Sticky Date Puddings with Toffee Sauce

Photo by Jim Norton


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Sticky Date Puddings 
with Toffee Sauce


Is anything better than a sweet, sticky dessert, dripping with caramel sauce? If you like, make the puddings a day ahead, unmould them, then cover with foil and refrigerate. At serving time, warm the puddings in the oven with some sauce on top. Then send everyone out for a brisk winter walk after dessert.

  • Serves: 8
  • Course: Desserts


Sticky Date Puddings

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pitted dates (300 ml)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (5 ml)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest (5 ml)
  • 1/4 cup butter (60 ml)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (175 ml)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour (250 ml)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder (6 ml)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional) (60 ml)
  • Toffee Sauce (recipe follows)

Toffee Sauce

  • 1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar (250 ml)
  • 1 cup 35% cream (250 ml)
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed (125 ml)


  1. Sticky Date Puddings

    Butter eight 4-oz (113 ml) ovenproof ramekins. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup (250 ml) water and dates to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in soda, and set aside for 5 minutes. Add lemon zest, stirring until softened dates form a smooth paste. Allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. In another bowl, sift flour with baking powder and salt. Gently fold into butter-egg mixture and then fold in dates and pecans. Spoon batter into prepared ramekins. Set ramekins in a shallow roasting pan and place on middle rack of preheated 350°F (180°C) oven. Pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until a skewer inserted in centre of each pudding comes out clean, 35–40 minutes.
  4. Remove ramekins from oven and let puddings rest for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each pudding and turn out onto a lightly buttered or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Drizzle a spoonful 
of Toffee Sauce over each pudding and return to oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with remaining sauce alongside.
  5. Toffee Sauce

    In a small, heavy saucepan, mix all ingredients. Set over medium heat and stir while sugar dissolves and butter melts, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 
for 3–4 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.
  6. Toffee sauce can be made ahead; reheat gently over low heat, stirring frequently. Makes about 2 cups (500 ml).

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Jane Rodmell