauce thickens and melds nicely, about 3-4 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  2. Use a wooden skewer or chopstick to poke holes every 2-3 inches or so over the top of the cake. Pour about 1/2 cup of the toffee sauce over the cake surface and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the sauce around. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
  3. Slice the cake into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature, passing remaining toffee sauce over cake servings. [Note: the toffee sauce may thicken as it cools, to remedy, reheat in the saucepan over low heat- if needed]. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and chopped pecans/walnuts, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.
  2. Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free baking flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).