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Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream on a white plate with a fork, beside a small bowl of extra toffee sauce.
Sweet, sticky, and completely addictive, it is always a crowd-pleaser. A classic British dessert made with sweet brown sugar and date sponge cake soaked in a buttery, rich, and delicious sticky toffee sauce. Top it with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Anneka Manning

Prep 35 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr 20 mins
8 servings
373 kcal


For the cake

  • Melted butter for the pan
  • 7 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) Medjool dates pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (or combine 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt)
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to serve

For the toffee sauce

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light cream or half and half


Make the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Slick an 11- by 7-inch (28- by 18-cm) baking pan with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with one piece of parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the dates are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the baking soda and let cool to room temperature.

    TESTER TIP: The mixture will foam once the baking soda is added, so be sure to use a saucepan at least 2 quarts (1.9 l) in size.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the cooled date mixture. Add the flour and fold in until just combined.

    TESTER TIP: It’s ok if the batter appears curdled before baking.

  • Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Make the toffee sauce

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, and cream. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove cake from the oven and pour over a quarter of the hot toffee sauce. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the warm sticky toffee pudding from the pan and cut into portions. Serve drizzled with the remaining warm toffee sauce, and ice cream or whipped cream on the side.