Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake Recipe


Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake turns a classic British dessert into a delicious layer cake! Layers of cake soaked with dates, vanilla butter cream and delicious toffee sauce.

I'm an excellent planner when it comes to just about everything in life...except for bread (it seems). With bread, I'm the worst.

I do not understand that. I have a background in project management, and when planning trips or anything else in life, I'm on top of it.

When it comes to bread... I don't know what happens. It's like I can't commit to an idea or something. I constantly change my mind and forget things, and that only leads to a huge waste of time. I can't make a decision to save my life.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Case in point: sticky toffee pudding cake.

It all started with my lack of a plan on how to attack this cake. I had a recipe in mind (adapted from Rock Recipes) but didn't know how to incorporate the toffee sauce or how to decorate it.

Well, I knew I could get my cake layers baked and out of the way, and worry about the rest at a later date (haha!).

I had the foresight to buy the Medjool Dates, because I knew I was going to make this cake, but didn't think to check my inventory of other things.

Today, I'm sharing with you my delicious sticky toffee pudding cake recipe. This is a great recipe for any occasion, and it's so moist and dense that nobody will believe that there's no butter or oil in it.
I used to be so indecisive. I'd go to the grocery store, look at the food and eat a little of everything. A little bread, a little cake, a little chocolate. Soon I began to gain weight… A LOT of weight! Finally my friends Jake and Carol were like 'come on, you can't possibly just be eating a bit of food from every aisle?!' So one day when I went to the store, I just avoided all the aisles that had food in them: produce (except for cabbage), soda (except for zucchini), and coffee (I don't drink coffee). Then I saw the aisle with drinks: water…juices…fake juice…and then there it was – Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake!
So here I am, pulling out all my trusted ingredients, only to realize the molasses I've been using is gone. * &% $. Outside the store I go to (it's a round trip at best 20 minutes, usually longer).

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

  • So I go get what I need, come home, and start setting everything up. Somewhere in those few minutes, I realized I wanted to sprinkle the toffee sauce over the cake layers while they were still hot outside the oven. Do you think I had the foresight to buy heavy cream for toffee sauce when I was at the grocery store? no. Why would I do that? That would be smart, efficient, and organized. Obviously, I'm not one of those things.
  • Finally, back home, I started flipping the cake batter. Everything is running smoothly except that I have a lot of confusion on the 2 long pans.
  • Fortunately, I realized that and didn't overfill the pans. They did not spread, but I have some surplus. I've since modified the recipe, having to remake the entire cake anyway (read on).
  • Once the buns came out of the oven and out of the pans, I poke them all over with a bamboo skewer and mixed them with hot toffee sauce. I cooled them completely, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer, because I wouldn't finish the cake until the next week.
  • I actually freeze almost all of my cake layers before using them. I try to spread the bread as much as possible and do things in batches, so I often have a variety of frozen cake layers ready to put in the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I convert this recipe?

  • Recipe as is will also work for 8 pans. For three 8 size pans, 1.5 times the recipe. Baking time may need to be adjusted.
  • To make cupcakes, all you have to do is reduce the baking time - start checking in 15 minutes or so. Recipe makes 18-24 cupcakes, depending on size.
  • For other transfers go here.

Can I do this in advance?

  • Chilled cake layers can be baked in advance, double wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 3 months. Take it 2-3 hours before collection.
  • Garnishes can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 1 week to freeze for 3 months. Bring it to room temperature and recharge before use.
  • The toffee sauce can be made the day before and left at room temperature overnight or refrigerated for up to a week. You will need to bring it back to room temperature again before use.
  • Ready-made cake (whole or cut and sealed) can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I get the measurements in weight/grams?

  • There is a metric option on the recipe card. If you click on it it will convert everything to grams.
  • This conversion is done automatically and I can't guarantee the accuracy but many readers have successfully used the scaling option in my recipes.

Do I empty the mixture of dates before mashing?

  • no. Mash the dates with the liquid.

Tips for this sticky cake

  • I used a generous amount of the toffee sauce on the layers, so the cake is very moist. You can use as much or as little as you like.
  • Baking soda helps soften dates so that they are easier to mash. Do not drain the dates before mashing them.
  • If you made the toffee sauce in advance and refrigerated it (I did), you'll need to reheat it the next day because it may separate a bit. Make sure to let it cool and thicken before you sprinkle it on top of the cake.
  • I make my cake pops using the homemade cake version method and wrap them in parchment paper.
  • Be sure to check out my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
  • Learn how to keep your cake moist with simple syrup.
  • To help ensure cake layers bake nicely and flat, check out our How to Bake Flat Cakes post!


  • 10 ounces pitted Medjool dates, chopped (about 18 whole dates)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar, I used demerara
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons premium non-black molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Toffee sauce:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, I used demerara
  • 1 tablespoon premium molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Swiss Vanilla Buttercream:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Put the dates and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda. Leave it while you make the cake mixture. Mash it before using it in cake.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and grate three 6-inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Sit aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium high (about 3 minutes). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition. Add molasses and vanilla. Multiply until smooth.
  • Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, then add the hot mashed dates. Multiply until smooth.
  • Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake until cakes come back together when touched, a toothpick inserted in center and come out almost clean (about 40-45 minutes). Make the toffee sauce while the cake is baking.
  • Cool in tubs on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then flip onto wire racks to cool completely.
Toffee sauce:
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Swiss Vanilla Buttercream:
  • Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat until combined.
  • Place bowl over a double boiler on the stovetop and whisk constantly until mixture is hot and grainy to the touch (about 3 minutes). Or it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
  • Place bowl on your stand mixer and beat on medium-high until meringue is stiff and cooled (bowl no longer warm to the touch (about 5-10 minutes)).
  • Switch to the paddle attachment. Slowly add the butter cubes and mix until smooth. **
  • Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Trim the tops until they are flat and remove the top crust from the cake.
  • Poke holes in the cakes with a bamboo skewer (or something similar in size). Spread 2-3 tablespoons of warm toffee sauce on each cake layer. evenly distributed. Cool completely.
  • Place one layer of cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Put 2/3 cup buttercream and spread evenly. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  • Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. Using a large cream scraper, scrape the icing onto the sides of the cake and smooth until a portion of the cake begins to show through. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  • Chill cake for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the toffee sauce if necessary until it is crumbly but not too thin and not warm.
  • Using a small spatula, place bits of the toffee sauce around the top edges of the cooled cake, letting some fall off. Fill the top of the cake with more toffee sauce and spread it evenly with a spatula.


* Make sure that there is no trace of egg yolk in the egg white and that the mixer bowl and paddle attachment are completely free of grease or the meringue will not harden.
** Buttercream may look curdled at some point. Keep mixing until completely smooth.
Cake recipe adapted from Rock Recipes.

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