Sticky Date Pudding – you’re my favourite and always will be. Also known as Sticky Toffee Pudding, the simple trick that makes all the difference is to pour some Butterscotch Sauce over the warm cake when it comes out of the oven. It makes it ultra moist and gives it that intense dark colour. Plus, more sauce to serve, of course!
STICKY DATE PUDDING – A CHILDHOOD FAVOURITE
Who else has childhood memories of Sara Lee frozen Sticky Date Pudding??
It is the only store bought dessert my mother ever bought – and only on special occasions. And as much as I loved it, my one gripe was always that there was not enough Butterscotch Sauce to go around.
Never fear. You won’t have that problem with this recipe! 😂
I know this recipe is called Sticky Toffee Pudding by most of the world – other than Australia and New Zealand it seems. And given that dates are the key ingredient in the pudding, I would say we’ve got it right for this one!!
DATES ARE KEY
I am pretty sure this is the only recipe I use dates for. And I realise that the photo above of the date sludge may look thoroughly unappetising to some people, but rest assured even if you’re a date hater that you can’t taste it in the end result.
The dates contribute to the stickiness and moistness of the sponge, as well as giving it colour. Don’t ask me for a sub! (Oh wait, you can. Prunes. Pretty much the same thing! 😂)
ONE FOR EVERYONE – OR A BIG ONE TO SHARE
I think it’s more common here in Australia to make one pudding cake that is then cut to serve. Sara Lee frozen dessert style. Whereas in the UK it seems more common to make individual puddings.
I might be wrong here. But either way will work fine, and I’ve provided cook times and directions for both.
SECRET TIP: DOUSE HOT PUDDING WITH SAUCE
If you’ve ever made one of those cakes that you douse with syrup, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for with this trick!
It goes like this – as soon as the pudding comes out of the oven, poke lots of holes using a skewer (I find this strangely satisfying but let’s not read too much into this), then pour over some hot butterscotch sauce.
This makes the pudding intensely moist as well as staining the sponge to give it that signature dark brown colour, rather than being a pale golden colour which many sticky toffee pudding recipes are.
It also means this pudding keeps for days and days in the fridge and once reheated, it’s just like it’s fresh out of the oven.
The only question is – will you serve yours with cream or ice cream? I’m an ice cream gal, all the way!! – Nagi x
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Recipe video above. You're my favourite pudding - and always will be.... My favourite part is poking holes in the pudding and pouring over the hot butterscotch sauce so it soaks in, making it so ultra moist... And then of course serving it with even more sauce!
- 280g / 9oz pitted dates , roughly chopped (Note 1)
- 1 tsp baking soda / bi carb soda
- 1 cup / 250 ml boiling water
- 40 g / 1/4 cup brown sugar , loosely packed
- 80 g / 6 tbsp unsalted butter , softened
- 2 eggs , at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups / 185 g plain flour (all purpose)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 200 g/ 1 1/4 cups brown sugar , loosely packed
- 375 ml ml / 1 1/2 cups thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 70 g / 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- Ice cream or dolloping cream
Preheat oven to 180C/350F (standard) or 160C/320F (fan/convection).
Grease 7 pudding moulds (Note 2) with butter or grease and line a 20 cm / 8" square cake pan with overhang.
Place dates in a bowl, sprinkle over baking soda. Pour over boiling water. Stand 10 minutes, then mash well with a potato masher (or fork) until it resembles sloppy porridge (see video for texture / thickness). (Note 3)
Place butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat until combined and smooth.
Add eggs, beat until incorporated.
Add flour then sprinkle baking powder across the surface. Mix until flour is incorporated.
Add dates, mix quickly until dates are well incorporated into the batter. (Note 2) Follow directions to make one pudding or individual ones.
Pour into cake pan, smooth surface. Bake 35 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
While still hot, poke about 40 holes all over the surface using a skewer. Pour over 1/2 cup Butterscotch Sauce, leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Use overhang to lift cake out. Cut, serve warm with remaining warm sauce and ice cream or cream.
Pour batter into pudding moulds, only fill 2/3 of the way up.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
While still hot, poke about 10 holes on the surface of the pudding. Spoon over 1 tbsp of Butterscotch Sauce per Pudding. Leave to soak 10 minutes.
Turn pudding moulds upside down on serving plate. Serve warm with remaining warm sauce and ice cream or cream.
Place ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, stir, then bring to simmer.
Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring once, then remove from heat. Serve warm.
1. Prunes can also be used but change as follows: Use 1 1/4 cups boiling water, simmer with prunes in saucepan for 10 minutes. Remove form heat, stir through bicarb, cool then mash per recipe. Proceed with recipe.
2. My pudding moulds are 210ml 5 x 8 cm. Any size is fine, just fill 2/3 of the way up - need a bit of room for the sauce to pool around the edges. Large muffin tins will also work. If using standard muffin tins, just pour the sauce over a bit at a time, giving it time to soak in. Makes 12 standard muffins - they aren't as tall as pictured.
3. This gives the pudding its dark brown colour. Unless you mash well and mix well into the batter, the cake ends up a pale golden colour with splotches of dates.
4. General notes:
- This recipe probably makes more sauce than you need - but it's better to err on the side of caution!
- An electric beater will make your life easier but a whisk + wooden spoon will work fine too without exerting yourself too much. Just make sure your butter is well softened and easy to mix by hand.
- Poking holes into the pudding and pouring the sauce over to soak stains the pudding sponge a darker colour as well as adding more moisture into the pudding.
- Sticky Date Pudding is indulgent and very sweet, from both the dates + sugar in sauce. If you don't have a sweet tooth, this dessert is not for you! To reduce sweetness, you can skimp on the sauce. Or make a lighter, less sweet sauce as follows: Use half the sugar, butter and cream, make per recipe. When it simmers, add 1 cup low fat milk, then 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water. Simmer to thicken.
4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 9 servings and that all Sauce is consumed, which it may not be. I like to ensure there is enough Sauce because running out is a disaster. Nutrition for 7 individual puddings is 703 calories per serving. They are very generous sizes with loads of sauce (because the sauce recipe makes enough for 9 servings for the pudding cake), so when I scale the Sauce down by 20%, it reduces to 606 calories. Calories per serve for lightened up sauce (see Less Sweet Sauce above) is 477 calories.
LIFE OF DOZER
If you look real close on the right side, you’ll see the tiniest glimpse of my hand as I desperately tried to hold Dozer back from doing a face plant into the Pupcakes…..
In all seriousness though! I made these Pupcakes for the RSPCA, to let people know about the RSPCA Cupcake Day which is on 20 August 2018. It’s a day when bakers from all across Australia gather at their workplace, school or home to raise funds to help all the pooches and other animals who aren’t as fortunate as Dozer.
Join in or find out more about this worthy cause, for all the pooches who aren’t as lucky as ours. Don’t be surprised if I announce that I’m setting up a cupcake stand on the streets! 😂