Sticky Toffee Pudding!

I did write a song about this dessert. I'll bring it to the site once I record it.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

You will notice most of the dry ingredients (especially the flour)are measured by weight, not volume. Beg, borrow, or steal a kitchen scale. Worth its weight in gold and the results are amazing. 


The Cake

8 oz/225g cooking dates(Medjool dates are the best), stoned and chopped small

6 fl oz/175ml boiling water

1 tsp (real) vanilla extract

6 oz/ 175g flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 large, fresh eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

3 oz/85g butter , softened, plus extra for greasing

5 oz/140g demerara sugar

2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

3 ½ fl oz/100ml milk

The Sauce

6 oz /175g light muscovado sugar(really, any brown sugar will do)

2 oz/55g butter , cut into pieces

8 oz/ 225ml heavy/double cream (32% whipping cream. This is not for the faint of heart)

1 tbsp blackstrap molasses


Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C 

Make the cake

Butter 6, 7fl/oz/200ml individual pudding tins or use an 8" x 8" x 2 ½" deep (20cm x 20cm x 6.5cm deep) square baking dish and dust lightly with flour. I like using the “two-bite” muffin tins. If you’re going to use the baking dish, be prepared for a longer baking time (40 - 50 minutes. Check with a toothpick towards the end.)

Put the chopped dates into a large glass bowl, cover with boiling water, leave for 20 minutes to swell and soften. Once soft, add the vanilla extract.

Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large baking bowl.

In another baking bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, don't worry about grains of sugar, they will melt during cooking.

In another bowl (yes, a third one) lightly beat the eggs.

Little by little, add the beaten eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, mixing really well between additions. Add the treacle and beat well.

Using a large spoon carefully fold in one-third of the flour, then carefully stir in one-third of the milk. Repeat until all the flour and milk are used up. 

Add the chopped dates (including any liquid in the bowl) and stir gently. The pudding mixture will resemble a thick batter.

Divide the mixture between the six pudding tins, (or a dozen muffin baking tin) place on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 mins for individual puddings or 45 - 50 mins for the large square. Do the toothpick test. The cake should be raised and firm to the touch, if not cook a little longer but take care not to burn. Once ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out. 

While the cake is baking, clean the bowls and

Make the Sauce

Over a medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and half the cream in a saucepan. Raise the heat slightly and bring to the boil stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the treacle and allow the sauce to bubble for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1 minute then stir in the remaining cream.

After the cakes have cooled, cover the bottom of a large baking dish with some of the sauce. Arrange the puddings on the dish and drizzle the remaining sauce generously over. Cover loosely with foil and leave overnight. The following day reheat slightly before serving in individual dishes with custard and berries of your choice. If you want to get really fancy, you can skip the custard, add whipped cream, berries and shaved dark chocolate, or pour a flambéd brandy, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier over the lot.


Custard, the perfect partner for British puddings and desserts. 

Don't be confused by pastry cream which is a similar recipe to custard sauce. Pastry cream is much thicker and is used in patisserie making, it is not a pouring sauce like custard.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


5 fl oz/150ml milk

8½ fl oz/250ml 32% (whipping)cream

50g fine/caster sugar

6 large egg yolks

1 vanilla pod, split, and seeds removed (or ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract)


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan place the milk and cream and one tsp of the sugar, bring to a gentle simmer, once simmering, turn the heat to its lowest.

In a large heat-proof bowl, place the sugar and the egg yolks, and with a hand whisk, whisk until light, creamy, and paler in colour.

Slowly, while still whisking, pour the warmed milk into the egg mixture.

Strain the custard sauce through a fine sieve, back into the saucepan, and add the seeds from the vanilla pod. Over low-medium heat, stir constantly and gradually the custard will thicken. Do not speed this process up by raising the heat or you run the risk of the sauce curdling, and even worse burning.

Finally, once thickened, remove from the heat and pass through a sieve again.

(The sieve is for the purists who like their pouring sauce without the tiny chunky bits. For me it's optional. The constant stirring over medium heat is not. Distracted stirring such as leaving it to answer a text, send one, or watch a cat video will result in curdled and/or burnt custard. As well as a kitchen fine of $100,000. If you've ever made Hollandaise sauce from scratch you will know what it's all about. It takes about 5 - 7 minutes for the custard to thicken. It will be of a slightly thinner consistency than ranch dressing)


If you don’t want to go through the fuss of making the custard from scratch, whipped cream will do quite well (either the store-bought pressurized cans or whipping the cream yourself. Make sure it’s the real thing. Dream-Whip is not the real thing)

A sprinkling of blueberries or raspberries, and shaved dark chocolate will be a lovely addition.

Flamed cognac, brandy, Cointreau, or Grand-Marnier will add a luxurious touch to this dessert, especially if you flame it at the table.

Enjoy the making and the eating!

Leave a comment