Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (2024)

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4.59 stars (394 ratings)

Dec 19, 2016221

If you’ve never had sticky toffee pudding cake, what are you waiting for? A super moist date cake is smothered in a buttery, sweet, toffee sauce and drizzled with a touch of cream. Beautiful and delicious!

It’s easy to get confused by the name of this recipe, but contrary to what it sounds like, sticky toffee pudding is actually one of the best cakes around.

This is an oft-requested cake for family birthdays; we all look forward to it!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (1)

What is Sticky Toffee Pudding?

In a nutshell, Sticky Toffee Pudding is aBritish dessert classic.

A super tender cake, notably made with dates, is smothered in a silky toffee sauce, pecans (optional!), and drizzled with just a touch of cream.

You can leave it simple, of course…just that toffee sauce soaking into the perfectly sweet, delicious cake.

But adding a little spoonful of cream makes this already amazing cake absolutely magical.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (2)

An Authentic Recipe

My friend, Sarah (from England), passed along this recipe to me. She’s a self-proclaimed Sticky Toffee Pudding expert and is the one who tipped me off that many British admirers of Sticky Toffee Pudding add the cream.

Of course, in the interest of staying authentic, I had to do the same.

Delicious. Oh my goodness, delicious.

I’ll leave it up to you whether to add the pecans. The addition of nuts indesserts is quite polarizing – I’ll just say, use your own free choice, and I promise all will be well.

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Baking Options: Pan or Ramekins

In the details of the recipe, you’ll note that the cakes can be baked in individual ramekins for a truly elegant presentation.

However, the cake also easily transitions to an 8X8- or 9X9-inch baking pan.

Cut into squares and drizzled with the same delicious buttery, toffee sauce (and that cream!), it tastes the same whether baked in individual ramekins or in one larger pan.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (4)

Let’s Talk about Dates

Soaked dates are used in the cake batter for sticky toffee pudding. That may seem unusual, but the dates add a delicious sweetness and texture to the cake to make it a classic.

I use soft medjool dates for this cake.

Finely chopping the dates and allowing them to soak briefly in the boiling water + baking soda + vanilla is important to the success of this recipe.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (5)

Sticky toffee pudding is one of those desserts that is so easy to make (with lots of make-ahead steps!), and it is completely impressive in presentation and taste.

As appropriate as thisdessertis for an elegant holiday table, I have to confess, we’ve taken to making it for our Sunday dessert more often than not. I think Brian officially declared it in his top 5 favorite desserts of all time.

How can I argue with that? Especially when it is so simple.

There’s just something about it that is homey and comforting and at the same time over-the-top delicious. It’s a winner.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (6)

One Year Ago: Sparkling Cranberry Apple Cider Punch
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Pudding Pretzel Pie
Three Years Ago: Orange Zested Cranberry White Chocolate Bliss Bars {A Slightly Lighter Version}

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (7)

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 35 minutes mins

Cook Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 5 minutes mins

4.59 stars (394 ratings)

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  • 6 ounces (170 g) dates, pitted and finely chopped (about 8-10 medjool dates)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (159 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup (178 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • ¾ cup (159 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (113 g) butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of coarse, kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped pecans, optional
  • Additional heavy whipping cream for drizzling, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 6 to 8 ramekins (about 6 ounces each) with butter or cooking spray or lightly grease an 8X8- or 9X9-inch pan.

  • For the cake, in a medium bowl, stir together the dates, boiling water, baking soda and vanilla extract (see note for alternate method). Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.

  • In a separate medium bowl, cream together the granulated sugar and butter with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) until well-combined and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the eggs and mix.

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

  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.

  • Fold in the date mixture (no need to drain) until combined; don’t overmix.

  • Fill the ramekins evenly with the batter, about 2/3 full, or spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

  • Bake the ramekins for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch (if using a square baking pan, bake for 22-25 minutes UPDATE: increase baking time as needed, some have needed upwards of 40 minutes). Don’t overbake or the cake may be dry.

  • Let the cakes cool completely in the pan(s) – although the cake can be served slightly warm also.

  • For the sauce, combine the sugar, butter, cream, and salt in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is smooth and combined, 5-7 minutes.

  • If the cake was baked in ramekins, turn out onto individual plates (if baked in a pan, cut the cake into squares). Pour the warm sauce over the individual servings, and sprinkle with pecans, if using; drizzle with a teaspoon or so of heavy cream, also optional but terribly delicious.


Dates: let’s talk dates for a second. I use large Medjool dates for this cake (visual here, although I’ve bought them mostly at Costco). Simply dig your fingers in and pull out the pit before chopping. They are sticky and sweet – chopping may seem a pain, but power through it. For a slightly easier option, consider combining the whole dates, boiling water, baking soda and vanilla in a blender or food processor and lightly pulsing to chop the dates and combine.

Make Ahead: the cake(s) can be made ahead, baked and frozen up to a month (or a day ahead of time – cover well overnight). Thaw and lightly warm the cake before serving. The sauce can also be made 1-2 weeks ahead of time and refrigerated. Warm lightly before serving.

Doubling and Pan Size: I haven’t tried it yet, but I believe this recipe would do well baked in a 9X13-inch pan – instead of doubling, I’d probably 1 1/2 the recipe (unless you want an ultra-thick cake…then try doubling).

Author: Mel

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 475kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 359mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 52g

Recipe Source: adapted a little from a recipe sent to me by Sarah W. (by way of Delia Smith)

Other Recipes Like This:

Amazing One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cake
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Apple Dapple Cake with Warm Vanilla Cream Sauce
Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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posted on December 19, 2016 (last updated October 18, 2022)

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221 comments on “Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake”

  1. Myranda Nielson Reply

    We made this for one of our Christmas desserts this year and it was so good. We made the cakes a day and a half ahead of time and they were still perfect. Followed recipe exactly. Simple enough and sooo delicious. That sauce is Heavenly. I even drizzled a little on my slice of pumpkin pie will make again!!

  2. Desiree Reply

    Y’all! So easy and DELICIOUS! And our guests were so WOWed they asked for the recipe. Used the food processor as suggested in the notes, and served with homemade whip cream. Will definitely be making this again.

  3. Autumn Reply

    My dearest friend is always raving about your incredible recipes of all sorts and recently introduced me to the magic of this cake. I’d heard of sticky toffee pudding on British baking shows and had always wanted to try but never thought of it when it came time to make a dessert. Once I tried the magic that is this delectable hug of a dessert at her house I couldn’t stop thinking about it for several days and finally gave in and made two! One for my family and one for another friend who needed some joy. I’m officially a convert to the magic that is Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. You’re a wizard with a whisk!!

    • Autumn Reply

      I forgot to mention that I did a single batch in a small Bundt and baked for 30 minutes and it turned out perfect with lots of caramelized edges.

      For a regular sized Bundt I doubled the batch and baked for 55 minutes and it was just shy of perfection; next time I’ll give it 60+. The Bundt looks pretty and gives lots of caramel crips to the outside, so good!

    • Mel Reply

      Thanks, Autumn!!

  4. Julie Reply

    My family was skeptical when I told them there were dates in the cake but no one minded once they took a bite! This recipe is now a family favorite and often requested for birthday dinners.

  5. Carrie Reply

    Oh. My. Goodness! This is a WOW recipe. I’ve been making this recipe for five years. I want to acknowledge what an amazing treat I discovered on your site along with many other great recipes. I’ve enjoyed following you. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mel Reply

      Thank you so much, Carrie!

  6. Julie Reply

    This is my favorite dessert ever!! I showed my kids the dates before I made the cake because I knew they wouldn’t eat it and there would be more for me!! Please make this recipe, it’s fantastic!!

  7. Safaa Reply

    This was amazing!! So easy and quick to put together. I made it in a muffin pan since I didn’t have ramekins. I just kept checking after the 15 minute mark and they were fully baked at around 18 minutes. I had Deglet Noor dates on hand and it was still amazing. Just a tip, if you end up using a different type of date than Medjool, you should definitely weigh it. I ended up need 30+ deglet noor dates to meet the weight requirements in the ingredients. Oh and I also used butter flavored shortening in the cake because I didnt have enough and wanted to save the real butter for the sauce. Still turned out so, so delicious! Very forgiving recipe and rave reviews from everyone.

  8. Rikki Reply

    Made this tonight when we had the missionaries over for dinner. We were all DYING! My husband said it was the best dessert he’s ever had. One of the missionaries shamelessly asked if I’d make it next time they came over! Haha! So so good.

    I made it in a square pan and cut it into 9 pieces. Perfect portions. We sprinkled pecans on top after adding the sauce and cream and it was amazing!

  9. Dodi Reply

    Super easy and enjoyed by everyone. I made batter using the blended dates technique first thing in the morning. I stuck it in the fridge and baked it in muffin tins not long before dinner. My 9 year old helped me make the sauce right before serving. We can’t do pecans, so I served with roasted almonds sprinkled over the top. This made 12 muffin-sized cakes; however the cakes were quite tall. Next time I will not put as much batter in each cup so I can have more cakes.

  10. Regina Reply

    This is on my to make very soon list! We had Sticky Toffee Pudding in Williamsburg it was Amazingly delicious! Williamsburg Inn added just a few chocolate chunks!

  11. Karen Reply

    This recipe for Sticky toffee pudding cake is wonderful, it is a perfect dessert for dinner guest, not hard to make and impressive looking.

  12. Patricia Reply

    Hi Mel! This sounds amazing and after watching each season of the Great British Baking Show multiple times, i can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you have any thoughts on pouring the sauce in the pan first and then pouring the cake batter on top like an upside down cake? Thanks!

    • Mel Reply

      Hi Patricia, that’s an interesting idea! I’ve never tried it, but I definitely think it would be worth experimenting!

      • Patricia Reply

        I will report back!

  13. Frances Reply

    Absolutely scrumptious!!

  14. Ashley Lawrence Reply

    “….Aunt Marilyn made it for Brian and ME….”

    It’s incorrect to say, “…Aunt Marilyn made it for Brian and I.”

    In other words, “…Aunt Marilyn made it for me,” not “Aunt Marilyn made it for I.”

    • L Reply

      As an editor I want to say, “Relax!” There are other websites specifically for this behavior. Just make the cake already.

  15. B Reply

    Hi Mel! I’ve been using your recipe for a while now and it’s very good! I made some recently but had a problem with my sauce. it was separating. What could i have done wrong? And is there a way to fix it? Thanks!

    • Mel Reply

      Did you change any ingredients – the brand or type of ingredients used in the sauce? I’m not sure why it would all of a sudden be separating. You can try simmering it to bring it together again.

  16. Tania Reply

    Can I make this cake the day before or will it dry out if it’s cut in the fridge overnight?
    I’d like to make it using a round tin and fill the layers with cream and syrup
    Ok make it Saturday to serve on the Sunday but will this be ok?
    How should I cover and store the cake?
    Thanks can’t wait to try this one

    • Mel Reply

      I make this cake a day ahead all of the time and it works great! It’s best if it is covered well (with a lid or plastic wrap) and stored in the fridge or at room temperature.

  17. Emerson Day Reply

    Made this today but without dates, tastes a little like pancakes but in the best way! Haha, we loved it!

  18. Pri Reply

    Tried this today and it was exceptional!!

  19. Jennifer N Martinez Reply

    Do you bake the ramekins on a cookie sheet or water bath, or do you just place the ramekins directly in the oven? I can’t wait to try this!

    • Mel Reply

      I bake them on a cookie sheet.

  20. Tina Reply

    People get tired of hearing superlatives, I know, but I don’t know of any other way of saying this: my husband said it’s the best dessert I ever made and I bake about three times a week, lol! It’s heavenly. Super easy sauce and the cake was sooo moist and fluffy that it could be enjoyed simply on its own.

    I made it in two, 6-inch pans, and baked for about 30 minutes, but I checked every few minutes after 20. Bakers need to be responsible for their own bake times, given all the differences in ovens and pan types, etc. Anyway, this is one delicious cake. Superb recipe!

  21. Lauren Reply

    This was delicious! I made mine in a 9×9 dish and cooked it about 3o mins. I just opened the oven every now and then and checked with a tooth pick. Will definitely make again. And it was almost even better the next day! Just heated up the sauce in the microwave and it was perfect.

  22. Mary Reed Reply

    I’m wondering if I could use a custard sauce instead of cream on it when serving?

    • Mel Reply

      Definitely worth a try!

  23. Huda Hajj Hasan Reply

    Loved it! Did a small variation. I used 1/4 vegetable oil instead of the butter for the cake. for the sauce, I made my own slated caramel sauce and used since I already had it done. definitely will make again and again. Thank you!

  24. Kathy M Cozens Reply

    I did you sticky toffee cake and you stated 22-25 minutes . Well it was under cooked . Time should be more like 45-50 minutes

    • Dan Reply

      Shouldn’t you check before removing? She also stated some ovens may require up to 40 minutes or so. She did post that.

  25. K Davis Reply

    I absolutely love this recipe! I’ve made it so many times and it turns out perfect every time. I have a horrible craving for it but I only have a small amount of brown sugar any chance you can sub for plain sugar?

    • Mel Reply

      The texture might be a little less moist but it’s worth a try!

    • brenda hill Reply

      You can also add one tbsp molasses to 1 cup w. sugar to make br. sugar

  26. Audrey Miller Reply

    I think there is a wee spelling error in the Notes section of your recipe for sticky toffee pudding. In the first paragraph on dates, the last sentence has “and lightly pulling the dates to chop and combine.” I think you mean pulsing? I’m going to make this, this week! I love your recipes!!!

    • Mel Reply

      Thanks for the heads up Audrey!

  27. Katie Reply

    Your recipe is a bomb! My family lovesssss it. Can I ask how many pound of cake this is? I want to bake it in a round pan next time 🙂 thx!

    • Mel Reply

      I’m not really sure – sorry I’m not more help, Katie! This should work in a round pan, though.

    • Michelle W Reply

      Hi Katie! I’ve made the recipe a few times in a round pan – the recipe works as written in either a 9″ round pan, or 2 6″ round pans!

  28. Tricia Meeker Reply

    We just used this recipe for the first time. It was truly amazing. We’ve never had sticky toffee pudding before but will be making it again and again. The addition of the cream made it perfection!

  29. Rosalva Reply

    Hello! Made this once before and it was fantastic!! This time I want to make one day in advance. Two questions. Can I make in advance like in the morning and bake just before serving? Also if I bake the night before, is refrigerating fine just one night instead of freezing? Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!

    • Mel Reply

      Yes, you could refrigerate overnight – should be fine. I’d warm the cake lightly before serving. I haven’t tried making the batter in the morning and baking later, but I’m guessing that would work, too.

  30. Miki Reply

    I visited Scotland and had this desert at all over the country and was hooked. I found your recipe and made it tonight for the family. I chose your version because it had easy to get ingredient, I had all of them on hand. I used Costco pitted dates, dehydrated in the round clear plastic container. I only had the 8x8x8 glass pan I used a blender for the dates which worked out very nicely. I had to bake it for the full 25 minutes, probably should have gone a few minutes longer as the center sank a little. But I didn’t want to over bake it. Also once the cake is cut and served no one knew about the sunk middle 🙂 . I had extra heavy cream to pour over the sauce. Heavenly, it was so good!! thank you for posting your recipe, it was easy to follow, and prepare.

    • Susie Clark Reply

      Ditto! My husband and I were in Scotland and Ireland last year and tried Sticky Toffee Pudding every chance we had. It was usually served with vanilla ice cream and I think I’ll end up doing the same. This is an awesome recipe!

  31. Anita Wilson Reply

    In an 8×8 pan, it comes out raw in the center if baked according to recipe directions! Don’t you test Bake your recipes es before publishing them??

    • Tari matiszik Reply


    • Bake-Ella Reply

      Thanks Mel! I’ve made this at least 4 times and it’s delicious, however I reduce the sugar in the cake by half and leave the sauce as is. You won’t miss the sugar and it actually slightly firms it up a bit. Also I always use dark brown sugar for the sauce except for the one time I hadn’t any, and it certainly makes a difference! The dark brown sugar gives it more of a caramelly taste, definitely recommend using dark. Also, I do agree that an 8×8 pan takes longer to bake.

    • K Davis Reply

      Have you stopped to consider maybe your oven is different before commenting something rude and unproductive? 🙂

    • Trish Reply

      There is no need to be rude.
      I follow recipe as is in an 8 x 8 pan and perfect every time I make it in 24 minutes.
      Thank you for the amazing recipe. It’s our yearly Christmas favorite.

    • Connie Reply

      So rude

  32. Rebecca Reply

    Wanting to try this recipe but don’t like dates. How could I alter the recipe to have it without them?
    Many Thanks

    • Mel Reply

      I’m afraid you would need a totally different recipe – this one definitely relies on the dates for texture and the signature flavor!

    • gina john Reply

      Rebecca, I’ve use the same recipe word for word with golden raisins in place of the dates – if you like raisins it’s really good!

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