This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
A famous English dessert with a moist sponge cake covered in homemade caramel toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. This is a beautiful Christmas dessert recipe.
Oh how I love the English tradition of eating sticky toffee pudding on Christmas. I tried it years ago and have been hooked ever since.
We do a traditional Danish tradition of eating HOMEMADE RICE PUDDING RECIPE (my brother lived in Denmark for two years and passed on the tradition) on Christmas Eve and this Sticky Toffee Pudding (my other brother lived in London for several years and passed on their tradition) on Christmas Day. I love implementing traditions from other countries.
What is Sticky Toffee Pudding?
Sticky Toffee Pudding is a moist and dense dessert that more resembles a cake than a pudding and is made with dates and covered in a luscious, homemade toffee sauce. Despite its name, it’s not a traditional pudding but rather a heavenly cake. It has the perfect balance of perfectly moist cake and the gooey richness of the toffee sauce.
How did Sticky Toffee Pudding get its name?
It is widely believed that sticky toffee pudding was created in the 1960s in England. Some attribute its creation to chef Francis Coulson. It has gained such popularity and is a classic English dessert.
As for its name, “sticky” refers to the sweet and gooey toffee sauce that saturates the cake. The “toffee” element comes from the rich, caramelized flavor of the sauce, which is made from butter, sugar, and heavy cream.
This Sticky Toffee Pudding is so addicting. The cake is so moist, it just melts in your mouth! Oh, and the rich, decadent, buttery caramel sauce is absolutely heavenly. Everything is made from scratch and it makes all of the difference. There’s a reason it is called sticky pudding!
What ingredients are in Sticky Toffee Pudding?
It all starts with butter, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, dates (the star ingredient), flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. The reason it is so perfectly moist and sticky is that the dates are soaked in hot water until completely softened. Dates have a sweet, butterscotch-like flavor and create a beautiful textured cake.
This could be called a date cake or date pudding but whatever you call it…it is seriously amazing! My kids didn’t believe me when I told them there were actually dates in the cake.
A homemade caramel toffee sauce is an absolute must! The handcrafted caramel sauce is made with heavy cream, sweet cream butter, light Karo syrup, and sugar. It is generously poured all of the sticky toffee pudding. The more caramel sauce the merrier! I love to pair it with a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream but you can also top it with handcrafted whipped cream as well.
How to make the BEST Sticky Toffee Pudding:
- Start by soaking pitted dates in water and heating until the water is almost completely soaked up. I like to use Medjool dates. Once the dates are softened, use a food processor or blender to puree.
- Make the homemade caramel by scratch using heavy cream, butter, Karo syrup, and sugar.
- Make the toffee date cake by mixing together butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pureed dates.
- Pour into 4-6 ramekins, depending on how deep the ramekins are. Bake for about 20 minutes.
- Top with vanilla bean ice cream or homemade whipped cream and a generous helping of the handcrafted caramel.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING:
Choose the Right Dates: Select high-quality dates for your pudding. Medjool dates are a popular choice due to their natural sweetness and moist texture. Ensure they are pitted before adding them to the batter.
Soak the Dates: To enhance the moisture and flavor of the pudding, soak the chopped dates in hot water. This softens the dates and creates a caramel-like depth in the cake.
Perfecting the Batter: Use a combination of flour, baking powder, and eggs to create a light and airy batter. Incorporate the soaked dates, ensuring an even distribution throughout the mixture.
Crafting the Toffee Sauce: The toffee sauce is the star of the show. Combine butter, sugar, and cream in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens.
Serve Warm: For the ultimate indulgence, serve your Sticky Toffee Pudding warm. The contrast between the warm cake and the velvety toffee sauce is truly irresistible.
Top with Vanilla Ice Cream or Fresh Whipped Cream: While the classic recipe is divine on its own…a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of freshly whipped cream, or a drizzle of additional toffee sauce can take your dessert to the next level. You can always sprinkle on a few nuts as well!
Pin this now to find it laterPin It
Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 1 1 /2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Salted Butter
- 1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup
- 1 cup Sugar
- 6 ounces Pitted Dates (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- pinch of Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Whipped cream
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the butter, corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook over low heat, stirring often, until it begins to turn a golden color. Carefully whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
- In a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the water over medium-low heat until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and any liquid to a food processor or high powered blender and puree until very smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter or spray with non-sticking cooking spray four to six 1/2-cup ramekins.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and then add the date puree. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops with a spoon. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. If you are using only four ramekins, the cakes will be thicker, which means a longer baking time. I suggest adding 6-7 minutes to the baking time. Let cool slightly.
- Using a toothpick or fork, poke holes into the sticky pudding and drizzle some sauce all over the tops so the caramel soaks into the warm cake. Reserve half of the caramel for drizzling on the top.
- Run a knife along the sides of the ramekins. Invert the sticky toffee pudding onto a plate. Top with a generous amount of caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
- Recipe adapted from Food & Wine recipe (changed heavy cream amount, vanilla extract amount, salted vs unsalted butter in caramel)
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.