This ethereal Sticky Date Pudding is the proper way to start the year with! A heavenly soft cake sweetened with dates and drizzled with caramel.
Happy 2018, everyone! You might have been wondering why I haven’t posted anything yet, and that is because I honestly don’t have anything to post except for this Sticky Date Pudding. But this cake, being one of my favorites that I have ever made, is definitely a way to start the year with a bang. So it is going up as my first post of 2018, no matter how late I may have started blogging this year. ❤️
I actually have not started blog-planning for 2018 yet because I was just so out of it towards the end of last year. Today I made the decision to carefully plan what direction I wanted to blog to go, so it will probably be quiet around here for a little longer. I don’t want to post any random stuff just to say I am updating regularly.
This year I want to put more thought into the content I write. If that means I am going to fall behind my twice-a-week posting schedule, then so be it! The reason why it takes me longer to write posts is because I don’t do this blogging thing full-time. My real work has been pretty hectic lately, but I don’t want to give this up; I just want to pick more meaningful things to write about. (Also for the sake of not getting burnt out!)
This Sticky Date Pudding, my friends, is a gem of a cake for sure!
This dessert is known as the Sticky Date Pudding in Australia and New Zealand, but it is also known as the Sticky Toffee Pudding in Britain. Not quite sure where it’s originally from but I’m sticking with the Aussie name since I first got a taste of it after a visit to my favorite Australian spot Bondi & Bourke. I had heard about this cake even before then, but after actually eating it I was in complete awe. I had to learn to make it at home!
[READ ALSO: Bondi & Bourke Review]
Luckily enough, I have an aunt who regularly sends over dates from Dubai. She has unwittingly aided my obsession with Sticky Date Pudding. (And well, I actually do like dates in general!)
This recipe is an easy one, and it was also the first time I actually made caramel! Exciting times, people! That means I am on my way to conquering my caramel fears! My regret here though is skipping the creme anglaise, because the combo of that and the caramel sauce poured over this cake is what pushes it into heavenly category. (As eaten in Bondi & Bourke!)
Sans the creme anglaise, it is just at the level of out-of-this-world. The recipe produced a rather glorious, soft cake. It’s just so good, you guys. I don’t know what else to say to convince you. I’m so happy I came across this recipe on my first go making Sticky Date Pudding!
I used a tube pan for a nicer shape, but you can use whatever rectangular or big round pan you have to make this. Because the cake came out a little high using this tube pan, I needed to give the caramel a bit more time to soak into the cake. Nonetheless, I made sure to serve this while the cake was still warm. Next time I’m not skipping the cold creme anglaise!
Sticky Date Pudding with Easy Caramel Sauce
For the Date Pudding Cake
- 1½ cups water
- 250 grams pitted whole dates, chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons 1 stick butter, softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cherries or other berries, as optional topping
For the Easy Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons 1/2 stick salted butter
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
Make the Date Pudding Cake
- 1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat, then add the chopped dates and baking soda into the boiled water. The baking soda will cause the water to fizz and that's completely normal. Let stand for 20 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Generously grease and flour a tube pan* and set aside for a moment.
- 3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- 4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed, until nice and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until the mixture looks kind of creamy.
- 5. Detach the bowl from the stand mixer, then using a spatula, stir in the flour mixture until combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as you stir so that everything is incorporated.
- 6. Pour the stewed dates (liquid included) into the bowl with your mixture, and fold until well-combined.
- 7. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare the sauce
- 8. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, mix together brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and butter. Keep stirring until the butter is completely melted and all the ingredients have been mixed together. Allow the sauce to come to a boil, stirring often. Once it boils, stop stirring. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 2 more minutes, swirling the caramel in the saucepan occasionally. Transfer your caramel to a pouring vessel. (Make sure it can withstand heat!)
- 9. Once the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully unmold the cake, if desired. (You can also serve it inside its original pan, but I personally think it looks better unmolded.) Pierce the cake all the way through with a skewer in as many spots as you can, then pour half of the warm caramel sauce over the warm cake. Let stand for about 10 minutes to allow the caramel some time to seep in.
- 10. Serve the cake warm with the remaining caramel sauce. This cake is also really good with some cold creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream.