Sticky Toffee Pudding

May 4, 2014

Updated July 31, 2022

This morning I’m still relishing the memories of yesterday’s Moveable Feast. The theme was one close to my heart (and stomach), British Gastropubs. As soon as I saw the theme I knew I wanted to claim dessert.

Sticky Toffee Pudding ranks as one of my all-time favorite desserts. And as it turns out, the same is true for a number of my fellow Feasters. I will go as far as saying that yesterday’s dessert was one of the best things I’ve ever made – not just for Moveable Feast but in all the things I’ve ever cooked.

What is Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Sticky Toffee Pudding is not what most American’s think of as a pudding. In general, the word “pudding” is used in the UK the same way “dessert” is used in the U.S. Sticky Toffee Pudding is a moist sponge cake that is covered in toffee sauce while still warm and allowed to sit overnight so the sauce will soak into the cake. The recipe comes from Troquet restaurant in Boston and was published in the Boston Globe several years ago. I don’t know how traditional it is in terms of method but it is truly delicious and stands up to puddings I’ve had in restaurants here and in the UK.

Making the puddings

The recipe starts with dates that are simmered for a short time with baking soda to soften them. After letting them cool they are pureed then mixed into the cake batter. The first time I made this recipe I was alarmed by the color, texture, and consistency of the date puree. But the end result is well-worth the questionable looking mixture. (For obvious reasons I’m not including a picture.)

Deglet dates
I used Deglet dates but have also used Medjool dates in the past

The recipe calls for baking the puddings in individual muffin cups instead of one large pan. They come out of the oven looking like bran muffins.

Baked puddings fresh out of the oven

After allowing them cool briefly in the pan I removed them from the muffin tin and inverted them into a Pyrex dish. While still warm I poured the hot toffee sauce over the puddings. They cooled completely on the counter before being covered and placed in the refrigerator overnight.

Puddings soaked in toffee sauce

For serving the next day I warmed the puddings in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I let the puddings sit out during dinner so they weren’t refrigerator-cold when they went into the oven. You might need to warm them for a bit longer if they come straight from the refrigerator.

Serve the puddings with black pepper ice cream.

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Sticky toffee pudding and black pepper ice cream

Sticky Toffee Puddings

  • Author: Troquet Restaurant, Boston
  • Total Time: 13 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This moist date-sweetened cake is drenched in luscious toffee sauce in this classic British dessert.



For the cake

1 1/4 cups pitted dates

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

For the toffee sauce

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream


For the cake

Set the oven at 350 degrees F. Butter 8 cups in a muffin tin.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the dates, baking soda, and water. Bring it to a boil and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. It will foam; adjust the heat so it doesn’t boil over. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, work the date mixture until smooth.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the granulated sugar gradually. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat in the flour and salt. Blend the date mixture into the batter.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Fill the 4 empty cups halfway with water. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops of the puddings are firm to the touch. Let them cool slightly, then turn them out upside down into a heatproof baking dish.

For the toffee sauce

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and cream. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let it bubble gently for 5 minutes.

To assemble

Pour the brown sugar mixture over the cakes, dividing it evenly. Let the cakes cool.

Cover the cakes loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least half a day so the cakes soak up the sauce.

To serve

Set the oven at 300 degrees. Warm the cakes for 10 minutes or until heated through.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: British


  • Calories: 365.39
  • Sugar: 55.73 g.
  • Sodium: 342.80 mg.
  • Fat: 8.53 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 4.86 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 70.61 g.
  • Fiber: 2.26 g.
  • Protein: 3.94 g.
  • Cholesterol: 65.96 g.

Keywords: dates, toffee

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