Sticky Toffee Pudding


Fluffy treacle and date sponge topped with a lusciously rich toffee sauce. One of my absolute favourite desserts of all time.
There’s no way you’re leaving the table without having two servings of this ultimate British dessert.

A piece of sticky toffee pudding on a white plate, topped with ice cream and toffee sauce against a dark background.
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If you go to any English restaurant, you’re more than likely to see at least one of the following traditional puds on the menu:

  • Apple pie and custard/cream
  • Chocolate fudge cake and ice cream
  • Sticky toffee pudding and custard
  • Eton Mess

It probably sounds like I’m complaining at the lack of variety or imagination, but I’m not!
I’d gladly eat any one of those gorgeous desserts, and I’m pretty sure I’d still choose one of them even if there was a huge dessert menu with lots of choice.

Tall image of a piece of sticky toffee pudding being lifted from a baking tray

Sticky toffee pudding is definitely the one I go for most often. Sometimes it arrives looking all posh – sliced into a thin sliver, topped with a little wedge of some kind of brittle, and served with a perfect quenelle of ice cream.
That’s all very nice, but I much prefer it when it’s clearly been baked in a big batch, scooped up with a serving spoon, plonked in a bowl and almost drowned in custard. You know, the old-fashioned way, like our grandparents served it.

It’s actually really easy to make at home, and making it at home, means you can make enough to serve everybody seconds. Of course everybody has seconds when it comes to sticky toffee pud!

It’s a lovely, light sponge, with loads of flavour, and that sticky toffee sauce is so moreish!!

How to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Soak the dates in water for 10 minutes.
  • Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and treacle, then stir in flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and milk.
  • Mush up the dates that are soaking in the water, then add to the cake mixture (including any liquid in the bowl). Stir together.
  • Spoon the mixture into a buttered baking dish and place in the oven for 25-35. minutes, until the sponge is cooked through.
Overhead of sticky toffee pudding before the sauce has been poured on.
  • Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce by heating sugar, butter and cream in a pan, until combined. Then bring to the boil, turn off the heat, and stir in treacle and more cream.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and pour over half of the toffee sauce. Serve with the remaining sauce.
Toffee sauce being poured onto sticky toffee pudding cake

????‍????PRO TIP Tastes just as good warmed up in the microwave (in portions) – so it’s a great make-ahead dessert.

Overhead of sticky toffee pudding with a piece taken out.

????‍????PRO TIP 2 Add ½ tsp salt to the toffee sauce for a Sticky Salted Toffee Pudding ????

????️ What to serve it with

I love mine with custard, Chris loves his with ice cream, and the kids will have both if I let them!!

What would you serve yours with?

Piece of sticky toffee pudding on a plate, topped with custard. Jug of custard in the background.

???? More fantastic Dessert recipes

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Square image of a piece of sticky toffee pudding being lifted from a baking tin

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Fluffy treacle and date sponge topped with a lusciously rich toffee sauce. One of my absolute favourite desserts of all time.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 35 mins

Total Time 55 mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine British

Servings 8 servings

Calories 567 kcal


  • Prepare your baking dish by lightly buttering it. I use a 12inch x 7 inch dish (2.5 inch deep), but a 9inch square dish will also work.

  • Add the dates and water to a bowl. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a fork to squish the dates (don’t drain).

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F

  • Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then mix in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract and treacle.

  • Add the half the flour, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and half the milk. Stir gently to combine, then add in the remaining flour and milk. Stir again until just combined.

  • Add the mushed up date mixture (including the liquid). Stir, then spoon into the prepared baking dish.

  • Cook in the oven for 25-35 minutes until firm on top.

  • Meanwhile, for the toffee sauce, place the sugar and butter in a medium saucepan with half the cream.

  • Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the sugar has completely dissolved.

  • Stir in the black treacle, turn up the heat slightly and let the mixture bubble for 2-3 mins until it turns to a light-brown toffee colour. Stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream. Put to one side.

  • When the sponge is ready, warm up the toffee sauce. Take the sponge out of the oven and pour half of the toffee sauce over the sponge.

  • Serve with the remaining toffee sauce.

✎ Notes

Can I make it ahead?
Yes, you can make the whole dessert ahead, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. 
You can store the remaining sauce, covered, in the fridge too.

Reheat in portions, uncovered, in the microwave, until piping hot. It should take about 30-45 seconds per piece.
Reheat the remaining sauce in a pan, until piping hot.

Can I freeze it?
Yes, this dessert freezes well.
Freeze, covered, in individual portions, Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as per the instructions above.
The sauce can also be covered and frozen, then defrosted and reheated in a pan until piping hot.

Ingredient swaps

  • Swap the dates for raisins
  • Add a splash of rum to the water when soaking the dates (or raisins) for a boozy addition.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of chopped roasted hazelnuts to the cake mixture for a nutty flavour.

I use Medjool dates, but any juicy dates will be fine. Just remember to remove the stone before you chop them.
This is a dark, sticky syrup with flavours or molasses. It’s a key ingredient to sticky toffee pudding, so I wouldn’t recommend replacing it with anything else.

Nutritional Information is per serving (this recipe serves 8).


Calories: 567kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 121mgPotassium: 457mgFiber: 2gSugar: 54gVitamin A: 1021IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 3mg

Keywords British Classic Recipe, Comfort Food, treacle

This post was first published in August 2017. Updated September 2021 with new photos, a couple of tweaks to the recipes and a bit of housekeeping.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Hi I’m Nicky

I love to cook and I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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