Hands down, these are the BEST ever sticky toffee pudding recipe you’ll ever make! Simple ingredients and all made in one bowl! No dairy and no eggs, this is a comforting dessert sure to impress!
Sticky Date Pudding
When it comes to comforting desserts, I love making a hot fudge pudding cake, molten lava cake, and these simple sticky date puddings.
Growing up, our freezer rarely had desserts but one we DID have, was a Sara Lee Sticky pudding. This pudding was a staple in our household, not that we ate it very often. They were reserved for the colder months and ALWAYS on a weekend.
Sometimes served with custard, sometimes served with cream, and always served with ice cream, they were one of my favorites.
I’ve been meaning to share a homemade sticky toffee pudding for quite some time now. One of my friends gifted me individual pudding molds for my birthday, and it was the perfect excuse to whip some up.
Now, these puddings may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you they are SO easy to make and use simple ingredients.
No eggs and no dairy is needed, but you’d never tell. The texture of the pudding is moist, fluffy, and gooey in the center, thanks to the caramel sauce. The puddings are sweet, rich, and full of toffee flavor, without being overpowering.
What is the difference between sticky date pudding and sticky toffee pudding?
Depending on where in the world you are located, you may refer to this pudding as a sticky date pudding or sticky toffee pudding. The puddings do contain dates, and also have a toffee flavor, so the names can be used interchangeably.
Ingredients to make sticky toffee pudding
For the puddings-
- Pitted dates– Either Medjool dates or standard dates can be used. There is no need to soak them beforehand, as they will be simmered with the water and milk, that will soften them.
- Non dairy milk and water– A combination of non dairy milk and water is used, so the mixture won’t be super creamy or thick. I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk can be used.
- Baking soda– Reacts with the flour to give some rise to the puddings.
- Vegan butter– Use vegan butter from a block, not from a spread. Butter from a block is thicker and often has no added water in it, yielding a much better texture.
- Brown sugar– Sweetness to the puddings, and a more intense toffee flavor.
- Self rising flour– You must use self rising flour, not all purpose flour. You can either make your own or use store bought. If you’d like to make these gluten free, I’ve used the Dove Farm brand successfully.
For the sauce-
- Golden syrup– Golden syrup is a popular sweetener used in Australia and the United Kingdom. There is no substitute for it in America, so I’ve included a homemade version below.
- Brown sugar– Makes a toffee sauce when combined with the butter and syrup.
- Vegan butter– Like above, use vegan butter from a block.
How do you make sticky toffee pudding?
Start by preparing your puddings. In a small saucepan, combine your water, milk, and dates and bring to a simmer, until the dates have softened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Let the mixture cool, and start preparing the other ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and vegan butter together, until smooth and creamy. Slowly fold in the date mixture and once it is combined, add the flour, until combined. Now, generously grease 6 pudding molds or large ramekins. Distribute the pudding mixture amongst them all, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the puddings are baking, prepare the toffee sauce. In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Once the puddings are cooked, poke holes over the tops of each one. Pour half the sauce over them, to soak into it. Tip the puddings over and pour the remaining sauce over them and enjoy.
How to make a homemade Golden Syrup
Unfortunately, there is no good replacement for golden syrup. Some may say molasses, corn syrup, or agave nectar can be used, but that is not the case. However, you can easily make your own, using just 3 ingredients.
To make– 2 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it is boiling, add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to very low. Do not stir the mixture anymore, and let it simmer for around 50 minutes until it is a golden amber color. The syrup should be thick. If it is too thin, continue to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, before transferring to a jar or bowl.
Can I make this in advance?
If you are entertaining or planning to serve this to guests, you can prepare this up to two days in advance.
What you will need to do is prepare both the puddings and the sauce, but double the amount of the sauce. Prepare the puddings as directed and once cooled, poke holes and pour half the sauce in them. Cover them completely, then refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, re-heat the puddings in the oven until warm, while reheating the remaining sauce. Transfer the puddings onto serving plates and drizzle with the reheated sauce.
The reason for doubling the amount of sauce is that once the puddings have cooled (with half the sauce in them), they actually soak up quite a bit of it and as such, will need double the amount to achieve the same gooey texture, once reheated.
Tips to make the best sticky pudding
- If possible, use oven safe pudding molds instead of ramekins. This not only gives them long shapes but also makes it so much easier to remove and serve.
- Do not overbake the puddings. Once a skewer comes out mostly clean, remove them from the oven. The puddings continue to cook while they cool down, and you want them to be moist.
- If you don’t follow any specific diet, you can use dairy based butter and milk.
- Serve sticky pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce (as pictured).
How to store sticky pudding
- To store: Leftover pudding cups can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week. Keep the remaining toffee sauce in a separate container.
- To freeze: Place each pudding in a ziplock bag and the toffee sauce in a freezer friendly container. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To reheat: Either microwave the puddings for 30 seconds, add the sauce, and microwave for a further 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can head the puddings in a preheated oven and the sauce in a saucepan over the stove.
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Best Ever Sticky Toffee Pudding (Vegan, Gluten Free)
- 1 cup dates pitted
- 1 cup milk of choice I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour gluten free, if needed
For the toffee sauce
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon golden syrup * See notes
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2/3 cups vegan butter
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Grease 6 pudding molds or 12 6-inch ramekins and set aside.
- Add the dates, milk, and water into a saucepan and simmer, until the dates are softened. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Mix into the mixture and let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the date mixture and mix well. Gently add the flour until fully combined. Transfer the pudding mixture amongst the greased ramekins.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just cooked and a skewer comes out clean.
- Prepare the sauce by adding the syrup, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and heating up and letting simmer, around 5 minutes.
- Poke holes over the tops of the puddings and pour half the sauce over each one, to soak the puddings. Flip the puddings on plates, pour extra sauce over each one. Serve with ice cream.
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Fabulous. We used coconut milk because it’s what we had on hand. Vanilla ice cream is a strange suggestion for a vegan dessert though, haha.
How do you make the golden syrup?
You don’t, you buy it 🙂
Hey! Can I use normal butter instead? I’ve made this loads of times as vegan, but will be making it for non vegans and wanted to know if normal butter will work too?
Of course 🙂
Which brown sugar do you use please? Soft brown? Thanks 🙂
Soft is fine 🙂
Light brown or dark brown sugar? Or doesn’t matter
Both work 🙂
I just wondered, can I make these as cupcakes with the same ingredients and method?
I don’t see why not!
The recipe looks great but do you chop the dates? Puree them?
Yes, I’d recommend you do that
What can i used instead of vegan butter plZ
Traditional butter works 🙂 or margarine.
I made this for Christmas. Perfect!
Golden Syrup – World Market has it.
Gluten free self rising flour – I wish you had a recipe for it just using gluten free flour. When I click on the link for self rising flour you state that you need to use regular flour. I was hoping not to have to figure out how to make it gluten free on my own. I’m not that great of a baker and I don’t want to have to order it when I already have gluten free flour. Thanks!
Just do the same thing with the GF flour as you would regular –trust me it works