Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Author & Photographer: Ed Schmeltzer


So, last time you may have heard from me, I introduced the world (or at least our readership) to my quest—nay, crusade—to bring the foods of my homeland to these fair shores1. The stuff legend is made from, I know. I’m absolutely sure I’ll go down in history for this, alongside Ramsey, Child, Blumenthal, and all the rest.

Delusions of grandeur aside, with this recipe we move from the more savory end of the spectrum to a sweeter one. Don’t worry—it will still be borderline criminally unhealthy2. However, it also tastes amazing, if I do say so myself. So, what is this mystery dessert3? Three words: Sticky toffee pudding. Also known as the dessert that convinced my parents not to move back to the US 4. (God, this recipe has quite a lot to live up to…)

It’s not light, fluffy, or anything else you’d use to describe a French pastry, so let’s just shuffle all that vocabulary out of here. Sticky toffee pudding is a date-based cake—dark, incredibly rich and just sweet enough, paired with a somehow richer caramel-butter sauce. All of this melds together to create a warm, sticky, gooey mess that tastes like autumn was distilled and baked into a dessert. It’s pretty solid, I must say.

Usually accompanied by whipped cream. Because of course it is. (Told you this one wouldn’t be good for you.)


Serves 6 hungry people, 8 not-so-hungry people.

Preparation time: 40 minutes



-1/4 cup unsalted butter, with more for the pan5

-1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

-6 ounces pitted dates

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1 teaspoon baking powder.

-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-1 cup sugar

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

-2 large eggs

-Lemon zest from ½ a lemon6

-Pinch of cinnamon

-Pinch of nutmeg7


-1 ¼ cups light brown sugar

-1/2 cup heavy cream

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Pinch of cinnamon


-Whipped cream



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and sugar your pan. Chop your dates and bring them to a boil with 1 and ¼ cups water in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda and set aside. Wait until the mixture is foamy, like a particularly sweet-smelling beer.

  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together until the mixture is all grainy8. Add 1 egg and blend. Add half of the flour mix and half of the date mix. Blend that. Repeat with the other egg, and the rest of the flour and date mixes. Pour your newly-formed batter into a pan.

  3. Bake until a tester or toothpick comes out clean—around 40 minutes. Cover and let your pudding stand at room temp.


  1. Bring sugar, cream and butter to a boil on medium heat. Continuously stir. Allow to boil while stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and incorporate. Allow to cool to a comfortably warm temperature.

  2. Cut the pudding, serve with sauce and whipped cream.

1 Steak and Ale Pie featured in the Winter 2019 edition of Bite Magazine. Coming soon to a campus near you! (Please review it well, I’d love to keep this job.)

2 Honestly, at this point, I don’t even care about health. Seeing Paula Deen make a bread-and-butter pudding out of Krispy Kremes does that to you. That and my 20-a-day habit.

3 I know. I know. You read the title. Don’t be that kid.

4 Shoutout to mum and dad! Thanks for…you know…funding this whole ‘college’ adventure.

5 Buy a 4-pack. You’ll need it. ¼ cup is about ½ a stick.

6 Adds a little zesty tang—you’ll need it to cut through all the richness of this affair. Plus, who doesn’t love a zesty tang?

7 Experiment with spices! You don’t need the cinnamon and nutmeg, but they add a nice little bit of warmth. A little cocoa powder might be good too, if you’re feeling adventurous.

8 This is far easier with an electric mixer. But, alas, I am a student. And bloody hell, I cannot afford one of those things. I just treated it like an arm workout and used it as an excuse to skip going to the gym.

Adapted from Bon Appetit:

Melanie WangComment