My easy sticky toffee pudding is light and delicious, especially served with lashings of smooth toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. This classic British bake is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for cosy autumn and winter nights.
Cosy baking season
Once we hit September, I go from summer inspiration to thinking of cosy food. I absolutely love this season, the beautiful changing seasons and crisp autumn days. It just makes me want to wrap up in cosy woolies and create warming and spiced goodies. Think hot puddings with thick sauces served with ice cream, or a whole array of bakes made with beautiful warming spices. Cosy bakes are one of my favourite parts of autumn, and this easy sticky toffee pudding is high on that list!
Plus, with the start of GBBO at this time of year, it does not get any better than snuggling under a cosy blanket with a winter warming pudding!
What is sticky toffee pudding?
Sticky toffee pudding, or sticky date pudding if you are in Australia or New Zealand, is simply one of the best British desserts I have come across to date! It is basically a sponge cake, with the addition of chopped dates, topped with a rich toffee sauce. It is normally served warm and I love mine with some clotted cream ice cream. It is, for me, one of the ultimate comfort foods ever, especially as the nights draw in and the weather gets colder. If you have never tried this amazing dessert, I am so glad you are here to try it!
What does sticky toffee taste like?
My easy sticky date pudding has a wonderful toffee flavour and because of the dates too, makes for an absolutely amazingly decadent and cosy cold weather dessert! Despite it being a sponge cake, the dates add a sticky and slightly chewy texture, making it denser and more pudding like than a normal cake.
What ingredients do I need to make this easy sticky toffee pudding?
- Dates: one of the key ingredients in making this easy sticky toffee pudding recipe, makes for a moist, chewy and absolutely delicious bake!
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): helps soften the dates before they are mixed into the pudding batter, plus aids the rising of the bake.
- Boiling water: mixed with the bicarb and dates, used to help prepare the dates ahead of making this dessert.
- Vanilla: brings out the sweet toffee notes of this bake beautifully.
- Egg: gives structure and stability to the puddings as they bake.
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour to make this sticky date pudding.
- Baking powder: for rise and lightness in the sticky toffee cakes.
- Salt: just a little added, to round off the flavours. You will not be able to taste this tiny amount, but it really enhances the flavours!
- Butter: I use unsalted butter, allowing me to control the amount of salt in the bake. Use butter at room temperature for best results
- Brown sugar: using brown sugar here makes for a caramel flavoured cake. This suits the flavour profile of this sticky toffee cake perfectly.
- Double cream: to make the toffee sauce, gives a rich, decadent texture to the toffee sauce.
- Dark muscovado sugar: the darker flavour profile of this makes a really wonderful, rich toffee sauce.
- Golden syrup: this thick sweet syrup gives a wonderfully rich toffee flavour to the sauce for the puddings. Lashings of this sauce are compulsory to accompany the puddings!
- Vanilla ice cream: a totally optional accompaniment to this dessert, makes this easy sticky toffee pudding extra special!
What equipment do I need to make this easy sticky toffee pudding recipe?
- Pudding basins*: individual sized tins to make these sticky toffee puddings in.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups as well as grams, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Small bowl*: to soak the chopped dates, allowing them to soften before baking in the cakes.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix the pudding ingredients together before baking
- Handheld electric mixer*: makes life a lot easier in the kitchen when mixing ingredients! This easy sticky toffee pudding can be made entirely by hand, but it will give your arm a bit of a workout!
- Sieve*: to sift the dry ingredients before mixing in for the sticky toffee pudding.
- Spatula*: to scrape down the bowl with as ingredients are added, ensuring everything mixes together thoroughly. Also useful to fold through the dates into the sticky date pudding.
- Small saucepan*: to make the toffee sauce.
How to make sticky toffee pudding
There are just two parts to the best sticky toffee pudding recipe ever! First, make the sticky date puddings, and whilst they bake, make the toffee sauce. Once baked, unmould, place on a plate, drizzle generously with toffee sauce and a scoop of ice cream. And enjoy!
To make the puddings
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Thoroughly butter four individual pudding basins.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the chopped dates, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and boiling water. Stir, then cover and leave the mixture to sit whilst making the cake batter.
Step 3: In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir it together, then set aside.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until completely combined and pale. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat together until smooth. Tip in half the flour mixture, mixing to combine. Pour in all the date mixture, including all the liquid, and beat together once again. Finally, add in the remaining dry ingredients mix and beat it all together until just combined.
Step 5: Split the cake batter evenly between the four prepared pudding basins. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean or with a couple of small crumbs.
For the toffee sauce
Step 1: While the sticky toffee puddings are baking, make the toffee sauce. Place the cream, sugar, golden syrup and salt all together in a small saucepan and bring it to boil.
Step 2: Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer the toffee sauce for 5-7 minutes until it has become darker and is thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon with a thick layer of sauce. Remove from the heat.
Bringing together the easy sticky toffee pudding
Step 1: Once the cakes are baked and out of the oven, leave them to cool for a few minutes in the basins. Gently loosen around the edges of the puddings with a knife, then invert the basins onto individual plates or bowls.
Step 2: Pour over the toffee sauce, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and serve. Enjoy!
How do I butter my pudding basins?
I always use unsalted butter, and not oil, to grease up my pudding basins. I find it holds to the basins better, allowing for better release for my puddings once baked. To butter the basins, I prefer to use a little pat of butter at a time and my fingers to rub along the inside of the container. You can, if you prefer to not get greasy fingers, put a little butter on a piece of kitchen paper or baking paper and rub it around that way instead. Always ensure the edges and corners have been buttered so the pudding does not stick and then break when trying to remove it.
How can I tell when my sticky toffee puddings are baked?
You will know when the puddings are done as they will be firm to touch and will have shrunk away from the sides of the pan slightly. Additionally, a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the pudding will come out clean or with one or two crumbs only.
Can sticky toffee pudding be made in advance?
Yes! This easy sticky toffee pudding can be made and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days, and the toffee sauce can be made and stored in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to enjoy your sticky toffee pudding, just reheat using a microwave or oven and serve!
Can sticky toffee pudding be frozen?
Yes, this can be frozen. Once baked and cooled, wrap each pudding individually in cling film (plastic wrap and then foil, making sure they are tightly wrapped up. This is important to prevent freezer burn on the puddings. If freezing the toffee sauce, split it into small pots and freeze individual portions this way. When ready to enjoy the puddings, thaw thoroughly, then reheat in the oven or microwave.
Can I make this easy sticky toffee pudding gluten free and dairy free?
To make this sticky date pudding gluten free, you will need to substitute the flour for a suitable gluten free flour blend. To make it dairy free, using alternatives for the butter and the cream will work beautifully. And let’s not forget the ice cream too!
How can I make vegan sticky toffee pudding?
Whilst I have not tried making this recipe vegan, I would imagine using a flax egg as a substitute would work well in this recipe. If you do try it before I go, please leave me a comment below and let me know how it turns out for you! Remember too you will need to use dairy free alternatives for butter, double cream and ice cream too.
Additional tips for making this easy sticky toffee pudding recipe
- Remember to check all the dates have no stones in them. I like to chop my dates into small pieces, so I get plenty of date pieces throughout the pudding.
- Grease the pudding basins really well. This is important to help the puddings release easily once baked.
- You could use dark brown and dark muscovado sugars for extra deep flavours in the pudding and the toffee sauce.
- If you want a really deep toffee sauce, you could also substitute the golden syrup for the same quantity of treacle (molasses).
- When making the toffee sauce, make sure to stir it often so the bottom does not burn whilst it is simmering and thickening.
If you have any questions about this easy sticky toffee pudding recipe, please comment below and I will do my best to help. And do remember: if you enjoy this recipe for sticky date pudding, please leave a rating and review below. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You already know I would love to see!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
If you enjoyed this cake, please do have a look at these recipes I think you will love too!
Sticky toffee pudding cake: beautiful, rich sticky toffee sponge cake, filled with caramelised white chocolate buttercream and a perfect toffee drip. Topped with absolutely spectacular caramelised white chocolate shards, this bake makes for a truly jaw-dropping celebration cake!
Banoffee crumble: banoffee lovers, this one is for you! So simple to make, and utterly divine, this crumble brings the best of banoffee pie into autumn comfort bakes. Serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate cosy weather treat!
Red velvet cake (eggless): you will love this rich and moist eggless red velvet cake recipe. It has three layers of beautiful decadent red velvet sponge with a smooth and totally irresistible cream cheese icing. This is one showstopper of a cake you will not want to miss!
Thanks so much for joining me today friends! Happy cosy weather baking! x