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Top Rated Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipes
A sticky-sweet dessert that is best served with a rich caramel or butterscotch sauce, and a bit of vanilla ice cream or slightly sweetened whipped cream. While this dessert can be served any time of year, it is particularly festive to serve during the holidays. Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style.”
Soaked in sweet honey molasses sauce, quinoa flour adds a nutty component to this simple toffee pudding recipe. Recipe courtesy of Harvest executive pastry chef Brian Mercury.Click here to see how to make the Quinoa Sticky Toffee Pudding.
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces pitted dates (about 7 dates preferably Medjool)
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of the cream with the butter, corn syrup and sugar bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 40 minutes. Carefully whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl.
In a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the water over moderately 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 and puree until very smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter six 1/2-cup ramekins. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the date puree. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean let cool slightly.
Using a small serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes level with the rims of the ramekins. Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a wire rack. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Wipe out the ramekins and spoon 1 tablespoon of the toffee sauce into each. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce over the cakes and spread evenly. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling around the edges.
Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the insides of the ramekins invert each pudding onto a dessert plate. Rewarm the remaining toffee sauce and spoon some around the puddings. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This decadent dessert tastes like all things merry and bright.
pitted Medjool dates (about 2 cups)
fresh brewed espresso or 1 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 3 Tbsp hot water
cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
dark brown sugar (about 2 1/4 cups)
pecans, toasted and chopped
Whipped cream, for serving
- Make date puree: In medium pot, bring dates, water and espresso to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to blender and puree dates and liquid until smooth. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, make date cake: Heat oven to 325°F. Coat 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in eggs 1 at a time. In three additions, alternate flour and date mixtures, mixing until just combined.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make toffee-pecan sauce: Melt butter in large, heavy pan. Add brown sugar and stir to combine. Stir in lemon juice, then cream, stirring slowly, until fully incorporated. Cook on low until bubbles have slowed and sauce is thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then fold in pecans.
- To serve, cut cake into pieces and transfer to plates. Spoon some sauce over top and serve with dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Nutritional Information (per serving): About 605 calories, 27.5 g fat (14.5 g saturated fat), 7 g protein, 250 mg sodium, 88 g carb, 4 g fiber
Sticky toffee pudding recipes
See our most indulgent sticky toffee pudding recipes, perfect for Christmas. Try our vegan option for a new twist or go for one of our easy classics.
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Sticky Toffee Pudding
In this Sticky Toffee Pudding, chopped dates are baked into a moist sponge cake, which is then topped with a rich toffee-flavored sauce. Add Rum Whipped Cream for a super delicious and impressive dessert!
I was first introduced to Sticky Toffee Pudding while living in Europe, and have been in love with it ever since. In Amsterdam (where I lived) the British retailer Marks and Spencer sold a frozen version of this pudding in their food hall. It was so fabulous, I never felt the need to make it myself. However, after moving back to the US, I missed Sticky Toffee Pudding, so I set out to find a recipe (or create one!).
Pudding or Cake?
Sticky Toffee Pudding is actually not what we Americans know as “pudding.” It’s what we call “cake” and is flavored with moist pieces of dates. The toffee-flavored sauce is what makes this dish so amazing. Since I love anything caramel, butterscotch or toffee-flavored (and the tastes are all very similar), it’s not surprising that I immediately took to this pudding/cake. What really surprised me is how easy it is to make!
Finding the Best Recipe
In researching ingredients and recipes for this scrumptious dessert, I discovered numerous versions – from various restaurants, chefs, cooking magazines, newspapers, etc. Since this dessert’s origins are not clear (other than it’s British) there was no way to know which one, if any, was the “true” recipe. So, I set out testing a few to see if I could find one that tasted like Marks and Spencer’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Hands down, the best recipe I found was from Chef Shelly Steinhaus. During my quest (which was in 2010), Robert and I had dinner at Chef Shelly’s Denver area restaurant Bella Bistro, and we both loved her Sticky Toffee Pudding. Fortunately, Chef Shellie graciously shared her recipe, with permission to re-share. (Note: while Bella Bistro is now closed, Chef Shelly teaches cooking classes, hosts private cooking parties and leads culinary travel tours through her business Bella Bistro Culinary Studio.)
Back in 2011 I shared Chef Shelly’s original recipe. Since then, I’ve prepared it several times, making a few adjustments over the years. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I can’t resist tinkering with recipes, adjusting them to reflect a bit of my own style. So, I decided it was time to update the post to include all of my changes. Plus, I recently shot much better photos of this pudding and wanted to share those, too! I’ve also included the recipe for Rum Whipped Cream, which I like to serve with the pudding.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Here's a figgy twist on an old English favorite. Don't expect American pudding in Great Britain, "pudding" means dessert, and this one is fantastic. Don't skip the sauce adding whipped cream or vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt, either. For a version using alternative sweeteners, see the baker's tips below.
- 1 cup (156g) double diced figs or chopped dried dates
- 2/3 cup (152g) boiling water
- 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
- 1/4 cup (53g) brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (43g) molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (113g) Unbleached Cake Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (99g) Baker's Special Sugar, or superfine sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, cold
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, omit if using salted butter
- 3/4 cup (170g) heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter six 3/4-cup silicone baking cups or oven-safe custard cups. Combine the figs (or dates) and boiling water, and set aside.
To make the cake: Beat the 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, then the molasses and vanilla, then the flour.
Purée the figs and water in a food processor or blender. Add the baking soda, and stir into the batter.
Perfect your technique
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Scoop into the prepared baking cups, placing a scant half cup batter in each. Place the molds on a baking sheet.
Bake the cakes for 18 to 22 minutes, until a cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Remove from the oven, and cool in the molds or cups.
To make the sauce: Cook the sugar, butter, and salt over medium heat until the mixture is a deep amber color watch closely to prevent burning.
Carefully mix in the cream. Cook the mixture until it's thick enough to coat a spoon.
Unmold the cakes and serve with the sauce.
Tips from our Bakers
To use our caramel block for the sauce, combine 1 cup (280g) caramel with 1/4 cup (57g) heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 90 seconds at half power and stir until the sauce is smooth. Pour over the cakes before serving.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding gets its “squidgy” texture from pureed, tea-soaked dates, which keep the cake very moist and are a favorite of food video producer Kiano Moju. Toffee sauce, spiked with spiced rum, adds further richness to the unashamedly sweet dessert, best enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream.
Black treacle, a British molasses-like syrup often sold under the U.K. brand Tate & Lyle, is sold in some gourmet markets or Indian grocery stores, and is available online. Search for it to make this cake, but in a pinch, regular molasses also will work to add the distinctly bittersweet flavor you expect in this dessert.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray or butter.
Place the tea bags in a liquid measuring cup and pour in 1 cup boiling water. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeezing to drain away as much liquid as possible, and discard. Place the chopped dates and baking soda in a blender, then pour in the hot tea. Stir to make sure the dates are completely covered with the tea, then cover the blender and let the dates soak for 10 minutes. When the time is up, blend the dates until completely smooth, at least 30 to 45 seconds.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt in a medium bowl.
Place the brown sugar, butter and treacle in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula (or a hand mixer) to mix everything together until smooth, then vigorously stir until just beginning to lighten in color, about 30 seconds. Add one egg and use a whisk to mix the egg into the batter until it’s smooth. Add the second egg and whisk until smooth. Add the date paste to the bowl, scraping to make sure you get every last bit, and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir with the wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. The batter will seem too thin for the pan but it will rise substantially once baked.
Bake, rotating the pan once halfway through cooking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the cake is baking, prepare the toffee sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, brown sugar and salt. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally, until the butter fully melts. Once the mixture comes to a full boil, set a timer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the bubbles are even in size and the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spiced rum. You should have 1 ½ cups toffee sauce.
Once the cake comes out of the oven, use a toothpick or skewer to immediately poke 4 dozen or so holes all over the top. Slowly drizzle about ½ cup of the toffee sauce over the cake (enough to saturate it evenly), then let stand for 20 minutes to allow the sauce to set into the cake. Scoop the cake into bowls and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more warm toffee sauce on the side.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the Bundt pan to ensure the cake can easily slide out once baked.
- In a medium saucepan, bring dates and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will by foamy). Set aside and let cool.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a separate large bowl (mixture will be grainy). Add one egg and beat. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the date mixture and beat to blend.
- Repeat with the remaining egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. When finished, pour mixture into the Bundt mold.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean or about 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
- In a small sauce pan, bring sugar, cream, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring consistently. Boil for about three minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Let stand at room temperature and rewarm when needed.
- Cut the cake and serve with toffee sauce and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Taste sticky toffee pudding and other heavenly treats of Scotland when you travel on our New! Scotland’s Legends & Lochs: From Glasgow to Edinburgh adventure.
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Best sticky toffee pudding recipe
Please share your best recipe for STP! Don't like dates so leaving those out and preferably a recipe without a million different ingredients. Thanks.
This recipe is fab, it does have dates but as they are puréed you cants taste then it just makes the pudding extra squidgy!
Boil 200g pitted dates with 1 tbsp bicarbonate soda and 250ml water
Once the dates are soft blitz to a smooth paste.
Whisk 55g dark brown sugar and 55g butter together, slowly whisk in 2 beaten eggs.
Mix in 3 tbsp golden syrup and fold in 200g self raising flour.
Add the date mixture and mix until all combined.
Pour into a lined baking dish and cook for about 20 mins on 180, it is ready when it is firm to touch.
To make the sauce- mix in a saucepans 55g butter and 55g dark brown sugar, once combined whisk in 100ml double cream and a pinch of sea salt.
Thanks oneday but don't have any dates and need to make it fairly soon without going to shops! Any date-free recipes please?
How to make Sticky Toffee Pudding in advance
The great thing about this is that you can knock together a couple of portions, pour into individual ramekins and save one for a couple of days in the fridge. When you are ready to serve just remove from the fridge and give it 45-60 minutes to come to room temperature and then cook. The sauce can be reheated in a microwave without losing any texture. I included a recipe for 2 portions, because it would be rude to make this and only eat it one night. Alternatively you can cook all the puddings and use these great pudding storage containers to store in the fridge and then go straight from fridge to microwave to reheat!