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Toffee Date Cake (Sticky Toffee Pudding)

Toffee Date Cake

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Serves 12 to 15.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in a restaurant trade journal.

This cake has an unusual flavor, being flavored with a date syrup made with dates and water. Then there is an additional syrup, made with brown sugar, butter, and cream (the toffee flavor) that is poured onto the cake after it is baked. Additional whipped cream can be put on top, onto which is drizzled more of the toffee syrup. It’s really delicious and the presentation is impressive.


For the cake:
24 Medjool dates; pitted and chopped (12 to 14 oz./340 to 400g)
2¼ cups (532ml) water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup (5 oz./140g) butter; softened, at room temperature
1½ cups (10 oz./284g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs (about 2 oz./110g each, in the shell)
4 cups (18 oz./510g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
For the toffee syrup:
½ cup (4 oz./112g) butter
2 cups packed (14 oz./400g) light brown sugar
2 cups (473ml) heavy cream, more for garnish


Heat the water with the chopped dates and baking soda in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch closely; it foams and can easily boil over. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (This can be prepared in advance.)

Heat oven to 350°F (177°C). In a mixing bowl combine the 2/3 cup softened butter and granulated sugar until smooth. (This can be done in a stand mixer.) Add the eggs and combine thoroughly. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the cooled date mixture and the butter mixture, blending well. Add the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into a greased 2–inch (5cm) deep 13x9–inch (35x24cm) baking pan, distributing evenly. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean or the internal temperature is between 195° and 205°F (96°C).

While the cake is baking, melt the ¼ cup butter in a saucepan and add the brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil and stir well, then remove from the heat. This toffee syrup can be heated again later, as needed.

Remove the cake from the oven and pierce the top all over with a skewer. Spoon about half the toffee syrup onto the cake, allowing it to seep into the cake through the holes. Whip additional heavy cream lightly with about a teaspoon of sugar until it forms very soft peaks.

To serve, spoon cream onto a piece of cake and then drizzle additional toffee syrup over the cream, letting it all run into the bottom of the plate.