The best sticky toffee pudding recipe

We’ve all had different versions of this, from the stodgy to the ethereally light. I’ve often only eaten half a bowlful. People love it, but it can be dense and incredibly sweet. This is my very favourite version – it’s wonderful – cooked by Ben Stanley and Paul Weaver at Noble Rot restaurant in Bloomsbury, London. It’s rich – of course it is – but light. The black treacle is what makes this one so good, along with the use of decent butter and Medjool dates. This is not a healthy pudding – it almost goes without saying – but it’s not something you eat every day.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes




  • 200g stoned Medjool dates
  • 1 level tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½   tsp vanilla extract
  • ½   tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • Thick pouring cream, to serve

For the topping

  • 250ml double cream
  • 80g butter
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 75g dark muscovado sugar
  • For the pouring sauce
  • 300ml double cream
  • 50g butter
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • ½ tbsp black treacle


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Put the dates in a medium-sized saucepan with 300ml boiling water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bicarbonate of soda – this will make the mixture froth a lot (which is why you don’t use a small saucepan). Stir, leave to cool, then purée in a food processor using the pulse button. Don’t blend the dates too much; you want to have flecks of date in the pudding, rather than a totally uniform purée.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and treacle together in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the purée, vanilla and cinnamon, beating together on a low speed.
  4. Fold in the flour and scrape the batter into a buttered 2-litre pudding dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer plunged into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Make the topping to pour over the pudding by gently heating everything together until the mixture is smooth. Make the sauce to serve alongside by melting all of the ingredients, too. Pierce the pudding all over with a skewer. Slowly pour the topping sauce over the top (keep the other for serving). Heat your grill to medium and put the pudding under it until it’s bubbling.
  6. Quickly reheat the sauce for pouring and serve them together with thick pouring cream.
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