This Sticky Toffee Pudding for two is the perfect dessert for a crisp fall date night. If you've never had sticky toffee pudding before, it is one of those desserts which taste way better than they sound: soft and moist cake made with dates and a hint of cinnamon drenched in a warm toffee (caramel) sauce and served with plain whipped cream. This dessert is perfectly sweet, spicy and indulgent.
This recipe makes 2 single serve sticky toffee puddings in 6 oz ramekins each, making it a great small-serve recipe for you to try out! The recipe is also quite simple, requiring only 20 minutes of active time.
WHAT IS STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING?
Sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert, also sometimes known as sticky date pudding or sticky toffee date pudding. In fact, I first saw it in The Great British Bake-Off!
I find the name to be a bit misleading as this is more of a cake than a pudding. Sticky toffee pudding consists of soft and moist cake made with dates which help make it sweet and moist, and a "sticky" toffee sauce. The sauce is soaked into the cake and also poured on top, and the pudding is eaten warm with vanilla ice cream, custard or whipped cream. The flavor profile is warm and caramel-y with hints of spice.
Since I love to keep things simple, this recipe does not require baking the cake twice. Instead, it is just soaked in the pudding after being baked. And instead of ice cream, I like serving it with plain, unsweetened whipped cream as I find that it cuts through the sweetness of the dessert.
Here are the ingredients you will need (the exact quantities are listed at the bottom of this post in the recipe card):
- Medjool dates - you can also try other types of dates but I always see the best results with medjool, and they are widely available!
- Boiling water to soak and soften the dates
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- Brown sugar
- Egg yolk - since this is a small serve recipe, instead of a full egg, we just need an egg yolk. You can save the egg white for an omelette!
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Cinnamon - I like to add just a hint of cinnamon, but you are welcome to skip it. If you like fall spices, you can also add in nutmeg and ginger!
- Unsalted butter - cold or room temperature both are fine
- Brown sugar
- Heavy cream - can be straight from the fridge
- Plain heavy cream, whipped
HOW TO MAKE STICKY TOFFEE DATE PUDDING
Now let's go over the steps. First, take a look at this quick video to see the dessert in action:
1. Soak the dates
We start by soaking the dates, which should be roughly chopped, in the boiling water along with baking soda. Cover and rest for 15-20 minutes so the dates soften.
2. Make the date cakes
Pre-heat your oven to 350F and coat 2 6oz ramekins (these are the ones I use) generously with butter. You can also use muffin cups!
Blend the dates and water until a thick paste forms. You can also do this step with a fork if you want some chunks of dates in the cake.
Separately, whisk together the butter and sugar until smooth, creamy and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolk and whisk until it is combined. Since this is a small quantity, you will need to scrape the bowl constantly with a rubber spatula.
Whisk in the date paste next.
Then sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and gently fold with a rubber spatula until everything is just combined, taking care not to overmix.
That's it! Now just divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins, and spread out using a knife or spatula.
Bake the cakes for ~25 minutes until they are just done.
3. Prepare the toffee sauce
While the cakes are baking, we will get started with the toffee sauce. And as your resident recipe simplifier, this is just a dump and stir method! Simply combine all ingredients in a nonstick saucepan, and cook and stir over lowest heat for about 10 minutes. The sauce should become smooth and slightly thick (remember, it will thicken more as it cools). Take care not to overcook the sauce as it can then become solid.
Once the cakes are baked, use a knife to loosen them from the edges of the ramekin, and trim off their domes. This exposes their interior and allows them to soak up the toffee sauce. The trimmed domes can be enjoyed on their own as they are yummy!
Poke holes in the cakes using the back of a skewer, and slowly pour about 1-2 tablespoon of the sauce slowly onto each. The sauce should slowly absorb in, but don't worry if it doesn't go all the way.
Carefully turn out the cakes from the ramekins onto your dessert plates.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Serve the cakes while they're still hot with the remaining toffee sauce poured on top, as well as plain whipped cream!
Remember that the toffee sauce is quite sweet, so you don't have to use it all up. Add as much or as little as you want. And you can use an ice cream scoop like this one to scoop your cream on top of the cakes and make them look nicer.
Sticky toffee pudding is best eaten warm (or hot), with cold cream on top. Yum yum yum!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sticky toffee pudding can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. If storing, I recommend storing the sauce separately and pouring it on right before serving.
Yes, you can make sticky toffee pudding ahead of time! Store the cakes and the sauce separately in airtight containers. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then, when you are ready to eat, warm up the cakes and sauce in the microwave in 20s bursts (stirring the sauce in between), pour the sauce on top of the cakes, and serve with cream.
In the mood for more fall friendly recipes? Check these out:
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