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! 😂)
Individual puddings – or a large one for sharing
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
Sticky Date Pudding
- 280g / 9 oz pitted dates , roughly chopped (Note 1)
- 1 tsp baking soda / bi carb soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar , loosely packed
- 80g / 6 tbsp unsalted butter , softened
- 2 eggs , at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup brown sugar , tightly packed
- 1 1/2 cups thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 70g / 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- Ice cream or dolloping cream
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan-forced).
- 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.
Baking Individual Puddings:
- 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.
– 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. Make Ahead: Exceptional for reheating because it’s so moist. Poke the holes and soak with sauce, reserve remaining sauce for serving. Best way to reheat is in the microwave because it keeps the pudding moist. 5. 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.
More cosy warm desserts for cold winter nights
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…..