JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Sticky Toffee Pudding

10 Servings

1½ hrs 30 min active, plus cooling

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

To update Britain’s sticky toffee pudding—a steamed, too-often bland dessert hidden under a gluey, cloying syrup—we employed a bit of reverse-engineering, starting with the sauce. Instead of the traditional cream, we gave the toffee glaze a taste from home by spiking it with rye whiskey. The whiskey’s spice and heat cut through the sweetness of the dark brown sugar and corn syrup; orange zest added brightness. For the cake itself, we wanted to mirror the flavor of the rye, so we used a blend of rye and all-purpose flours. Dates that are steeped in coffee, then pureed, gave body. Together, the nutty rye and bitter coffee balanced the cake’s sweetness. To improve the dessert’s presentation, we made it in a Bundt pan. Covering the pan with foil kept the cake rich and moist, similar to a traditional steamed pudding.




Don’t chop the dates. Their texture was unpleasant in the finished dish. The food processor is the best bet. And be sure to check your dates for pits.

1½ hrs

30 min active, plus cooling


  • 8

    ounces pitted dates (about 1½ cups)

  • 1

    cup brewed coffee


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Julia L.
January 18, 2024
This was by far the best dessert I have had in a long time. So complex. Even w the toffee sauce I did not find overly sweet. The bitterness of the orange zest complements the whiskey so well. Served w a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfection.
Lisa S.
December 25, 2023
Sticky Toffee Pudding
I loved the twist on this recipe! Although I had to make a load of substitutes, decided to make it on Christmas Eve and didn't want to go to the store! I used buckwheat instead of Rye, and regular whiskey instead of Rye Whiskey. It all turned out great! I'll get the proper ingredients for the next time.
Justin C.
November 21, 2023
Very good
I love this cake but every time I've brought it to a party or dinner, it gets somewhat neglected. (More for me!) I think because some people aren't used to the more grownup taste of rye flour. I do have a question though: does it matter which variety of dates one uses? Medjool or deglet noor?
Erika S.
January 30, 2023
Loved this cake and so easy to make!
The orange zest gives that extra sophisticated approach to a simple cake!!
Pamela T.

Dates are my go-to fruit when I crave something sweet but want to steer myself away from eating pastry or cake. A little goes a long way! But sometimes I just can't resist, and I saw this recipe a few weeks before I was to make dinner for friends. It was a big hit. It is dense and rich, but not too sweet. I served it with whipped cream to lighten the richness. People loved it, especially the toffee sauce. In fact, the next time I make it I think I'll double the sauce recipe to save some for topping ice cream.


Great recipe, the flavor of the cake and the sauce are both incredible. Do you think this could be made in individual ramekins?

Emily B.

I improvised a bit, using dried cranberries in place of dates, and substituting brown sugar with water for corn syrup. The result was delicious.

Heather G.

Could you exclusively use all purpose flour and omit the rye flour? It's just hard to find rye flour in my location.

Lynn C.

Hi Heather -

Rye flour absorbs about 4 times more moisture than wheat flour, so the liquid ingredients would likely have to be adjusted to account for the difference in using all all-purpose flour. We haven't done this testing so we, unfortunately, can't provide those adjustments.

The Milk Street Team