Sticky Toffee Pudding

8 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic English holiday treat! Moist cake with dates, brown sugar, and orange zest smothered in toffee sauce.

Just as easy and delicious as Bread Pudding, this classic British pudding is the perfect Christmas Dessert recipe for your holiday table.

Sticky Toffee Pudding serving on plate with ice cream and sauce


When it comes to traditional, old-fashioned holiday desserts, it doesn’t get more classic than the iconic British dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding. If you’ve never had a British pudding before, dismiss those visions of custard cups dancing in your head. Instead, picture a very sweet, dense, rich, dark, moist sponge cake filled with dates and topped with the most amazing toffee sauce.

Sticky Toffee Pudding chopped dates on cutting board

This easy Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe is incredibly moist and flavorful. The rehydrated dates add sticky, deep caramel flavor, with almost a hint of chocolate, and bring natural sweetness to this cake. With the brown sugar and dates, Sticky Toffee Pudding is very sweet cake but the buttery toffee sauce and bit of orange zest cut through for the perfect balance.

The buttery smooth English toffee sauce is creamier and lighter then our Salted Caramel Sauce, cooking just until the butter and sugar have melted. It’s also made with molasses and corn syrup so it’s extra sweet with deep caramel flavors. Double the recipe for this sweet, velvety sauce and store it for up to 2 weeks for an extra special topping for all your holiday desserts.

Sticky Toffee Pudding collage of prep for pudding dough

Sticky Toffee Pudding is so decadent all on it’s own but this classic dessert is traditionally served warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or a dollop of Whipped Cream. The melting sweet vanilla cream blends perfectly with the warm toffee, caramel, and date flavors. For an old-fashioned way to serve this British dessert, try a spoonful of heavy cream or vanilla custard.


What kind of dates should be used in this recipe?

The easiest dates to use are whole, pitted California dates found by the raisins or in the produce section with other dried fruit. If your dates have pits in them, soak them first in a bit of water to make the pit easier to remove.

How do I get the toffee sauce to soak into the cake better?

While the pudding is cooling, set oven on high Broil. Top pudding with sauce and broil for a few minutes to make the sauce extra sticky and soak into the cake.
Another way to get the moist cake to soak up as much buttery sweet sauce as possible is to brush the tops of your cake with a little toffee sauce and let sit for a few minutes. Then serve with sauce as usual.

Can the sauce be made in advance?

The toffee sauce for Sticky Toffee Pudding can be made 4 hours ahead of time and kept at room temperature. Reheated on low heat until bubbling before serving.

Make Ahead Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding gets even better as it soaks so this is a perfect holiday dessert to make a day or two in advance. Prepare the Sticky Toffee Pudding and bake as usual. Once it’s done baking and cooled for 10 minutes, pour the toffee sauce over the cake. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (best within 2 days). Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes until pudding is warm and sauce is bubbling.

Sticky Toffee Pudding collage of sauce ingredients and completed sauce in saucepan


  • Coffee: Soak chopped dates in hot coffee instead of hot water for an extra toasty, warm flavor or add a teaspoon instant espresso powder with the vanilla extract. You can also soak the dates in hot black tea!
  • Nuts: Sticky Toffee Pudding is delicious with toasted pecans or walnuts. Fold in ½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) and serve with more chopped nuts on top.
  • Without Dates: Make a Sticky Toffee Pudding without dates by swapping the dates with dried figs, golden raisins, regular raisins, or dried apricots. You can also make a Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding by using 1 cup mashed banana. For an old fashioned British pudding, try mincemeat!
  • Spirits: For extra holiday “spirit” in your Sticky Toffee Pudding, add 1-2 tablespoons brandy, whiskey, or dark rum to the pudding batter and 1 teaspoon spirits to the toffee sauce.
  • Bundt Cake: Bake this pudding in a bundt pan for a more refined holiday dessert. Bake in a well-greased 10 cup bundt pan for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool 30 minutes on a wire rack before inverting and glazing with toffee sauce. Serve with extra sauce.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in Individual Ramekins

You can bake Sticky Toffee Pudding in ½ cup ramekins for individual servings and a pretty presentation. Fill 6-8 well-greased ramekins 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top springs back and toothpick comes out clean. For a layered pudding, remove cakes from ramekins and slice longways in half. Add a couple tablespoons toffee sauce to the bottom of ramekin and add 1 cake half. Add more sauce, another cake half and top with sauce. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes and serve.



  • Serve: The Sticky Toffee Pudding and toffee sauce are best served warm and can be kept at room temperature up to 4 hours once sauce is added. Without sauce, the Sticky Toffee Pudding can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 1 day. The sauce needs to be refrigerated after 4 hours.
  • Store: Store the toffee sauce separately for up to 2 weeks in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. Sticky Toffee Pudding with sauce can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days, without sauce up to 1 week.
  • Freeze: Once cooled, freeze Sticky Toffee Pudding without sauce in a sealed container for up to 3 months. With sauce added, you can freeze Sticky Toffee Pudding for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before warming pudding in the oven. Make a fresh batch of toffee sauce for serving.
Sticky Toffee Pudding serving on plate with sauce

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic English holiday treat! Moist cake with dates, brown sugar, and orange zest smothered in toffee sauce.
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Author Sabrina Snyder



  • 1 cup dates , pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Toffee Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan with baking spray.
  • Before starting add bring dates and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off heat and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Add dates and water to a blender and puree (CAREFULLY, water will still be hot).
  • Pour into large mixing bowl and add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking well until just combined.
  • To your stand mixer add butter and brown sugar on medium speed, beating until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add in the egg, vanilla extract and orange zest until well combined.
  • On the lowest speed setting add in the date mixture until just combined.
  • Pour into baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Toffee Sauce:

  • To a large saucepan add the heavy cream, butter, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup and vanilla extract.
  • On medium heat, whisk well until combined.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve slices covered with toffee sauce.



Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Sticky Toffee Pudding
Easy, Sticky Toffee Pudding collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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