Small Batch Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Sticky toffee pudding is a classic for a reason! This recipe makes six individual, lightly spiced date sponges & plenty of rich, buttery toffee sauce to pour all over. Serve with a generous amount of custard & this one’s hard to beat.

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sticky toffee pudding sauce pour

What Is A Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Served in pubs & restaurants all over the UK, a traditional sticky toffee pudding is made up of two parts. The sponge & the sauce. This recipe only makes 6 portions of both so is great for when you don’t need a whole baking tray’s worth of sponge.

The Sponge

Made with soaked dates, brown sugar & black treacle. A sticky toffee sponge is dark, moist & sweet. This version is a bit different to a classic sponge, for a couple of reasons.

First up, we have the addition of ground ginger & cinnamon. We’re only using half a teaspoon of each but this is just enough to give the sponges a lightly spiced flavour. These flavours work incredibly well with the molasses flavour from the treacle & the sweetness from the dates & brown sugar.
If you’d prefer to keep things more traditional, you can leave the spices out but I’d really recommend adding them in!

The other addition to the sponge, is a small amount of sour cream. Usually you’d add in some milk, to thin the batter out but we’re using sour cream instead. This makes the batter the correct consistency but also adds in extra fat which gives us a soft, moist sponge.

The Sauce

There’s several ways to make the sauce for a sticky toffee pudding. But the way we are using for this recipe, is probably the easiest! All we need to do is combine dark brown sugar, golden syrup, double cream & butter in a saucepan. This is cooked until thick & smooth (which takes less than 5 minutes!) then flavoured with sea salt & vanilla. Easy as that!
This makes a rich sauce with a buttery, toffee flavour that will coat six sponges, generously.

individual sticky toffee pudding

Baking vs Steaming

For this recipe, I experimented with both baking & steaming the sponges. In the end, baking won.
When steaming the sponges, I found that the cooking time was almost double, when compared to baking them. This resulted in a batch of sponges that were still moist & sticky but were also less fluffy & slightly dense. They still tasted good but for the best results, we’re sticking with baking.

Trimming The Sponge

When you bake individual sponges in pudding moulds, they will rise above the top, ever so slightly. This is to be expected but means that the pudding won’t sit flat on a plate. To get around this, we take a sharp knife (preferably serrated) & trim each sponge so that they are level to the top of the moulds. This means that we will have a completely flat surface for the pudding to sit on. Plus, you’ll get to eat the trimmings!

trimmed sticky toffee pudding sponge

Reheating

Once cooked, the sponges can either be served straight away or cooled down & refrigerated, to be served at a later time. If you’re serving them straight away, they’ll be hot enough already but if they’ve been in the fridge, you’ll need to heat them back up.

The best way to do this, is in the microwave. All we need to do to reheat, is turn a sponge out onto a plate (you might need to run a knife around the edge of the sponge to release it from the mould), spoon over some toffee sauce then microwave on high for 30-40 seconds. If you want to serve the puddings with extra sauce, this can also be microwaved. Simply microwave on high until just starting to bubble.

Alternatively, the sponges can be left in the moulds & reheated in a low temperature oven (around 160°c) for around 10 minutes before being tipped out. The sauce can also be reheated in a saucepan over a medium heat.

unmoulded sticky toffee sponge
Sticky toffee sponge, turned out of the mould.

What To Serve With Sticky Toffee Pudding

You can eat sticky toffee pudding on its’ own but to take it to another level, I’d serve it with with custard, a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of double cream or even a dollop of clotted cream. This addition of extra dairy helps cut through the sweetness of the sponge & toffee sauce.

My favourite option would have to be custard. On the blog, there’s a recipe for a toasted milk & vanilla custard. It’s full of vanilla seeds & has a slightly nutty flavour that goes great with a sticky toffee pudding. I’ll link the recipe below!

Equipment Used

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Small Batch Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is a classic for a reason! This recipe makes six individual date sponges & plenty of toffee sauce to pour all over.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Servings: 6 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • 6 150ml Pudding Moulds
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring Jug
  • Kettle
  • Stick Blender/Food Processor

Ingredients

Toffee Sauce

  • 250 g Double Cream
  • 150 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • 75 g Golden Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • ¼ tsp Maldon Sea Salt

Sponge

  • 125 g Dried Pitted Dates
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
  • 150 g Boiling Water
  • 50 g Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 75 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg Lightly Beaten
  • 1 tbsp Black Treacle
  • 125 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt
  • 50 g Sour Cream At Room Temperature

To Grease The Moulds

  • 10 g Unsalted Butter Softened

Instructions

  • First, the toffee sauce.
    Place the cream, sugar, butter & golden syrup into a medium sized saucepan then place over a low heat.
    Cook until the butter has melted & the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat & bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat & stir in the vanilla & salt. Set aside & leave to cool.
    250 g Double Cream, 150 g Dark Brown Sugar, 100 g Unsalted Butter, 75 g Golden Syrup, 1 tsp Vanilla Paste, ¼ tsp Maldon Sea Salt
  • Next, grease the pudding moulds with softened butter then add a tablespoon of toffee sauce into the bottom of each one. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
    10 g Unsalted Butter
  • The sponge.
    Preheat an oven to 170°c/150°c fan (340°f/300°f fan).
    Chop the dates into small pieces & place into a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda & boiling water. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes then blitz with a stick blender/food processor until smooth.
    125 g Dried Pitted Dates, ½ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda, 150 g Boiling Water
  • In the meantime, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon & salt. Set aside.
    125 g Plain Flour, 1 tsp Baking Powder, ½ tsp Ground Ginger, ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon, ¼ tsp Table Salt
  • Place the softened butter & sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer then use the paddle attachment to beat until light & fluffy. This will take at least 5 minutes on a medium speed.
    50 g Unsalted Butter, 75 g Light Brown Sugar
  • Next, mix in the egg, followed by the black treacle.
    1 Large Egg, 1 tbsp Black Treacle
  • Add in half of the flour & half of the date puree & mix until just combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then add in the remaining flour, dates & the sour cream. Mix until just combined.
    50 g Sour Cream
  • Transfer the cake batter into a large jug then pour an equal amount into each mould.
  • Place the moulds onto a baking tray then bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  • Once cooked, leave to cool for 5 minutes then use a sharp, serrated knife to trim each sponge level to the top of the mould.
  • Tip each sponge out onto a plate then pour over some hot toffee sauce.
    To warm up the sauce, heat on high in a microwave until bubbling or warm in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Notes

To Cook In An Aga.
For the toffee sauce, use the simmering plate to dissolve the sugar then move over to the boiling plate to bring to the boil.
For the sponges, cook on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven.
When creaming the butter & sugar, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down regularly with a rubber spatula. This ensures a smooth, well combined batter.
The sponges & sauce can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. For reheating instructions, see the post above.

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