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Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce

November 14, 2014

Let’s get baked.




Tony’s friend, Timmy is studying abroad in Amsterdam and stayed with us this past weekend and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to bake a cake! One heck of a cake, might I add… Let me explain.




You see, Timmy’s parents are both bakers and chocolatiers… like they owned their own chocolate factory at one point. How amazing must his childhood have been?! He is literally like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… except he probably didn’t have to sleep in a gigantic bed with his parents and grandparents.

I wanted to bake something that even a modern-day Charlie Bucket would be giddy about and I knew exactly what I was going to bake and it had NOTHING to do with chocolate. For as long as I’ve known my best friend, Chelsea, I’ve wanted to make Sticky. Date. Pudding. She implanted the idea in my head about five years ago and claimed it as “the best dessert ever,” and I’ve wanted to make it ever since.




I became a true believer in dates after making Giada’s Goat Cheese and Mascarpone Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto for Thanksgiving one year. I was obsessed with the sweetness, softness, and flavor… and those were just the regular old dates you buy in bulk from Costco! Since then, if dates are on a menu, I order them, I eat them plain or stuffed with pecans or walnuts, wrapped in bacon, blended into almond milk or coconut milkshakes, or chopped  into salads and couscous. I simply can’t get enough of them.

There are dried dates and there are soft, semi-dry, and dry fresh dates and it makes a HUGE difference depending on what you are cooking/baking. For Sticky Date Pudding, make sure to pick out the freshest, softest dates available so they almost melt into the cake… Mmmm.




I’m telling you, this pudding cake will blow your mind and it is absolutely perfect for the cold days ahead. It is comforting, warm, light, gooey and smothered with buttery toffee sauce. Just make sure to plan accordingly because as soon as this cake is done baking and you’ve drowned it in caramel-toffee sauce, you have to eat it while it’s still warm! No such thing as delayed gratification here. You’re welcome.


Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce recipe from Ina Garten:

Sticky Date Pudding:

1 pound dates, pitted and chopped

2 teaspoons baking soda

8 ounces butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 ¼ tablespoons baking powder

Toffee Sauce:

8 ounces butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar (8 ounces)

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-round cake pans or 20 muffin tins.
  2. Place the dates in large saucepan with 3 ½ cups cold water. Bring to boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Then leave to simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the baking soda (which will cause the mixture to bubble up).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt and mix briefly to give a lumpy dough.
  4. Next, add the warm date mixture in two batches. Scrape down the sides of bowl in between mixing. The dough will now be quite watery but don’t worry! Finally add the baking powder (this will bubble up also).
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans or muffin tins. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes for cake pans and about 20 minutes for muffin tins. Test if they are cooked with a small knife or toothpick, it should come out clean when cakes are done.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and well blended.
  7. When the cakes are done, poke little holes all over with toothpick, this will enable the sauce to be absorbed more easily. Pour the caramel sauce over cakes while both are still warm and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out upside-down onto serving plates (the bottom is the most sticky bit!).
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2014 8:16 am

    This is my favourite pudding, ever. It’s exactly what you say it is, warm and comforting!

  2. November 14, 2014 12:59 pm

    Oh wow they look so amazing!

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