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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Cartmel style Sticky Toffee Pudding is a modern British classic recipe featuring loads of sticky dates & a wonderfully silky caramel sauce.

Making this rib stickingly good pudding takes a couple of hours, but you can make this a couple of days in advance and reheat it very easily!

Hot caramel sauce being poured over British sticky toffee pudding and 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, baked rice pudding and Bakewell tart.

Overhead sticky toffee pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is black treacle?

This question is often asked by US visitors, it is similar to blackstrap molasses and if you don’t want to go hunting for treacle, then that is your best substitution option.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes once this is baked it will store in the fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat it, cover with foil and place it in an oven at 180°C or 350°F for 15 minutes.

Can I freeze sticky toffee pudding?

The good news is that it freezes wonderfully. I cut it into 6 equal pieces and place them in those disposable foil oven trays.

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

Can I reheat this in the microwave?

Yes, if it is not frozen reheat it at full power for 40-60 seconds (850w) and let it sit for 2 minutes. If it is frozen heat for 2½ minutes in 30-second bursts and allow it to sit for 2 minutes.

Sticky toffee pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Serving Suggestions

Aside from the caramel sauce that I have mentioned I think that there are two solid options for serving with sticky toffee pudding.

The first, and my favourite is vanilla ice cream, especially if you are serving the caramel sauce hot!

The second is my wife’s favourite (she has no taste, she married me after all), and that’s a proper British custard.

You could of course go for some pouring cream, clotted cream, or even chantilly cream, but give ice cream or custard a go first!

Cartmel style sticky toffee pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Oven.
  • Stovetop.
  • 25cm x 18cm or 10″ x 7″ baking tray, you could use a disposable foil tin.
  • Tin foil. Not required if you are using a disposable tin.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Spatula.
  • Electric hand beater, but you can do this by hand.
  • Kettle to boil water.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Cartmel style sticky toffee pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Yield: 6 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

  • 250g (1 Cup) Dates
  • 175ml (¾ Cup) Boiling water
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 100g (¼ Cup + 3 Tbsp) Softened Butter
  • 150g (¾ Cup) Muscovado Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Black Treacle
  • 100ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Full Fat Milk
  • 175g (1¼ Cup) Plain Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 60g (¼ Cup) Butter
  • 150g (¾ Cup) Muscovado Sugar
  • 200ml (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Double Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Black Treacle


  1. Remove the stones then roughly chop the dates and pour over the boiling water.
  2. Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds and vanilla pod to the bowl with the dates and stir. Allow this mix to cool completely, this can take up to an hour.
  3. Remove the vanilla pod from the mix then mash the dates with the back of a fork.
  4. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and cream it with the sugar for the "cake". I like to do this with an electric hand mixer.
  5. Beat the eggs with the milk and add them to the softened butter and sugar mix and beat until combined.
  6. Mix the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
  7. Add the dry ingredient mix to the egg and butter mix a little at a time, stirring to just combine, take care not to overwork the dough.
  8. Finally, fold in the dates and black treacle.
  9. Line a baking tray (25cm x 18cm or 10" x 7") with baking parchment. You can also use a disposable foil tin, this is how it is sold commercially.
  10. Add 1-1.5cm (½") of water to the base of a larger baking tray, then add your pudding and bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes at 180°C or 350°C.
  11. For the sauce heat the butter, sugar and half of the cream over a medium high heat in a 15cm or 6" saucepan until a sauce is achieved, stir continuously.
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in the black treacle and the rest of the cream.


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: 756Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 588mgCarbohydrates: 106gFiber: 4gSugar: 78gProtein: 8g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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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