Butterscotch Sauce being poured over Sticky Toffee Pudding on a white plate, ready to be eaten
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5 from 35 votes

Sticky Date Pudding

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! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Sticky Date Pudding
Servings: 7 - 9 people
Author: Nagi


  • 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

Butterscotch Sauce:

  • 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.

Mashed Dates:

  • 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.

One Pudding:

  • 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.

Butterscotch Sauce:

  • 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. Dates sub: 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. Moulds: 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. 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.