I know, I know. I’m kind of awful telling you how to make a sticky toffee pudding when you are probably trying to be good after the holidays. But frozen nights and early evenings call for this revamped classic when you need a break from salad. The self-saucing pudding is quite the rage in Britain, and I think for good cause. Tender cake with the perfect amount of goo at the bottom! I am a huge fan of even more butterscotch goodness, so we opted for a pouring toffee sauce as well. Add a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you’ve got a spiced warm dessert that rivals all others and might remind you of your grandma in the best way possible. Your perfect winter treat, so easy you can even enjoy it midweek! My apologies if I just blew your diet, but this is worth it.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pitted dried dates
½ cup unsweetened apple juice
1¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
Heavy cream for garnish
Extra Toffee Sauce
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and generously butter a 9-by-9 or 10-by-10 inch baking dish; set aside. Bring dates and apple juice to a boil, carefully smashing with a fork. Cover and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, cream ½ cup butter and ½ cup dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well-incorporated. Add salt, vanilla, and spices. Fold in flour, baking powder, and baking soda until it’s just mixed. Add the hot date mixture with the mixer on low.
- Spoon the batter into the baking dish. Dot the top of the cake with the remaining soft butter, and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup dark brown sugar over that. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over top of the cake.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cake has set and the top has crackled slightly. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before scooping to serve. To make the toffee sauce, simply melt the cream and sugar together over medium heat, and add the salt. To serve the cake, spoon out the heavenly pudding and drizzle a bit of sauce and heavy cream over top.
Danielle Kartes is a former restaurateur, a home cook, mom, and food stylist, as well as the author of Rustic Joyful Food: My Heart’s Table and Rustic Joyful Food: Generations.