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Cartmel Style Sticky Toffee Pudding

A Cartmel style Sticky Toffee Pudding is a modern British classic recipe, featuring sticky dates and a wonderful caramel sauce it is a pudding lovers dream.

Portrait image of a steaming hot caramel sauce being poured over a sticky toffee pudding topped with vanilla ice cream

A Modern British Classic.

First of all, 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.

However it is a recipe like many of mine born out of memories. When I married my wife we kinda ran away to Gretna Green with a small group of friends and family.

We threw our wedding reception for a coupe of hundred people the week after.

On the way home we made a pitstop and spent a few days staying in a cottage right opposite the Cartmel village shop. The spiritual home of sticky toffee pudding.

Many assume this recipe to be far older than it actually is. It was originally developed in 70’s by Francis Coulson.

I love it because it reminds me of childhood, just like my other favourite desserts, rice pudding and Bakewell tart.

Portrait overhead image of a sticky toffee pudding topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream

Cooking Advice.

This recipe is extremely easy to cook, it is however time consuming!

We often make a link with things that take time and them being difficult. This really is not the case, we are just becoming increasingly time poor.

The first thing to note is that if you are from the US and you have found your way here then you will have no idea what black treacle is.

It is largely the same as a medium molasses, as far as I can ascertain.

Just like making muffins it is important that you do not overwork the mix. Just bring it all together with a spoon and you are good to go.

The making of the caramel sauce is where things can go wrong.

The only failures I have had when making this is when I have stopped stirring the sauce in the initial phase. When I do the failure rate is 50%!

Once you have a silky smooth sauce then it is important to remove it from the heat before adding the final two ingredients.

Portrait image of a sticky toffee pudding topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream

Serving and Storing.

This is a bog dessert for someone cooking for two. However every attempt I have made to scale down this recipe has been disappointing.

The good news is that it freezes wonderfully. I cut this into 8 equal slabs and place in those disposable foil oven trays.

I pour over a little sauce and then freeze. To reheat you simply place in an oven covered with foil at 150°C or 300°F for 40-50 minutes.

Whip up some more caramel sauce and serve.

There is an ongoing debate as to how to serve this rib sticking dessert. 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?

I personally love the contrast between a hearty warm dessert and sweet cold ice cream.

Square image of a steaming hot caramel sauce being poured over a sticky toffee pudding topped with vanilla ice cream
Yield: 8 Servings

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Not to be confused with a cake, Sticky Toffee Pudding is an old school rib stickingly wonderful English Dessert from the 1970's whose spiritual home is the Cumbrian village of Cartmel.


For the Pudding

  • 250 g (1 Cup) Dates
  • 175 ml (3/4 Cup) Boiling water
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, Seeds Only
  • 100 g (1/2 Cup) Softened Butter
  • 150 g (3/4 Cup) Muscavado Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Black Treacle
  • 100 ml (1/3 Cup + 1 Tbsp) Full Fat Milk
  • 175 g (1 1/4 Cup) Plain Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 60 g (1/2 Stick) Butter
  • 150 g (3/4 Cup) Muscavado Sugar
  • 200 ml (3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp) Double Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Black Treacle


  1. Remove the stones and cut the dates into a 5mm dice.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the dates, stir in the vanilla seeds and allow to steep for an hour until cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°C.
  4. When cooled mash the dates with the back of a fork.
  5. Place the softened butter in a bowl and cream with brown sugar.
  6. Add the beaten eggs slowly into the sugar and butter mix.
  7. Mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
  8. 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.
  9. Finally mix in the dates and black treacle.
  10. Line a baking tray with baking parchment (25cm x 18cm).
  11. Pour in the mix and bake for 60-75 minutes.
  12. For the sauce heat the butter, sugar and half of the cream over a medium high heat until a sauce is achieved, stir continuously.
  13. Stir in the Black treacle and the rest of the cream.
  14. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.


Muscavado sugar is a dark relatively unrefined sugar with a strong and bold flavour, do not use alternative products often called "light muscavado" sugar.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 829Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 143gFiber: 3gSugar: 120gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

christina demetriou

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Hi , please can you tell me if u add the water from the soaked dates also or do u drain them? Thank you, can't wait to try this .

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Hi Christina... Sorry it took a while to respond, I have been away for a couple of days. The dates should soak up almost all of the liquid, if there is a thick sweet slurry add that, but if it is watery then discard :)



Thursday 8th of April 2021


The recipe does not state if LIGHT or DARK Muscavado sugar should be used. Anyone know? Thanks

Brian Jones

Friday 9th of April 2021

Hi... Muscavado sugar is a dark relatively unrefined sugar and until you posted your question and did some research I had no idea that some companies had started to reduce the "molasses" content in it to make create a lighter version.

I'll update my post to reflect this :)




Sunday 20th of December 2020

I’m baking this in my oven right now ( in Victoria BC, Canada). I first tried Cartmel sticky toffee pudding while visiting friends in the UK in 2002, and loved it! Have had various versions of it here in restaurants and made by family but these versions haven’t been nearly as dark coloured as the original. Yours looks great and I am excited to serve it to my family on Christmas - I plan on freezing it, and hoping that it’s ok to make the sauce and freeze it with the sauce on, then simply defrost and reheat!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Sorry Sue you pinged me just as I tuned out from all things internetty and closed down for Christmas. Yes freezing is fine but I saw your comment on IG and I am so glad everything turned out delicious :D

Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

Thursday 15th of February 2018

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

Brian Jones

Friday 16th of February 2018

Thanks Gloria... I have to say that I really don't think I could cope with all that sugar for breakfast though ;)


Thursday 15th of February 2018

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

Brian Jones

Thursday 15th of February 2018

Thanks Ramona :)

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