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When it comes to classic English desserts, there are few that are quite as decadent or delicious as sticky toffee pudding. It’s a sponge cake made with chopped dates and typically covered in toffee sauce, and it pairs well with a vanilla custard or ice cream.

This dessert is perhaps a little complicated to make, but the end result is worth it. First we wanted to master the cake. Many recipes call for treacle, but we didn’t have that on hand. Instead, we used brown sugar which made the cake taste even better. To make it nice and moist, we covered the cake with aluminum foil while the cake steamed to help trap in the moisture. The toffee sauce was a simple affair: some butter, cream, sugar and rum with just a hint of lemon juice for lightness and acidity made the perfect combination. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe…

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

(makes 8 servings)



  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole dates, pitted, cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices
  • 3/4 cup warmcoffee (or water if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour 8 4oz ramekins and line the bottom of each with parchment paper cut to fit. Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with a clean dish towel and set the ramekins over the dish towel. Bring a large kettle or saucepan of water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Combine half the dates with the coffee and baking soda in a large glass measuring cup and soak for 5 minutes. Drain the dates, reserving the liquid, and transfer the dates to a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour , baking powder, and salt.
  3. Process the remaining unsoaked dates and brown sugar in a food processor until just blended (about 5 1-second pulses). Add the reserved soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla, and process until smooth (about 5 seconds). With the food processor or blender running, pour the melded butter in in a steady stream. transfer the mixture to the bowl with the soaked dates.
  4. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Distribute the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cakes are puffed. Immediately remove the ramekins from the water and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  5. While the cakes are cooking, melt the butter for the toffee sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture look puffy (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly pour in the ream and rum, and whisk to combine. reduce the heat an simmer until frothy (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  6. To serve, invert the ramekins onto a plate or shallow bowl. Remove the ramekin, peel off the parchment paper, and divide the toffee sauce evenly among the cakes. Serve immediately with a custard or vanilla ice cream.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted fromMartha Stewart

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