Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky toffee pudding is something I’d heard rumblings about before and sort of put it in the back of my mind to maybe try one day. I had never eaten it and really knew nothing about it, but I figured… Sticky? Good. Toffee? Good. Pudding? Goooood. I most likely couldn’t go wrong with this, but it never quite cracked my short list of recipes to try. Fast forward to this past weekend when my Chief Culinary Consultant was reading his Wall Street Journal and handed me the section that included a big spread on holiday food (this is naturally much more my go-to than markets and futures and things of that nature). There was an article dedicated to different types of puddings (all of which I want to try), and the recipe for the sticky toffee pudding jumped right off the page at me. Um, no one told me there were DATES in sticky toffee pudding!! I would have made this eons sooner! I love me some dates. And not surprisingly, I looooooved the sticky toffee pudding!

I ended up not going with the recipe that was featured in the Wall Street Journal due to the fact that there was mention of soaking the dates in water, but not actually mentioning how much water was needed. I figured this was a relatively important quantity to know, so I went about searching for a very similar recipe. I hit pay dirt on David Lebovitz’ site, as his recipe was almost identical to the one in the paper, but thankfully his instructions included the amount of water needed.

As it turns out, sticky toffee pudding is every sort of awesome you can imagine. It’s baked on top of toffee sauce. The sponge-like cake is moist and packed with dates. And then more toffee sauce is poured over top. You could top it even further with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you dare. I was actually out (I swore there was still some in the fridge from Thanksgiving, bummer!), but I did think that a little squirt of whipped cream would be good. And who am I kidding? When is vanilla ice cream on top of something not a good idea?

So tell me, who knew about sticky toffee pudding and didn’t share the amazingness I had been missing out on? Is this a staple in anyone’s family for Christmas?

One year ago: Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A traditional English dessert, popular during the holidays.


For the Toffee Sauce:
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup demerara sugar (can substitute muscovado sugar or another dark brown sugar)
2½ tablespoons golden syrup (can substitute molasses)
Pinch salt

For the Pudding:
6 ounces pitted dates, chopped
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 8½-inch porcelain soufflé dish (or similar-sized baking dish.)

2. Make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, demerara or turbinado sugar, golden syrup (or molasses) and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.

3. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared soufflé dish and place the dish in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.

4. To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Set aside, but keep it slightly warm.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. (Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks a bit curdled.)

7. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Don’t overbeat the batter.

8. Remove the soufflé dish from the freezer and scrape the batter into the soufflé dish and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.

9. Remove the pudding from the oven, and let cool slightly before serving. Spoon portions of the cake into serving bowls and douse with additional warm toffee sauce. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are good accompaniments, although I enjoy it just as it is.

(Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz)


77 Responses to “Sticky Toffee Pudding”

  1. Jen of My Tiny Oven on December 8, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Oooooo this looks sooooo good!


  2. Kate R on December 8, 2011 at 12:28 am

    In Australia, this is a staple dessert in the winter (i.e. not for the holidays, when dessert = all things summery!). Every restaurant serves some version of it and every home baker has a much-loved recipe. I make it all the time! Love it 🙂 Glad you discovered it.


  3. katie on December 8, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Looks divine. For a proper English pudding experience you nead it serve it piping hot with lashings of hot custard poured all over it 🙂


  4. Ann on December 8, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Oh, double yum! This looks absolutely amazing!


  5. Choc Chip Uru on December 8, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I have a delicious recipe for this but can’t wait to try yours – yay for Aussie desserts!!


  6. Hannah on December 8, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I like in the UK and sticky toffee pudding is everywhere here, but nobody told me about it for the first 8 months I lived here. When I finally tried it 3 years ago, it was amazing. Now I eat it any chance I get!


  7. Kathryn on December 8, 2011 at 4:37 am

    This is one of my absolute favourite desserts but one that I never make at home, I’m definitely going to have to rectify that. There is nothing better than a slice of warm sticky toffee pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  8. stephanie on December 8, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Haagen Daaz use to make a Sticky Toffee Pudding a couple years ago as a special around Christmas. If you can find it, you have to try it. It is insanely good for all who don’t want to bake.


  9. Sandra on December 8, 2011 at 5:58 am

    This has also been on my, “I’ve been meaning to try” list. Yours looks very tempting.


  10. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on December 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I’ve never made sticky toffee pudding before but it looks and sounds right up my alley… gooey deliciousness!


  11. Kiri W. on December 8, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Oh man, there’s few things I love more than sticky toffee pudding, and this indeed looks beyond sticky and tasty 🙂 Gorgeous!


  12. kathleen on December 8, 2011 at 6:37 am

    oh my. Can’t wait to try this!


  13. sharon on December 8, 2011 at 6:52 am

    What is “golden syrup”? Is that like the Caro brand syrup you use to make pecan pie? I want to make this….now! : )


    • Michelle on December 8th, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Hi Sharon, Golden syrup refers to something like Lyle’s golden syrup, which is different than corn syrup.


  14. Katrina on December 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Mmmm this sounds so good!


  15. Rodzilla on December 8, 2011 at 7:18 am

    that looks so good. Do you happen to know if there is any difference between sticky toffee pudding and spotted dick? I see Heinz makes both in the UK, and they seem to be very similar.


    • Sarah on December 8th, 2011 at 9:08 am

      Spotted Dick is a sponge pudding made with currants or raisins. Nice, but nowhere near as good as sticky toffee pudding.


  16. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on December 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Oh yum!! This toffee pudding cake looks amazing!! I love that you added dates, so this is healthy right? 🙂


  17. Sarah @ Engineering Deliciousness on December 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I don’t know if this was intentional, but you totally pseudo-quoted Friends 🙂 The Thanksgiving episode where Rachel makes the triffle-shepherds pie concoction. Joey: What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Gooooood. Made my day (and probably freaked everyone out that I know Friends that well…..hehe)


    • Michelle on December 8th, 2011 at 11:30 am

      Oh I didn’t think of that when I was writing it, but now I totally remember that episode! It must have been in the back of my brain somewhere 🙂 I was a big Friends watcher!


  18. Sweettwist_Meg on December 8, 2011 at 8:37 am

    This is on my list to make as well. It just looks so good.


  19. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers on December 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Oh goodness – that looks incredible! Yum


  20. Sarah on December 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Sticky toffee pudding appears on most menus here in the UK. You should try this recipe – insanely easy and completely gorgeous. I’ll be taking it to dinner at my parents this Christmas like I do every year 🙂


  21. Crystal on December 8, 2011 at 9:39 am

    That looks sooo good! Can’t wait to try it.
    The number one thing on my wish list is an Ipad!


  22. Carolin on December 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one that dives into the Wall Street Journal for the food section on the weekend!


  23. Oui, Chef on December 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Let me guess….if you look up the word sinful in the dictionary you get a picture of this lovely thing….oh, my.


  24. Nikki on December 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Holy cow! That looks absolutely amazing!!!! DELISH!


  25. Toni McFadden on December 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I have a pudding mold. I wonder if it will work in that? I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…and I know I have whipped cream in my fridge.


  26. Beth V. on December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Oooh, I gotta try this! I’m on a date kick lately…I’ve been popping them like candy. Any idea where I can find these fancy brown sugars? Or do you think it would be just as good with dark brown sugar from the supermarket?


    • Michelle on December 8th, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Hi Beth, I was actually surprised – I found demerara sugar right in the baking aisle at the grocery store. If you can’t find it I think dark brown sugar would be a perfect substitute.


  27. Mercedes (Satisfy My Sweet Tooth) on December 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

    This looks incredible and I needed a recipe idea for a party on Saturday! Thanks!


  28. Amy Thompson on December 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    One of my very favorite things to eat – it is great with Pralines & Cream ice cream from B&R but not for the faint hearted when it comes to calories! Love your blog!!


  29. Julie on December 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I made sticky toffee pudding once and really loved it, but it wasn’t baked with the sauce like this one. I’ll bet it’s waaay better your way. Now I have to do it again 🙂


  30. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on December 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I am seriously drooling right now. So good!!!


  31. Samantha Cernock on December 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    That looks IN.CRED.I.BLE!!!


  32. Jennifer on December 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I am so going to try this recipe. One of our favorite cookies in our house is date pinwheel cookies, because we do love our dates too.


  33. Missy on December 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This looks so decadent. What a fun recipe – thank you!


  34. Eileen on December 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Now I know what I’m making for boxing day!


  35. Maritez on December 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    For awhile Haagen Daaz sold a “sticky toffee pudding” ice cream and it was my husband’s favorite! Unfotunately, its no longer sold….or at least we can’t find it anywhere.


  36. Margaret on December 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I just discovered your blog on the weekend. Love it! I think I’m going to have to try this pudding also!


  37. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) on December 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, wow, this is another amazing dish!


  38. Cheryl on December 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Whole Foods used to sell foil pans of Sticky Toffee Pudding in their bakery section. They came with a solid toffee coating on top , and a foil lined cardboard cover. It was designed for you to take home and heat it up in the oven. The toffee coating on top would melt and liquify and ooze down into the cake (and there was more toffee underneath too). It was awesome!!! They stopped selling it. 🙁


  39. mom from nyc on December 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Such a lovely and delicious toffee pudding, a nice dessert for this coming holiday season. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  40. Mona on December 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I discovered sticky toffee pudding (but called sticky date pudding) in Australia on my honeymoon 10 years ago. It was so amazingly delicious! Since then, my husband and I swoon just thinking about it. I have a few recipes researched to try, but how fun to find that you’ve tested one out for me! I can’t wait to try it! I can already taste its hot caramel toffee goodness….and good vanilla ice cream just makes it that much more decadent!


  41. Leslie on December 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    When I was recently in London, the sticky toffee pudding was served with clotted cream. Yum!


  42. Danielle on December 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Do you really need to use a souffle dish or can another type of dish be substituted into the recipe? Thanks!

    (By the way, I love your recipes. You’ve never led me wrong!)


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Danielle, You just need a smallish casserole dish. I used a 2-quart Corningware casserole dish pictured above.


  43. angela on December 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    I’ve never had this, but I think I’ve been missing out.


  44. Beth on December 9, 2011 at 7:43 am

    We have Date Pudding every holiday, is that similar to sticky toffee pudding?


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Good question Beth, I’ve never had Date Pudding, so I couldn’t say. Hopefully another reader will be able to offer some insight!


  45. Parsley Sage on December 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Sticky Toffee is one of my favorites! I’d never had it before moving to Cayman. Love your recipe, will have to try it 🙂



  46. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on December 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I’ve made this before, SO good!


  47. Tara on December 9, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Funny – I’m getting ready to make Sticky Toffee Pudding next week! I first saw it on Cooking Channel a couple months ago and had to make it. It seemed then there wasn’t a big selection of recipes and no one had heard of it before but now it is everywhere! I’m planning on using the King Arthur Flour recipe. Can’t wait to try it!


  48. Paula on December 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

    The topping alone makes me want to try this!


  49. Jen on December 9, 2011 at 11:42 am

    That looks soooooooo good.


  50. Ally on December 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Being in England I have become very accustomed to this dessert on the menus… I believe North America has been missing out! Great post.


  51. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on December 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    This looks incredible! I need a dessert for a get together on Friday night, and I think I just might give this a try. I am a big fan of all things toffee.


  52. Cherissa on December 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Michelle…. if you are ever in Las Vegas at the New York New York hotel there is a restaurant called Gallagher’s (it’s a steak house) you MUST go there for their sticky toffee pudding. My fiance and I went there for dinner, and our waitress bought us dessert (which is a show of just how awesome their customer service is)….she recommended the pudding, and since she was buyin’ we accepted. Holy Schmoly….we would visit Vegas again JUST TO EAT THAT AGAIN!! LOL! I am going to try making this tomorrow, hopefully it’s just as good!!! My mouth is already watering!


  53. Martha on December 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I made this for my family on Christmas Eve and it was gone before the end of the day! This was a huge surprise, as I made it to get rid of dates we bought in bulk and couldn’t seem to finish. My only suggestion is that I needed to cook the carmel longer on the stovetop to create a mixture that coated the back of the spoon. I’m making it again, and this time it will hopefully last long enough so I can try it with whipped cream or ice cream. Happy Holidays!


  54. Brooke on December 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Amazing! Made this for a dinner party of 5 this evening and it is gone!


  55. Stephanie Kindig on February 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    My cooking group made this today and it was delicious. Amazing recipe and quite easy to put together.


  56. Maria on December 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    All I can say is WOW! This was perfect in every way. The bread/cake was soft and moist in and of itself, but baked and topped with toffee sauce, it was beyond words. This is the ideal holiday dish, thank you so much!


  57. Elissa on March 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    The Joy of Cooking Butterscotch Sauce is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever made. The Pudding needs the sauce, and is even better with cream poured over it. mmm


  58. Betti @ Germany on March 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Ok, so how un-cool is it to post a comment more than a year after your original post?! Oh well, I just made this for the first time for company last weekend and it was a big hit. It is a very forgiving recipe: I wrecked the butter/sugar mixture because it never got fluffy, but I separated the eggs and whipped the egg whites to soft peaks. I incorporated the stiff egg whites with the flour and date mixture and it was perfect. My “pudding” rose to nearly the next rack level in the oven! I also subbed maple syrup and sugar cane syrup for the molasses, plus I used light brown sugar. I didn’t have the exact ingredients called for in the recipe, but it sure didn’t hurt things! I was eating the leftover toffee sauce straight from the bowl… Thanks for your awesome recipes and pics!


  59. Rashmi on May 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    After looking online at so many recipes, I decided to try yours as it had the sauce at the bottom of the dish as well. This was the first time I was making sticky toffee pudding and I have to tell you, this came out amazing! Also, this was a very forgiving recipe, my electricity went about 3 times during the cooking but it still Rose perfectly and beautifully. The sauce was amazing too. Thanks. I love your blog and ever recipe sounds amazing, will try whatever I can with ingredients available to me. Thanks 🙂


  60. Judi on August 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Any comments about converting this recipe into cupcakes?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Judi, I have never made this recipe into cupcakes; if you do, feel free to stop back and share your feedback!


  61. Pearl on August 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Michelle!!
    I think I am officially addicted to your recipes.. This is the second one I have tried in two days and I can’t tell you how awesome it is!! I took it to a get together and everyone was just raving about it!! There wasn’t a single person who didn’t ask for the recipe!! Best part was no one could tell there are dates in the pudding as one of my friends is not a big fan of them and wouldn’t have touched it if she had known the recipe calls for dates!!
    I baked it in an 8 inch square glass dish.. Also I pricked the pudding several times with a skewer while it was still hot and poured the remaining sauce on top it was much easier to carry this way next time when I serve it at home I will serve the sauce separately for everyone to pour as much as they would like.. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    PS: have you ever replaced white granular sugar with brown sugar in the cake batter? Or used lesser amount of sugar since the topping is already so sweet..


    • Michelle on August 27th, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Pearl, I have not made any sugar substitutions for this pudding; if you try it, let me know how it goes.


  62. q8jojo on September 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I made this last Friday and it was a big hit, everyone loved it ,I made holes all over it when it was hot, pour all the hot sauce , it was really marvelous
    Thank you for all your recipes
    God bless you


  63. Erin on November 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Trying this TOnight! P.S. Caught the Friends reference. 😉


  64. Neal on December 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I’m making this for a holiday party this weekend and can’t wait! I have 2 questions I am hoping you could help me with:

    1. When you place half the sauce into the prepared soufflé dish and place the dish in the freezer, does the sauce need to come down to room temperature before it goes in the freezer? And should the sauce then be frozen before you add the batter on top of it?

    2. Any thoughts on whether this could be made ahead of time? It sounds like it would be best warm, but if I bake and refrigerate it overnight, then let it come up to room temperature the day of party, and then add warm toffee sauce right before serving, do you think that would work?


    • Michelle on December 11th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Neal, The sauce does not need to come down to room temperature, and it does not need to be frozen when it is topped. I think this is best made and served immediately. If you bake it ahead of time, I would probably rewarm it in an oven (covered with foil) before serving, or before your guests arrive, then just keep covered and serve for dessert (it should still be warm).


      • Neal on December 11th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Thanks for the advice, can’t wait to try it!


  65. CheriAnn on January 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I just saw this recipe and can’t wait to make this! It has all things wonderful!
    I’m worried about taking a dish from the freezer and putting it in a preheated oven. Has anyone had a problem with their dish breaking? It seems they always come with warnings saying NOT to do that.
    Do you have any feedback or advice concerning that?
    Other than that, I’m “all systems go” for making this yummy dish!!!


    • Michelle on January 7th, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Hi CheriAnn, As long as you don’t use glass, it should be fine.


  66. plasterer bristol on January 29, 2015 at 6:49 am

    nice, looks like a delicious recipe. thanks for posting this recipe, i love toffee.



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