Saturday, February 26, 2011

HCB - Sticky Toffee "Pudding"

The Sticky Toffee "Pudding" that the Heavenly Cake Bakers are baking this week, is not a pudding at all. It's a cake that originates in the UK where in many cases what we call a "cake" here, is called a "pudding" over there. But let's forget about semantics. I loved this cake. It has (Medjool) dates, lots of warm spices and caramel sauce on top. What's not to like?

A simple cake packed with flavor!

The date puree is made by boiling Stout (or in my case, ginger ale soda) and adding halved dates to it. After this mixture is cooled completely, the dates are pureed. I just used my immersion blender instead of the food processor (easier cleanup). The other change I made is to use an equal amount of granulated sugar and brown sugar. I just love brown sugar in combination with spices. Speaking of spices... I reduced the nutmeg by 1/4 tsp and used 1/4 tsp of ground ginger in its place (I figured that made sense since I used "ginger" ale). I also added a dash of ground cloves.

Mis-en-place of ingredients
Once the butter, sugar and eggs are light and fluffy, the dry ingredients are added, alternating with the date puree.

The batter came together quickly. The recipe is for a 9"x13" pan but I decided to use a 8"x8" square pan and two 6" round pands (the latter two small cakes I froze after baking so I can make a layer cake in no time when I need it).

Doesn't that batter look nice? It's thick and velvety smooth.

The butterscotch sauce in the recipe sounded good but had a little too much butter for my taste. Instead I made a batch of my Honey Caramel glaze to which I added a dash of cinnamon. The recipe for that glaze can be found here.

Final thoughts/tips:
  • This cake was a big hit. I took the 8"x8" pan to a dinner party where it was well-received. My friend, Wafae, gave it a 9 out of 10. My husband liked it very much too. He gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
  • As I mentioned earlier, I loved this cake. It's moist, with the right amount of spice, and not too sweet (despite the caramel on top). This cake might very well become my go-to recipe for a spice cake. I'd have to experiment but I think these would make great muffins too (even without the caramel sauce). The other thing I'd like to try is to use 100% brown sugar. I think that would work really well.
  • Recap of my changes: + 1/4 tsp ground ginger, - 1/4 tsp nutmeg, + dash of ground cloves. Used half granulated sugar and half brown sugar. Instead of the butterscotch sauce, I used a Honey Caramel glaze. The recipe for that can be found here.


  1. Sounds like my sort of cake! I love dates and spices so much; together it is too yummy.

  2. As much as I love dates (and figs!) I'm not a big fan of spice cakes. Discovered that recently. At the same time I really like to bake spice cakes, isn't that strange?
    Your thought of using all brown sugar is brilliant, should be very good!

  3. looks good. I love toffee pudding. yum yum

  4. Looks good... I passed this one by... Tom wanted "another" option from our Gutsy cook line up more.

    Which was ok with me, since this one did not call out to me at all...

    Glad that it was a hit around your parts.

  5. I've always been curious about sticky toffee pudding. This version looks delicious.

  6. Lovely cake, Hanaa. I'm looking forward to make it mostly so I'll have extra dates to snack on. I never ever get tired of dates!

  7. Great cake Hanaa! I like that you saved the 6 inch layers for another day. Considering your love of the spice cake, making this your go-to spice cake recipe is a huge compliment!

  8. Gorgeous plating for the sticky toffee pudding/cake! You are always the talented plater. I think this is the best sticky toffee pudding I have ever tasted. Absolutely loved it!

  9. Hanaa, I used ginger ale and immersion blender as well (thanks for the tips). Forgot about using some brown sugar though.

    Glad everyone loved the cake (though I'm not surprised as you like spiced cakes :)). The 1st photo looks pretty, I love the design you made with the sauce. I haven't tried mine yet - will find out tonight!

  10. Thanks for the tip to check out your lighter caramel sauce for this recipe. I like the sound of adding honey to it!

    We had these puddings for dessert tonight and the (original recipe) sauce actually wasn't as strong as when it was first made, so that was an interesting observation and good to know you can make it a day in advance!

    Looking forward to joining your club!

  11. Thank you all so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. I love dates and I love spices but together in a cake they are "magic". Do try this one :o)

  12. It looks delicious this cake! I am pleased with the recipe. Caroline B.


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