Sticky Toffee Pudding

>>>Sticky Toffee Pudding
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Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60’s early 70’s.

Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.

Sticky Toffee Pudding…

Here we go folks, a collector’s item a rare dessert and one that I love. Sticky toffee pudding is not to be confused with a cake. It is not called a sticky toffee cake for a reason!

That reason is that the British have a confusing and wonderful relationship with the word pudding! To you Americans trading this pudding is kinda similar to an unset ‘mousse’. To us Brits a pudding can be anything from this sticky pudding through to a Yorkshire pudding.

Yes we are a complicated nation, get over it!

I cannot claim this recipe in any way shape or form and I can’t really attribute it to anyone either. That is because it was scribbled on a piece of paper stuffed in the back of a cookery book I bought at a second-hand store.

This sticky date pudding is everything it should be, rich, dark, sweet, sticky and completely indulgent!

Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.

Where Does Sticky Toffee Pudding Originate?

The original recipe for this sticky pudding is attributed to Francis Coulson. It was developed for the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in the Lake District in the UK in the 1970’s. Odd really as I always associate this with school pudding recipes like spotted dick and rice pudding.

A positive youngster when it comes to favourite British foods.

However it is likely that this recipe is a derivation on an older sticky date pudding ideas that dates back many years. Possibly hundreds because dried dates have been used to enrich British desserts for a very long time.

I genuinely do not hanker after sweet food very often but when I do I want something really sweet none of this messing around. If I want a dessert don’t faff around and give me a ‘health conscious’ dessert.

If you liked this recipe, you should like this one too!  Tokaj Poached Pear With Chantilly Cream

Give me something loaded with sugar and butter and a bit more sugar but of a different type. Then top it with a sugar sauce and some ice cream on top.

This sticky toffee pudding is not just a good dish this is a great dish.

My wife cites this as her favourite thing that I cook. Whilst I don’t do it often it is a recipe I have used for years because it always works and it is always amazing!

Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.

Ice Cream or Custard?

There is an ongoing debate as to how to serve sticky toffee pudding. Is it ice cream or custard? I firmly fall on the side of ice cream. Those that say custard are forbidden permission to cook my recipe! Just kidding… or am I?

However, presenting my sticky toffee pudding in this way was not without problems. Now I shoot quickly all the food you see on my site is as it is eaten.

I am not one of those folks who cooks a separate meal this is my dinner, lunch or supper. I also have a deal with my wife that I can do this so long as our dinner is warm.

However, pouring a hot toffee sauce onto a cold ice cream presents a real challenge on the timing front. A fact that I had completely over looked in my planning!

Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.
Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.
5 from 3 votes

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's.

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Sticky Sauce Recipe, Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes



For the Pudding

  • 250 g Dates Stoned weight chopped into 5mm dice
  • 175 ml Boiling water
  • 1 Vanilla Pod Seeds Only
  • 100 g Softened Butter
  • 150 g Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 2 Tbsp Black Treacle Sub for Molasses
  • 100 ml Full Fat Milk
  • 175 g Plain Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Toffee Sauce

  • 50 g Butter
  • 150 g Brown Sugar
  • 200 ml Double Cream Heavy Cream in the US
  • 1 Tbsp Black Treacle Sub for Molasses


  1. Pour the boiling water over the dates, stir in the vanilla seeds and allow to steep for an hour until cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. When cooled mash the dates with the back of a fork.
  4. Place the softened butter in a bowl and cream with brown sugar.
  5. Add the beaten eggs slowly into the sugar and butter mix.
  6. Mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
  7. Slowly mix in the milk and flour, bicarb & Baking powder mix until a thick dough is formed, do not over mix, you want to just bring the ingredients together.
  8. Finally mix in the dates and black treacle.
  9. Line a baking tray with baking parchment (25cm x 18cm).
  10. Pour in the mix and bake for 60-75 minutes.
  11. For the sauce heat the butter, sugar and half of the cream over a medium high heat until a sauce is achieved, stir continuously.
  12. Stir in the Black treacle and the rest of the cream.
  13. Serve with vanilla ice cream or if you are dirty serve with custard :p

Recipe Notes

Unless you have a party of 8 cut the pudding into 8 squares and pour over an equal amount of the toffee sauce and freeze in an oven proof dish, simply place in the oven when ready and serve with ice cream.

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Not to be confused with a cake Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the late 60's early 70's. #dessert #pudding #britishfood #britih pudding #oldschool #recipe #recipeideas #recipeoftheday


  1. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy February 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    OMG this dessert is one of my top three all time favourites. So delicious… sweet…..just divine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I would eat this for breakfast right now LOL!!!

    • Brian Jones February 16, 2018 at 7:58 am - Reply

      Thanks Gloria… I have to say that I really don’t think I could cope with all that sugar for breakfast though 😉

  2. Ramona February 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    One of my absolutely favourite desserts and your pictures are amazing Brian. This looks stunning ???

  3. Amanda February 15, 2018 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Those pictures are amazing! Looking at the ingredients this is definitely a really gooey sticky one and one of my husband’s favourite. I’ll have to try this but it will be custard sorry!

    • Brian Jones February 15, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

      Ooooo goading me with you use of custard… Sullying my pudding 😀 😉 Just kidding, thanks for your kind words… Enjoy!

  4. Reem December 29, 2017 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Hello, I was wondering if I can make this in individual pudding basins?

    Btw, it’s really a winner! This recipe I mean.
    Super easy to make too!


    • Brian Jones December 29, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Thanks Reem… You certainly could make this in individual pudding moulds although the cooking time will vary and as I have not done it I can’t give you a steer. The biggest influence would be the depth of the mix and the diameter of the bowls, but you can keep an eye on it and test with a cocktail stick as you go, as you know the texture you are looking for it should not be too challenging.

      Would love to hear how you get on, have fun!

  5. Colin pearce December 3, 2017 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Brian. Really looking forward to making this for Christmas. Can u let me know how deep the baking 25cms x 18cms tray needs to be? I’ve got one that is 2cms, is this ok? Great blog and photos. My best, Colin

    • Brian Jones December 4, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hi Colin… 2 cm may be a little shallow, you will probably get the mix in there but there is a little rise in the cake as is bakes although not much, the pan I use is 5cm deep although it is ‘overkill’ in terms of depth. I hope you can find something that works for you and that you enjoy the pudding 😀

  6. Carol September 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    What a great site+an E Book !!!!

  7. Rylan Hanrahan February 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I am not seeing where the 2 tbs of treacle gets added in the pudding portion of the recipe. I am drooling for this so i don’t want to get it wrong!

    • Brian Jones February 16, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Thanks for spotting that Rylan, I am shocking at proof reading 😉 I have updated the recipe 🙂

  8. Jennifer February 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    When I think of the word “pudding” this is not what comes to mind… but boy does this look delish! Is that maybe because of the culture difference? I’m definitely going to have to make this ASAP!

    • Brian Jones February 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Yes there are a whole host of things that British people refer to as ‘pudding’ that are both sweet and savoury… This dates back hundreds of years however pudding is typically a name for a sweet dish, although there are a few examples of savoury puddings that exist.

  9. Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love. February 1, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Yessss. I’m drooling over this picture. But I’m so confused over the fact that this is basically a brownie called a pudding haha. Welcome to the dessert side 😉

    • Brian Jones February 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Haha, this is grounded in recipes that date back to the 18th century although this is baked rather than steamed as its forefathers would have been… I quite like the dessert side, just not too often, I’m still a savoury dude at heart 😉

  10. Byron Thomas February 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Brian, I’m so impressed with your ability to come to the dark side so easily. 🙂 Sweets are fun to make, right!?

    • Brian Jones February 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Cheers chap, this one was fun to make and not too stressful unlike some I have tried 😉

  11. You have no idea the willpower it took not to make this recipe immediately. I’ve had good sticky toffee pudding a few times, stooped to buying the store bought stuff once, and yet never tried to make it at home. It’s so good. Perhaps one day I’ll give this recipe a go, when I have company coming to eat it all with me so there are no leftovers and I don’t reason that the dates make it an appropriate breakfast the next morning.

    • Brian Jones January 31, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Teehee, I don’t have much will power in most senses but can quickly get overwhelmed with sugar so I don’t find it too difficult to set this aside… It freezes perfectly and it is almost better after defrosted and heated in the oven as the sauce that it is steeped in gets deeper and the crispy bits on the sides are to die for!

  12. Jeff the Chef January 30, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

    This is one of my favorite desserts. I consider it a winter dessert (though I’m not exactly sure why) and the pinnacle of comfort food desserts. I like to make mine with a layer of freshly-candied kumquats on the bottom. I don’t serve it with any accompaniment besides the sauce, though. But at least that means no custard!

    • Brian Jones January 31, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      I’m with you on this being a winter dessert, despite the fact that I like it with ice cream… I love the hot and icey cold sweet combination, interesting idea to add more fruit to the bottom, may have to give that a try.

  13. Whitney January 30, 2016 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I can’t even handle this right now. You’re cooking all of the things I’ve been craving. Stop before I gain 100 pounds.

    • Brian Jones January 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      Haha, cook them all several times, I am releasing a diet book in summer* and need victims!

      *This is a joke 😉

  14. Hillary January 29, 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    omg my absolute favorite, #1 dessert yuuuum! this looks so drippy and perfect. Want it now!

  15. Whitney @ That Square Plate January 29, 2016 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Love the way you found this recipe! And glad you shared a dessert — It looks amazing!!!

  16. Lily January 28, 2016 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Hi Brian, I came across this post from the Facebook FBC Recipe Sharing group. I am absolutely in love with your photography, especially the first photo with the hot steam and the sultry sauce. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you take that photo? What where your camera settings?

    • Brian Jones January 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Lily… Glad you like my ‘stuff’ aint no secrets here so happy to share my process although my lighting set up is probably more relevant to the outcome of this shot rather than the camera settings. But here goes.

      Camera: 50mm, F7.1, ISO 100, 1/100th

      Lighting Single 60cm x 80cm softbox, 1.5m (ish) away from the source to the left and a little behind the subject. Large reflector to the right front to reflect back on to the front of the pudding.

      • Lily January 28, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for letting me know how you captured that amazing photo. Hugs:)

  17. Tamara January 27, 2016 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I love to read your blog Brian! This looks amazing, and this non sweet eating girl may just have to make it! Thanks for posting 🙂

    • Brian Jones January 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Tamara, glad you like my wee corner of the interweb… I’m with you on not really having a sweet tooth, but on occasions I do like a little bit of a blow out and this certainly fills that category!

  18. Paige @ Where Latin Meets Lagniappe January 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Now I’m going to have to make this because I can’t get your awesome photo of that toffee and chocolate out of my head! I love the fact that you use Molasses – and the ice cream on top is such a bonus 🙂

    • Brian Jones January 27, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks Paige, it is one of those ‘special’ dishes I don’t make too often but it is always a great hit when ever I do… I actually use black treacle which is a little different to molasses but has a very similar flavour and it adds that wonderful dark and bitter hint to the sponge and the toffee sauce 🙂 Enjoy!

  19. Mark, CompassandFork January 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure what looks better, the pudding or the sauce. This is a very appealing dessert and a great photo.

  20. Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table January 26, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Oh wow, this looks super decadent! All that stickiness and dripping – I’m totally drooling! I’ve heard of this classic dessert but never made it before and that must change. (Also, I’m with you on pairing it with ice cream.) YUM!

    • Brian Jones January 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kathryn, if a baking ‘phobe’ like me can cope with making this dish I am sure you will be fine, it really is exactly what it says on the side of the tin, sweet and sticky and a delight 😀

  21. Sarah January 26, 2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Everything about this looks amazing. I’m drooling! Can’t wait to make this….more importantly, can’t wait to eat this!!

    • Brian Jones January 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah, it certainly is an indulgent sticky sweet treat, hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

  22. Daniela Apostol January 26, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Stunning photos! This pudding looks amazing and must be so delicious!

  23. Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake January 26, 2016 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I love love LOVE sticky toffee pudding, this looks awesome! Don’t hate me, but I like both custard and ice cream on mine – there’s no holding me back!
    You did a good job shooting these quickly too, I’m impressed, the photos are gorgeous too

    • Brian Jones January 27, 2016 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Michelle, I am reeling at the idea of custard AND ice cream a whole new subset of people that are quite frankly wrong teehee :p

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