English Sticky Toffee Pudding

10 Ramekins
1 hr 5 min

GUYS, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!!! Can you guess what it is?

– Hint: there’s an important clue hidden in the post title! –

No? Still no takers?

Then scroll scroll scrollllllll…

IT’S OFFICIAL: I’m going to Europe again!!!

I’ve been bursting to share this news for months now, but since I didn’t buy my plane tickets until a few weeks ago I didn’t want to tempt the Fates and jinx anything. Now that all of us are officially squared away, though, I’m super stoked to tell that for about five weeks after graduation, I’m going to Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, and some place TBA (but equally exciting)!

You might remember that I spent three weeks last August traveling around Europe, staying with friends and visiting local sites in the UK, Ireland, and Italy. We hit a few snags along the way, but mostly I had an amazing time and couldn’t stop raving about it for months afterward (no more than I could stop making travel-inspired recipes!). This time, at the top of my bucket list will be the Harry Potter Leavesdon Studios, the Writers Corner at Westminster Abbey (where Chaucer, Kipling, Irving, Hardy, and others are buried), Stonehenge, a trip around the Scottish Highlands, and “les chauteaux en Espagne” that they commemorate in this song from one of my favorite French films, Les Choristes.

In the meantime, I have been controlling myself just barely by making celebratory treats from some of the places I’m going to visit! First up is this English Sticky Toffee Pudding, a class British dessert featuring a warm, treacle-infused cake with a decadent toffee sauce poured all over it. I had only ever tried this dessert at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter land when we visited last year, but we immediately fell in love and I just knew that I had to recreate it at home. Lo and behold, I finally have and oh my god, GUYS. IT IS SO GOOD.

Seriously, like I don’t even understand why Brits even complain about the weather when those overcast northern climes clearly gave birth to this spicy, soul-warming nectar of divinity. Okay, actually I do understand why (I’m currently wearing four layers and a scarf in my 58-degree LA home–I felt like a giant frozen popsicle on wheels yesterday morning when I raced my first ever sprint triathlon in the rain!). But if I had this decadent, caramel-like sauce to eat with a spoon at all times, I feel like even I could stand the overcast weather in the UK.

Buuuut thankfully, we don’t have to put that theory to the test anytime soon because I get to visit Europe in the relatively balmy summertime and, meanwhile, sit here enjoying my sticky toffee pudding in the cozy warmth of California. Win-win! Just make sure you all do yourselves a favor and try this ASAP, k?

English Sticky Toffee Pudding
Recipe details
  • 10  Ramekins
  • Prep time: 40 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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For the cake:
  • 1 cup / 225g whole Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup / 175ml boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups / 175g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 cup / 85g butter, room temperature
  • 5/8 cup / 140g white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons black molasses (BBC originally called for black treacle)
  • 7 tablespoons / 100ml milk
For the toffee sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups / 350g white sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 100g butter
  • 2 1/3 cups / 550ml heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons black molasses (BBC originally called for black treacle)
For the cake:
Place dates in a food process and chop until quite fine. Place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, submerging them completely. Let soak for 30 minutes, then mash with a fork. Stir in vanilla extract.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. Oil 10-12 miniature ramekins (I used 2-inch ramekins) and place on a baking sheet.
While dates are soaking, place flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl, then set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in treacle/molasses.
Gently fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture with a spatula, then fold in half of the milk, incorporating as well as possible without overbeating. Repeat until remaining flour and milk is used. Stir in mashed dates.
Spoon batter evenly between ramekins, filling each ramekin about 3/4 of the way to the rim. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with moist crumbs clinging to it. Immediately use chopsticks or toothpick to poke holes all over each of the cakes in the ramekins. (You may also carefully unmold the cakes from the ramekins and invert them onto individual dessert plates before poking holes.)
Pour sauce (recipe below) over each of the cakes--for best results, cover soaked cakes with foil in a baking pan and refrigerate for at least a day or two before serving. (Before serving, simply pop the covered pan into an oven preheated to 350 degrees and warm for 15-20 minutes.)
For the toffee sauce:
put the sugar and butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan with half the cream. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, until sugar has dissolved. Stir in treacle/molasses, then allow mixture to bubble for 2-3 minutes until it achieves a rich golden toffee color, making sure to stir as needed to prevent sauce from burning. Remove pan from heat and beat in remaining cream.
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  • Nan40625810 Nan40625810 on May 10, 2022

    Has anyone tried a sugar substitute for this recipe?

    • Ala Ala on May 12, 2022

      I personally have not but would love to hear how that works out for you if you try it!