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sticky toffee pudding slice on white plate with spoon on the side

Sticky Toffee Pudding

  • 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


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!



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


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!


  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!).

Keywords: sticky toffee pudding, sticky date cake, sticky toffee cake, date cake, sticky date pudding, english pudding, toffee sauce