Sticky Toffee Pudding

When I'm looking at a restaurant dessert menu in England, I always stop reading once I've seen "Sticky Toffee Pudding" because I immediately know that is the dessert I will choose. No other British dessert can stand up to it.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding is the classic British dessert which uses dates to create a moist delicious cake, topped with a luscious caramel sauce. It’s easy to make and SO much fun to eat. Boiling the dates in water makes them super soft and easy to chop. Adding the baking soda to the mixture helps break down the skin of the dates, making it easier to blend the dates into the final cake batter. Those are all the tricks you need to know – after that, it’s making a basic cake batter.
Whole sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce dripping down the sides.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 45 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 cup pitted dates chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Sauce:
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar or light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the dates into a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Then, remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. (The mixture will foam and then settle down again.) Remove from the heat and let the dates cool.
  3. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this mixture to the creamed butter mixture and stir in the cooled dates. Transfer the pudding mixture to the 10-inch sauté pan and send it to the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. It should feel firm in the center but give a little.
  5. While the pudding is in the oven, make the sauce by combining the sugar, butter and heavy cream and simmering until it is a golden caramel color and slightly thickened.
  6. Turn out the sticky toffee pudding while it is still warm and pour the sauce over the top to drench it!
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Comments (11)Post a Reply

    1. No you do not drain the dates, you add the baking soda to the dates and the liquid in the pan. Let it cool and proceed with the recipe.

  1. I totally agree that this is THE dessert to eat when visiting England. I’ve made it before and am anxious to try your recipe.

  2. I’m wondering about spices? I have a recipe for a Christmas cake that sounds somewhat similar to this one, but you poke the cake and pour a syrup over it when it comes out of the oven. I like the idea of traditional holiday spices, and notice this recipe doesn’t call for anything but vanilla. I’m just curious, and realize it would be compromising this traditional British favorite, which I’m definitely going to try. Any comments would be appreciated… thank you!

    1. Hi Berni. You could definitely give it a holiday spice flavor. Add ½ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of ground cloves to the flour.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Meredith,

    I made this for Christmas dessert and it was wonderful. Jack and I had this once at a restaurant in East Hampton, NY but we think this recipe was so much better. Thank you for posting it! It will be a Christmas tradition.

  4. 5 stars
    This was a HUGE hit at Christmas dinner! I’ve been wanting to try Sticky Toffee Pudding since watching a travel show about Cartmel (known as the “Home of Sticky Toffee Pudding” in the UK) a few years ago, but could never find a shop in the US that sold this brand. Seeing the recipe on Blue Jean Chef was a delight – and I was surprised to see how easy it was to make. I was not sure about putting my pan in the oven, so I used a bundt cake pan (same temp, same time as specified in the recipe) and it worked beautifully. Thank you, Meredith, for another addition to my culinary repertoire!

  5. To travel with this, do I assemble and go or transport cake and sauce separately and warm sauce and assemble at destination?
    It’s a 30 min trip.

    1. You definitely want to assemble the cake at your destination. The sauce will absorb into the cake. It’s best to warm the sauce and pour over the cake right before serving. You could also just sauce your individual pieces after cutting out slices of the cake.

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