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The best sticky toffee pudding

The best sticky toffee pudding

The backbone of this Martha Collison recipe is naturally toffee-like medjool dates, which create a sticky texture and deep caramel flavour. Many people are surprised that this pudding conceals dates within it, but mash them small enough and even the date-adverse won’t spot them!

5 out of 5 stars(6) Rate this recipe
  • Serves8
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook35 mins
  • Total time55 mins
  • PlusPreparation time 20 minutes + soaking

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  • 1 chai teabag
  • 165g pack medjool dates, without stones
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 75ml whole milk
  • Hot custard or vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)

For the toffee sauce

  • 225g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup


  1. Put the tea bag into a medium bowl, cover with 165ml boiling water, then leave to brew for a few minutes. Chop the dates into small pieces and add to the bowl (leave the teabag in), with the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then leave to soak for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and grease a 20x32cm (2L) ovenproof dish.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar together, using a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer, in a large bowl for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the golden syrup. Stir in the flour until well incorporated, then pour in the milk and beat well.

  3. Remove the tea bag from the date mixture, and squeeze it against the side of the bowl to extract maximum flavour. Using a fork, mash the dates into a chunky paste, then fold into the pudding batter.

  4. Spread the batter evenly into the buttered dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden and firm.

  5. While the pudding cooks, make the sauce. Put all the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat slightly and let the mixture bubble for 2-3 minutes until it is a rich toffee colour.

  6. Once the pudding is cooked and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, pierce the top in several places with the skewer, then pour ½ the sauce over the top of the pudding. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to allow it to absorb and make the pudding extra sticky.

  7. Let the pudding stand out of the oven for 5 minutes, then serve with the remaining toffee sauce and some hot custard or vanilla ice cream, if liked.

Cook’s tip

Soaking the dates

It’s important that the dates are soaked in hot liquid with bicarbonate of soda to help soften the skins, but the type of liquid is up to you. I love the warming spice of chai, but Earl Grey tea also works well, as does hot coffee or even plain water if you’d prefer to keep it simple.

Type of dates

Juicy medjool dates (found in the fruit and veg area) are ideal for this recipe, but if you’d like to keep the cost down or only have other varieties to hand, you’re welcome to substitute them for other kinds. A pack of pre-chopped dried dates will work, but soak for an extra 10 minutes to break down any papery skin.

Individual desserts

You can make an elevated version of this sticky toffee pudding by serving it in individual moulds. Simply butter 8 x 200ml metal dariole moulds with butter and bake (sit them in a roasting tin) for 20-25 minutes until cooked through, before turning out and serving with plenty of sauce. 


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,800kJ/ 670kcals



Saturated Fat












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