Sticky toffee cake

Rich cake made even better with fabulous sauce!

This cake is often referred to as Sticky Toffee Pudding, because of its British heritage (the Brits refer to desserts of all sorts as ‘pudding’). The name is appropriate because the cake is so moist and rich – almost as though it has pudding in it (but it doesn’t). While it is delicious on its own, don’t skip the toffee sauce – that’s what elevates it from good to spectacular. Both the cake and sauce freeze well so they are great for make-ahead cooks like me!



For cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) baking soda
  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) powdered ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract

Garnish: whipped cream

For toffee sauce:

  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (500 mL) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla


For cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
  • Combine dates and water in a small saucepan.
  • Bring date mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. The mixture will foam a little. Cover saucepan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and ginger. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just blended.
  • Stir in the date mixture until just blended.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Put the Bundt pan in a roasting pan or large baking dish and add boiling water to come halfway up the sides.
  • Bake approximately 35 – 40 minutes * until the cake is a deep golden brown and a skewer inserted in comes out moist but clean. * Bake 30 minutes in the hot water bath and then remove it from the bath for the final 5 – 10 minutes of baking.
  • Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the cake and invert it onto a rack, to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, pouring a generous amount of warm toffee sauce over each piece and adding a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 10 or more, depending on how big you like your pieces of cake. I like to cut several small slivers and fan them out on the plate so each piece gets coated with sauce.

For toffee sauce:

  • Melt butter in medium saucepan, over medium heat.
  • Add brown sugar, stirring occasionally until dissolved.
  • Add cream and increase heat to medium-high and boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Transfer to a microwave-safe jug and reheat just before serving.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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