Have you heard of sticky toffee pudding?  Better yet, have you actually tasted sticky toffee pudding?  If so, you get it.  You totally get that behind this rather ambiguous name and monochromatic, unassuming facade is one of the very best desserts you could ever taste.   Yeah, I said it.

I first tried at sticky toffee pudding at R Bistro, one of my favorite Indy lunch spots.  The menu is mostly seasonal and local, and as a result it is rather limited.  As such, there are typically just a few choices each for starters, entrees and dessert.  I don’t remember what prompted me to try this the first time around.  Possibly the “toffee” in the name – most things involving toffee are pretty great, after all.  When it arrived I still didn’t quite know what to think.  I don’t know what I had expected, but that wasn’t it.  However, that all disappeared when I took a bite.  A warm, soft, sweet cake soaked with an incredible toffee sauce and accompanied with vanilla ice cream.  Now when I visit R Bistro, I don’t even bother looking at the other dessert options.  I will always order this.

This was my first time making sticky toffee pudding at home, and also Ben’s first time ever tasting it at all.  He’s now just as enamored with it as I am.  If you haven’t experienced this dessert yet, I highly recommend you give it a try.  You will be so, so glad you did.


For the pudding:
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. (3 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. warm water
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. pitted dates, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices, divided
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. (2 5/8 oz.) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

For the sauce: 
4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter
½ cup (3½ oz.) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. rum (optional)


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour 4 (4 oz.) ramekins.  Line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper.  Place the ramekins in a baking dish large enough to hold them all comfortably.

  • 02

    In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water, baking soda, and half of the dates, pressing the dates down so that they are submerged.  Set aside and let soak 5 minutes.  Drain, reserving the excess liquid.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  • 03

    In a food processor*, combine the remaining dates and the brown sugar.  Pulse until just blended, about 5 1-second pulses.  Add the reserved soaking liquid, the egg and vanilla.  Process until smooth, about 15 seconds.  With the processor running, pour the melted butter in through the feed tube in a steady stream.

  • 04

    Add the wet ingredient mixture and the drained dates to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Gently fold together until all ingredients are well mixed and evenly incorporated, being careful not to overmix.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins.  Use hot water to fill the baking dish, halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover the entire pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake until the cakes are slightly puffed and small holes appear on the surface, about 35-40 minutes.  (Be careful to avoid steam when removing the foil!)  Immediately remove from the water bath and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 05

    While the cakes cool slightly, make the toffee sauce by combining the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk the sugar into the butter.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture puffs up a bit.  Slowly pour in the cream and rum, whisking just until combined.  Reduce heat to medium-low and maintain heat until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.

  • 06

    To serve, invert the cakes onto serving plates.  Remove the parchment paper.  Drizzle the toffee sauce over the tops of the still-warm cakes.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • 07

    *This step could also possibly be done with a good quality blender, but I haven’t tried that method.  


  • Yep…heard of it, but never had it. It sounds delightful!!

  • Yum!

    The best place to have sticky toffee pudding is at a hotel called the “Black Boy Inn” in Caernarfon, Wales on Thanksgiving. Sure, it might not have been a traditional pumpkin pie for our very American holiday, but it was such a good substitute. So good in fact, that we met the chef, had our photo taken with him and was gifted the recipe.

  • alexBakes

    Hi Annie! This looks great! It is the same idea as what in Quebec we call pouding chomeur — poor man’s pudding. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/maple_pudding_chomeur.php

  • Lauren

    Love sticky toffee pudding – really excited to try this recipie. Thanks for posting it!

  • LOVE sticky toffee pudding, I am so excited to make this recipe! I fell in love with it when I was over in England.

  • Michelle

    I had my first Sticky Toffee Pudding in London last year. I was hooked after that and started looking for recipes. My favorite so far was a gingerbread version that I made for Christmas, but I shall definitely try this one!

  • Annie @Annie’s City Kitchen

    Holy cow. I first heard of sticky toffee pudding when I was watching a Nigella Lawson show and I’ve wanted to try it ever since! It just looks rich and cozy.

  • Liz N.

    I love, love Sticky Toffee Pudding! I was so disappointed when Haagen Daz did a way with their Limited Edition Sticky Toffee Pudding flavor. I think I might make this recipe and then make my own STP ice cream! Thank you for posting this. You just made my day!

  • In New Zealand we call it Sticky Date Pudding but it’s exactly the same and very definitely my favourite dessert ever. So simple, so satisfying. Thanks for sharing with your readers – I hope everyone gives it a go because it is fantastic!

  • Morgan

    definitely saving this for later. sticky toffee pudding is my absolute FAVOURITE dessert! can’t wait to try your version.

  • laura

    Looks delicious! This may be a stupid question, but I was wondering if the dates are a vital component of the recipe? Can they be left out? We’ve never tried them and don’t know if we’d like them. If, say, they taste like raisins, then
    the boyfriend definitely will not like it. But we LOVE toffee, which is
    the reason I’m taking your time with this question. Thanks for a GREAT

  • Lauren

    How could I have missed that? Curse you, new baby fog ! :)

  • JanetFCTC

    This is something I have always wanted to try, but never had the chance. Now I’ll just make it on my own :-)

  • Sarah Ellsworth

    When I was a broke 20 year old studying abroad in Scotland, and I would have to choose between buying lunch or buying some sticky toffee pudding…STP won every single time. Thanks for bringing back some delicious memories :) I will be definitely trying this soon!!!

  • Elizabeth Gorecki

    Love Sticky Toffee Pudding – thanks for sharing your recipe with us! Your pic is beautiful :)

  • This sounds like such a fabulous recipe!

  • I’m a little confused by the directions in the sauce. Is there supposed to be granulated sugar in addition to the brown sugar? I have this in the oven right now. This has been on my baking list for a long time now. I’m excited to try your recipe! Thanks!

  • Gess

    I haven’t tried it at R Bistro-but have you tried it at Oceanaire? It is to die for!!! Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  • terya trombley

    This looks great but I loathe dates. Can they be replaced with something else?

  • annieseats

    I don’t think so, since they are used as the actual binder/cake mixture as well as the mix-in. Sorry!

  • annieseats

    In this case I do think the dates are vital to the recipe. How do you know you don’t like them if you haven’t tried them? They are not really anything like raisins.

  • Vic Cairns

    Yum! Sticky Toffee, or Sticky Date pudding as it’s usually called in Australia, is one of my favourites!! This looks great. The sauce is always my favourite part – load it up! ;) I once had it with chopped chocolate added as well – holy yum, no going back now! The melty chocolate pieces with the yummy dates and gorgeous, oozing toffee sauce… mmm…

  • Tracy

    Sticky Toffee Pudding is to die for! Best dessert ever. I am not a date fan but you cant even begin to tell there are dates in it. I will have to try this recipe. Whole foods carries a STP in the cold section of their bakery which I where I originally tried it. Its wonderful and I def will give this recipe a go!

  • annieseats

    No, just brown sugar. Hope you enjoyed it!

  • I have never tried sticky toffee pudding, but I just pinned this! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Jelli

    I love sticky toffee pudding! A few years ago I made a crockpot version and since then must’ve forgotten all about it. Of course, it’s best in England, but since we’re so darn far away, I’ll be making your recipe soon!

  • Jelli

    I agree! I loved the Haagen Dazs version too!

  • Heather

    I love sticky toffee pudding! I can’t wait to try this recipe! A bakery in my college town which closed a few years ago made an amazing version. It was little cake like at the sauce was a little thicker but they also put bits of chocolate through out and it was so amazing. Can’t wait to try yours!

  • Aussies call it sticky date pudding. Yummo!

  • Brigette Olmos-Arreola

    I have a weakness for sticky toffee pudding ever since I lived in London years ago. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erica

    My mom has been making this for about 35 years. However, we use cherry pie filling instead of dates. (And call it cherry pudding). I’m so glad you posted this because there are a few minor differences in the recipe and I think yours will probably be even better!

  • Love this recipe! This my most FAVORITE dessert ever!

  • Helena

    Thank you so much for posting this – it was the perfect dessert for a chilly autumn evening last week.

  • Rachel LaForce

    I first had sticky toffee pudding this summer and I’ve been looking for a good recipe ever since. Thank you so much for this blog!! I’ve tried enough recipes to trust your authority, and I can always find unique recipes for days when I want to put in the effort to cook.