It’s always baffled me in this part of the world. Why is there a complete lack of sticky date pudding on menus here? It is one of the best desserts in the world, and we are living in the centre of all date production. It’s a travesty. 

Recently, a bunch of fellow foodies and I (members of started a fun round of non-televised “Come dine with me”. Sally from My Custard Pie has already popped a post up on this – I was first up, and am still reeling – I may talk about it soon, when I am ready to relive the horror that Sally didn’t seem to see. 

Anyway, I thought I would introduce my foodie friends to Sticky Date Pudding. I have found out since, that the English “Sticky Toffee Pudding” is in fact similar, and does, despite the title, contain dates, and so it was no great surprise for Sally. It was however for Sukaina, who kindly oohed and ahhed and asked for the recipe. Here you go my dear…

  • 170g dates (about a cup, stoned and pitted and chopped)
  • 300ml Boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 170g of flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • drizzle of vanilla essence
For the Sauce:
  • 150g butter
  • 250g brown sugar (about a cup)
  • 2/3 cup cream
(note – I use metric cups, which are 250ml – not the American cup, which is closer to 200)
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Put the dates and bicarbonate in your blender, and pour over the boiling water, then leave to rest.
  2. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one by one, then stir in flour gently. 
  3. Puree date mix roughly, then fold into batter. Pour into small doughnut molds and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer tests clean and pudding springs back when lightly pressed.
  4. While pudding is cooking, place sauce ingredients on the stove on a low heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drench puddings in sauce, and serve warm with a scoop of marscapone or double cream, and make sure you also take a jug of extra sauce out for people to have more lashings of heaven.

I used mini doughnut molds, because I thought it gave a slight impression of a date plant. Besides that, however, they work like a bundt mold, and ensure the center is cooked perfectly whilst the outside doesn’t get overcooked. This is not a self saucing style pudding – you want it cooked nicely all the way through. It is however, traditionally cooked in a round pan – 18-20cm would be best, and made this way, will take approximately 30-40 minutes to cook in the oven.

13 thoughts on “Sticky Date Pudding”

  1. Sarah, reliving the horror? I was just calming down a little, after you made us feel so welcome and served such great food. Now I am getting scared again. Thanks for the recipe. If this Come Dine With Me thing should hook me on hosting dinner parties more regularly, I will definitely have these sticky date puddings on my menu. They were amazing. I never had them before.

  2. What do you mean horrors? The only horror is us lot following you – completely daunted!! The pud was gorgeous and the mascarpone cream with it very, very nice. I like the idea of little puds – I usually make a big one.

  3. I LOVE this… always liked sticky toffee puddings but never made one. I love your presentation- just checked out the photos over at Sally's blog and fell in love! And I especially like the palm leaf you made from the sauce!

  4. Sarah….it was a pleasure dining with you. I had awesome food, raw food which I have never tasted before. and THE most awesome date pudding ever. I hope you don't mind but I will be making your recipe and reposting (with a link back of course) on my blog- cannot wait to feed this to my family!

  5. Sarah, I just made these and realized you don't have sugar on the ingredients list, but in the instructions sugar was supposed to be creamed with the butter. I left the sugar out altogether as i thought one cup of dates might be sweet enough. They are int he oven now and it's smelling divine…..

  6. Hi, I was so excited to try this recipe for a tea party I am having on Thursday, but it sadly went sour for me. I followed all the measurements and directions accurately, except that I used a muffin pan. I went with 20 mins to start and then used the toothpick test. It came out clean. But when I tasted one, it was unbearably uncooked and doughy. What do you think happened? Should I have left it for longer? I'm an experienced baker, and this is the first time this has happened to me. they rose for a bit, then sank quickly as it was cooling, then when I took it out, there were holes in the center of the bottom of almost each cake. I am so disappointed because I used really prime and expensive dates which I got from Dubai. Do you have any solutions for me? Should I try to bake them some more (they're cold now)? I just don't think I can serve them as they are. Would appreciate any help you can throw my way!

  7. Oh dear! I've had other friends try the recipe without a problem. It isn't a standard cake recipe, that's for sure. It doesn't really rise much either. The donut moulds are very small, so all I can think is that your muffin tins were larger, or I guess there's a chance your soda wasn't effective. Were your dates fresh and gooey? I should have made it clearer above that I used dry dates. You could try putting them back in, but I'd say its probably best to start again.

  8. Thanks for your comment. The dough was very thin when I poured it into the tins. Was it supposed to be? I suppose if I left them for longer, or waited till it springs back (like for most muffns/cupcakes), they might have risen? Or it could also be the soda. What was supposed to happen when you poured water on the dates and the soda? Mine got really bubbly. The dates were a little bit of a pain to chop, but otherwise yummy… I will try again. I just don't want to make the same mistake(s) again, which is why I have all the questions…. Thanks again. I will let you know what happens.

  9. Thanks for persisting. Sounds like your soda is fine if it's bubbling. Try with half the water – I think maybe your dates have quite a bit of moisture in them. Add more water if you can't beat it. It is a little runnier than a normal cake, but not watery. Good luck!

Some other suggestions or opinion to add? Please comment