Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of those desserts that has been on my to bake list FOREVERRRRRRR. It’s in good company with things like Panettone, king cake, surprise inside cake, and sweet potato pie, among others.
When you bake and cook a lot, the list is inevitable because trends are always shifting and with them new desserts with different flavor combinations are always being created. Also as I bake more and my skill increases, I want to try more challenging recipes to continue pushing myself as a baker and learning about the craft.
Sometimes, though, it’s easy to rely on old favorites. To make cookies and classic cakes over and over instead of making something that pushes the boundaries of a comfort zones and therefore might not turn out. It’s a fine line to walk, and one I’m not always great at.
But I finally made sticky toffee pudding. For Mom’s birthday. Ad I primal-fied it. Which just means it’s paleo except I did use organic heavy cream in the sauce because we do consume dairy in our house quite a bit and I felt it would make a far superior sauce to any alternatives.
And I was right about the sauce as well as the decision to finally make sticky toffee pudding, especially for Mom’s birthday.
Dates are one of the primary ingredients here and the cake has that earthy sweet flavor with that natural date stickiness. It’s rich and dense and almost impossibly moist. Then when you add the rich sauce that’s kind of like caramel but dare I say better, it’s the ultimate comforting cake.
It screams Christmas, winter birthday, dreary Thursday, whatever. Just make this cake, and if you’re feeling extra decadent, add a scoop of ice cream.Print
2 cinnamon sticks
18 large medjool dates, pitted
½ cup very hot water
¼ cup very hot coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons organic pure vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ cup maple sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons paleo flour blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder
¼ cup organic pure vegetable shortening
¼ cup coconut oil
¾ cup maple sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
¾ cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Place the dates and cinnamon sticks in a heatproof bowl. Top with hot water and coffee. Sprinkle with baking soda and allow to soak for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, cream shortening, maple syrup, and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the flour and baking powder. Squish the dates with your hands as you place them into the batter, a few larger pieces are okay. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Once all the dates have been added, stir them in along with the rest of the soaking liquid and the vanilla.
Spread into the prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
While the cake bakes, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan stir together the espresso powder, shortening, oil, sugar, and syrup over medium low heat. Once everything is melted, the mixture may seem quite separated. Slowly stir in the cream while keeping the pan over the heat, and it should come together. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and bubble away for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
When the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a toothpick and top with about half the sauce, making sure it covers every millimeter of the cake. Allow the cake to soak up the syrup for at least 30 minutes. Serve with additional sauce. Cake may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave, keeping a watchful eye so it doesn’t bubble over.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40