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British chef, cookbook author and novelist Rosemary Shrager shares her mouthwatering sticky toffee pudding recipe. In this classic English dessert, a simple, moist brown sugar- and date-based cake is topped with a luscious toffee sauce. The combo is fabulous, but as Rosemary says, "It's the sauce that makes it!"  

For a fun twist on the dessert, check out Ryan Scott's Sticky Toffee Pudding Bars, which are made in a sheet pan. 


For the Pudding:
  • 1 cup soft dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the Toffee Sauce:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup double cream or heavy cream


Serves: 8


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter an approximately 8 ½-by-6 ½-by-2 ½-inch baking dish. 

For the pudding, bring the dates and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then simmer until moist and gooey, about 5 minutes. Stir in the baking soda, remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in an egg at a time until completely incorporated, then add the vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth, thick batter. Pour the date mixture into the batter and fold gently to mix in. 

Pour and scrape the batter into your prepared dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Melt the butter with the dark brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, stir until the sugar melts. Stir in the cream and simmer for a couple minutes.  

As soon as the cake is out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack and leave for 5 minutes to cool. Trim the sides, if you like, cut into squares and serve with the toffee sauce.