Sticky Toffee Pudding is an English dessert that you are going to absolutely love! This moist sponge cake contains finely chopped dates, a rich toffee sauce, and served with vanilla ice cream.

Anything with the word Toffee in it is going to be amazing, you just know it! Try these other toffee recipes to see what I mean like this Graham Cracker, Homemade, and Toffee Cake!

A plate with sticky toffee pudding and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Let’s talk sticky for a minute here. This is hands down one of the best desserts EVER! It is sweet, but balanced. The toffee sauce tastes like a dream. And the cake sweetened with dates and brown sugar has a rich caramel-like flavor that is deep and satisfying. This festive Sticky Toffee Pudding is usually served around the holidays, but it is just too good of a treat to be eaten just once a year.

The date cake is moist and absolutely scrumptious. If you haven’t tried date cake, it’s a must. Blending the dates up creates a silky paste that is naturally sweet, but not sickly sweet flavor. It is the perfect companion for the toffee sauce. I could drink the toffee sauce on it’s own, so you have been warned. It is addicting. Serve this cake warm, with sauce warm as well. We love to serve it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients for Toffee Pudding

  • Dates: Pit the dates if not already pitted before blending.
  • Water: Boil the water to help soften the dates.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works great for this dense cake.
  • Baking powder: This helps the cake rise.
  • Baking soda: Helps the cake be airy and light.
  • Salt: Balances the cake and gives it flavor.
  • Unsalted butter: Be sure this is at room temperature.
  • Brown sugar packed: Use either dark or light brown sugar depending on your tastes.
  • Vanilla extract: Gives a nice sweet flavor.
  • Eggs: Also need to be at room temperature.

Homemade Toffee Sauce

  • Brown Sugar: I used light brown sugar, but dar would work here too, it’ll give it a stronger flavor.
  • Heavy Cream: Creates the velvety smooth texture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Gives it a nice buttery flavor.
  • Light Corn Syrup: Adds sweetness without thickening it too much.
  • Vanilla: Adds a great flavor.

How to Make Sticky Pudding Cake from Scratch

  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter 6 ½ cup ramekins and dust lightly with flour.
  2. Heat and Blend: In a small saucepan simmer the dates and the water together over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until the dates are nice and soft. Transfer them to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Beat: In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle attachment to beat together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and add the date puree and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients.
  4. Divide and Bake: Divide the batter evenly into the six ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the toffee sauce. Let the cakes cool slightly before using a serrated knife to trim the tops of the cakes level with the rim of the ramekins. Invert them onto a wire cooling rack and clean out the ramekins. Give them a quick spray of cooking spray (one with flour works best) and spoon about a tablespoon of toffee sauce into each ramekin. Put the cakes back in the ramekins and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling up the sides. Allow cooling for 2 minutes before inverting them out of the ramekins again.
  5. Enjoy: Serve the cake warm (either shortly after baking, or gently rewarmed if they are made ahead of time) with extra toffee sauce and whipped cream, ice cream, or a sprinkle of sea salt.

English Toffee Sauce Instructions

In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup. Heat over medium until boiling. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes until it begins to take on a deep amber color. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly before spooning into the ramekins and serving.

Pouring toffee sauce over the sticky pudding.

The Best Sticky Toffee Tips

This is a rich moist heavenly cake you are going to want to cook again and again.

  • Dates: If you have never used dates before do not be nervous, they are an amazing little fruit that adds sweetness naturally. Use Medjool dates for the best flavor. With their growing popularity, they are easy to find in most stores.
  • Room Temperature: Make sure your eggs, butter, and cream are at room temperature so that they mix properly and completely.
  • Make ahead: If preparing the cakes ahead of time, remove them from the ramekins and store them in an airtight container. Warm each cake in the microwave for about 30 seconds before proceeding with putting the toffee sauce in the ramekins and heating them in the oven. Be sure to gently warm the toffee sauce before using it.
  • Storing: The cakes can be kept at room temperature tightly covered for up to 2 days. Or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Be sure to warm the cakes before serving. The sauce should be kept in the fridge and also warmed before serving.
  • Freezing: Freeze the cakes tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil for up to 2 months. Thaw and warm before serving. The sauce does not freeze well and should be made fresh when ready to use.

Variations For Sticky Toffee Pudding

Not so much flavor variations as cooking variations. It’s hard to mess with a classic.

  • Baking Molds: Sticky toffee pudding is usually baked in ramekins, for the perfect serving size. These can also be baked in muffin tins, or an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Just cut the pieces and serve with the sauce and ice cream as desired.
  • Toffee Sauce: Placing toffee sauce at the bottom of the molds allows the cakes to absorb the sauce even more. There are a few other ways you can achieve this. Place the sauce in the bottom of the pans and freeze for 15 minutes to help it set just a bit. Then add your cake batter on top before baking. As it cooks the cake will absorb the sauce. Poke a few holes in the cake and allow the sauce to drip down and soak into the cake. You can skip adding the sauce to the baking and just pour it over the top when serving.
  • Dates: If you love the flavor and want more texture, chop the dates finely before adding them to the simmering water. Do not blend and add directly to the cake mix as directed.
  • Nuts: If you want a bit of a crunch, add chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter before baking. Or sprinkle them on top with the sauce.
  • Top it: Whipped topping can be used instead of the vanilla ice cream or you can do as the English do and pour some heavy cream over the top with the sauce.

A bite taken out of the cake with ice cream and sauce dripping down.

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