Like my chocolate self saucing pudding, this sticky toffee pudding is a perfect warm dessert.
The butterscotch sauce would taste delicious drizzled over my One Bowl Caramel Cookies!
If you’re wondering, sticky toffee pudding and sticky date pudding refer to the same thing, just depends what country you live in!
🍯 Why You Will Love This Recipe
- A cross between a cake & pudding.
- Baked in an 8×8 square tin.
- Uses fresh & juicy Medjool dates.
- Bakes in 30 minutes.
- Easy homemade butterscotch sauce.
Let’s talk butterscotch sauce, aka sticky toffee sauce. It’s poured over and soaks through the warm cake, which creates that delightful ‘pudding’ texture.
Making butterscotch sauce for sticky date pudding is incredibly easy, all you need is 4 kitchen staple ingredients and one pot!
Once you’re ready to eat your toffee pudding cake, serve it with scoops of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate cozy dessert, like my quick apple crumble!
But, if you’re like me and desire even MORE indulgence, be sure to whip up my favorite quick chocolate sauce to pour over the ice cream, oh I’m drooling!
📋 Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Medjool dates – These are the best kind of dates to use for this recipe. As an easy alternative, use the same quantity of dried pitted dates and soak them until they’re soft!
All purpose flour – is also known as plain flour in Aus!
Ground ginger – Offers a touch of warm spice but it can be left it out if you don’t have it on hand.
Unsalted butter – Can be substituted with salted butter. For the butterscotch sauce to be made dairy-free, try using a block of dairy-free butter instead.
Brown sugar – Use regular brown sugar. I haven’t tested this toffee date cake using dark brown sugar, I’d imagine it would make the flavor more intense, so give it a try!
Heavy cream – Is also known as thickened cream in Aus. If you need to make the butterscotch sauce dairy-free, I can suggest using full-fat coconut cream instead.
Or you could a dairy-free caramel sauce instead like the one I made for this dairy-free caramel slice!
🥣 Step By Step Instructions (with photos)
How to make this easy sticky toffee pudding cake from scratch in 11 easy steps!
There is a full and detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step one: Remove the pits from each date and chop them into smaller pieces, I like to use scissors as it’s faster and easier. Place them into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Step two: Sprinkle over the baking soda and pour in boiling water. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes or until the dates have softened and the water has cooled.
Step three: To a large mixing bowl, add softened butter, and beat for a few seconds to break up. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
Step four: Add eggs one at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each addition to incorporate.
Step five: Take a fork or potato masher and mash the softened dates until they turn mushy. It’s ok if you still have some bigger pieces left.
Step six: Add mashed dates to the cake batter and beat until well combined, about 10 seconds.
Step seven: Add the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger and beat until incorporated, ensuring not to over-mix. Pour batter into the lined tin and bake for 30-32 minutes.
Step eight: While the cake is baking, make the butterscotch sauce by combining and melting together the cream, butter, and sugar in a medium-sized pot.
Step nine: Once simmering, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 3 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step ten: Transfer baked cake to a wire cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath to catch excess sauce drippings.
Step eleven: Take a toothpick or skewer and poke holes over the surface of the cake. Pour 1/2 cup of warm butterscotch sauce over the cake. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes then serve warm with the extra sauce!
💭 Tips For Recipe Success
- Use Medjool dates over dried pitted dates for better flavor and texture.
- Bring your chilled ingredients, the butter, and eggs, to room temperature before adding them. This will help them to properly emulsify into your batter.
- Cut the dates into small pieces using scissors, it’s so much faster!
- Make your sauce while the cake bakes, as the butterscotch firms up as it cools, it needs to be runny and warm enough to soak through the cake.
- Poke the holes in the cake as soon as you remove it from the tin, using a toothpick or wooden skewer.
- The cake needs to be warm when you pour over the sauce, so pour it after you poke the holes.
⏲️ Storage Instructions
Store cooled pudding cake in a sealed container, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.
Store leftover butterscotch sauce in a jar, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
How To Reheat
Reheat individual servings of the cake from the fridge, either in the oven or microwave, until warmed through.
Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a pot on the stovetop over low heat, stirring, until warmed through or in the microwave in 15-second increments until warmed through, giving it a mix between increments.
How To Freeze
You can freeze this sticky date pudding cake without the sauce or with the sauce already soaked through after baking it.
If you want to freeze it without the sauce, simply bake the cake as per the recipe instructions without making the sauce. Then follow the steps below.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Wrap either the full cake or individual slices in plastic wrap and then again in foil.
- Label it with the date and what it is.
- Place into a freezer-friendly sealed container or zip-lock bags if desired for further protection.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- To thaw, transfer the amount of cake you need to the refrigerator, still wrapped, and allow it to defrost overnight.
- Heating up again in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
💬 Recipe FAQ’s
You’ll love how fresh medjool dates make this sticky toffee cake moist and full of flavor, but, if you only have dried dates on hand, I’ve also made this recipe using those. It still works out great!
I recommend you use full-fat coconut cream from a can. For best results, don’t shake the can, scoop the cream off the top and discard the liquid underneath. Then use a block of dairy-free butter if desired!
📖 Related Recipes
If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x
Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with Butterscotch Sauce
- 250 g Medjool dates, about 15 dates
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar, not dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, scoop & leveled
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup heavy cream, or thickened cream
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar, not dark brown sugar
- Pinch of sea salt, or any salt
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a 8-inch x 8-inch (20cm x 20cm) square baking tin with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the pits from each date and chop them into smaller pieces, I like to use scissors as it’s faster and easier.
- Place chopped dates into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle over the baking soda and pour in boiling water. Mix to distribute the baking soda and ensure the dates are completely covered in water.
- Set aside for 20 minutes or until the dates completely soften and the water comes back down to room temperature.
- To a large mixing bowl, add softened butter, and using electric hand beaters, beat butter for a few seconds to break up.
- Add sugar and beat with the butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each addition to incorporate.
- Once the dates have softened and the water has cooled to room temperature, take a fork or potato masher and mash the dates until they turn mushy. It’s ok if you still have some bigger pieces left.
- Add mashed dates to the cake batter and beat until well combined, about 10 seconds.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger. Beat until incorporated, ensuring not to over-mix.
- Pour batter into the lined tin, smoothing out the top.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs remaining. While the cake is baking, make butterscotch sauce.
- In a medium-sized pot, add cream, butter, and sugar.
- Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, mixing occasionally.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer, not boil, for 3 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid burning.
- Once thickened slightly, remove from heat and stir through salt. TIP: if your sauce is too thin, continue to simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
- Once the cake is baked, allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- To transfer to a wire cooling rack, use the parchment paper to lift the cake. Then slide the cake off the paper and onto the rack.
- Take a toothpick or skewer and poke holes over the surface of the cake.
- Pour 1/2 cup of warm butterscotch sauce over the cake.
- Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes for the sauce to soak through.
- Slice into squares and serve pudding cake warm with more sauce drizzled over each serving. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Store cooled cake in a sealed container, refrigerated, for 3-4 days. To serve warm again, heat individual servings in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
First published in November 2018, this recipe was updated in November 2023 to include new step-by-step images, expert recommendations, storage guidelines and more.