These decadent Caramel Date Cakes are better known as Sticky Toffee Puddings, an outrageously rich and gooey British dessert.

Who wouldn’t want their own individual Date Cake drizzled with caramel?

Sticky toffee pudding cakes on two white dessert plates surrounded by caramel sauce.

Why You Must Make

My mom loved to bake with dates. I remember the date bread and cookies. Since she was more likely to cook up paella or moussaka, any sweet treat was memorable. Though she never made us a sticky toffee cake, it would have been right up her alley!

  • If you love caramel, these minis are right up your alley!
  • These rich cakes are portion controlled!
  • If you think you don’t like dates, don’t worry. They’re cooked and blended and add a rich sweetness without the texture of and obvious taste of dates.

Ingredient Notes

Sticky toffee pudding ingredients with labels on a metal sheet pan.
Sticky toffee pudding caramel sauce ingredients with labels on a sheetpan.
  • Kitchen Staples – All-purpose Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Brown Sugar, Egg
  • Heavy Cream – 36% Butterfat
  • Butter – I use salted butter since a touch of salt enhances dessert recipes
  • Corn Syrup – Light Karo Syrup
  • Pitted Dates – Look for Medjool dates. Use a kitchen scale to make sure you get about 6 ounces.
  • Vanilla Extract – Real vanilla, not artificially flavored
Overhead view of sticky toffee pudding on a white dessert plate with a red handle fork.

How to Make

Process shots 1, 2 for sticy toffee pudding.
  1. Made the caramel sauce and add 1 tablespoon to each of the prepared ramekins.
  2. Bake the date cakes, cool and slice them in half horizontally. Place the bottom layers of the cakes, cut side up on top of the caramel
Sticky toffee pudding process shots 3, 4.
  1. Spoon another tablespoon of caramel on each cake, then top with the other cake halves, cut side up.
  2. Top each cake with a final tablespoon of caramel sauce and spread it across the top. Bake again until the toffee is bubbling around the exterior, cool for 5 minutes, then invert each cake onto a dessert plate.

Expert Tips

  • Use Medjool dates if you can find them. They are soft and chewy with a slight caramelly taste. They are perfect for this dessert.
  • PRO-Tip: Check your baking powder to make sure it hasn’t expired. Unlike baking soda, it most often expires well before you use it all. To test it, you can put a spoonful into a bowl of very hot water. If it’s still active, it will bubble vigorously.
  • Be careful when blending the hot date mixture. It’s best to let it cool down a bit before processing.
  • Don’t toss the water used to soften the dates as it will go in the food processor, too.
  • PRO-Tip: Let your baked cakes cool slightly on a rack before releasing them. Don’t wait too long or they will stick. But wait at least 5 minutes to allow the exteriors to firm up so the cakes will keep their shape when unmolded.
  • Make sure to butter and flour your ramekins to minimize sticking. I used Baker’s Joy, a flour and oil baking spray.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sticky Toffee Pudding the same as Figgy Pudding?

No, they are two different desserts. Figgy pudding dates back to Medieval times and Sticky Toffee Pudding was developed in Scotland in the 1960s. Figgy pudding contains dried fruit, but normally no figs. It also is made with suet, bread crumbs, and brandy and is known as Christmas pudding.

What Does Sticky Pudding Taste Like?

Sticky Pudding is a rich, soft, super moist cake with a caramel or toffee flavor.

How Do You Serve Sticky Pudding?

Serve it slightly warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Is there Alcohol in Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Adding alcohol to this dessert doesn’t seem to be traditional, but adding some rum to the caramel (toffee) sauce would be delicious.

How Long Does Sticky Date Pudding Keep?

It will keep well for 3-4 days. Cover and store in the refrigerator and gently reheat in the microwave for 30+ seconds or until it’s warmed through to the center.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding on a white plate with a red handled fork.

Sticky Pudding Cakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Yield 6 servings

Rich and gooey Sticky Pudding Cakes made with pureed dates and topped with an exquisite caramel sauce.

Ingredients

  • Baker's Joy or butter and flour to prep the ramekins

Caramel (toffee) Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cakes

  • 6 ounces Medjool Dates, pits removed (I needed about 20, but this will depend on the size of your dates)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, make sure this is fresh
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream to serve, optional

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine about half the cream with the butter, corn syrup, and sugar.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is a deep amber color. This could take 30+ minutes.
  3. Carefully mix in the rest of the cream and the vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble vigorously.
  4. Strain the caramel into a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
  5. Spray six ½-cup capacity ramekins with Baker's Joy or butter and flour. Set aside.

To make the cakes:

  1. In a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the water until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Put the dates and any liquid into your food processor and puree until very smooth.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray six 1/2-cup ramekins with Baker's Joy (a flour and oil nonstick baking spray).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With a mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla, then the date puree. At low speed, mix in the dry ingredients.
  5. Divide the batter between the ramekins. Smooth the tops if needed.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  7. Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a cooling rack. Wipe the interiors of the ramekins to remove any crumbs. Spoon a tablespoon of caramel sauce into each ramekin.
  8. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the caramel sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers.
  9. Spoon another tablespoon of the sauce over the cakes and spread evenly. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run an offset spatula or knife around the insides of the ramekins and invert each pudding onto a dessert plate.
  11. Spoon some of the caramel around each cake if desired. May serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

    Notes

    Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1 cake

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 119gFiber: 4gSugar: 90gProtein: 7g

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