Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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Somehow I went from eating raw cabbage to baking one of the richest desserts known to man.

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That’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes, isn’t it?

However, I should get bonus points for making this classic dessert vegan and almost half the sugar and fat, don’t you think?

Have you ever tried a sticky toffee pudding? Being the sweet tooth that I am, I always loved sticky toffee pudding. You want me to eat a date and sugar filled cake and them dump more sticky toffee sauce on top? AND serve it with ice cream? *dies* There isn’t any pudding actually in this cake, but it’s the method that creates a pudding-like texture.

I figured I could make a vegan version lower in fat and sugar, while still enjoying one of my favourite desserts. So, I set out on a mission to create my first vegan sticky pudding. My goal was simple: Make this toffee pudding taste as good as the original, while slashing the sugar and fat. I also added a whole grain flour to give it a bit of a boost. Traditional British versions vary quite a bit (some steep in tea bags or serve with custard, for example), but I just kept mine basic for the first attempt. I also added in toasted pecans, which isn’t common, but I loved the nutty crunch it added.

And to my surprise, it actually worked! I really cannot imagine this dish being any sweeter than it was.

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We have a few holiday gatherings coming up this weekend and next and I’m trying to figure out what I’m making for potlucks and what food gifts I’m going to give. I have a huge list of healthy dinners and desserts I want to make before the year is out and all these crazy recipe ideas popping into my head! So…expect to see a mix of holiday desserts and The 12 Days of  Healthy Dinner Recipes over the next while. I’m also in the process of meeting with cookbook publishers over the next couple weeks (which I didn’t expect to happen so soon!). It’s a crazy, but exciting month. I really just want it to slow down so I can do everything I want to do.

Anyways, this was my first time making sticky toffee pudding and I was happy to see how easy it is to make. For such an elegant looking dessert, it’s really fool proof. (Don’t be put off by my long directions….I just made them very detailed so there would be no second guessing.)

We’re having friends over for dinner on Sunday and I will be making this dessert for sure…it’s absolutely amazing straight from the oven, served with warm toffee sauce, with a scoop of vegan ice cream and toasted pecans! This is one of those desserts that are great served on a cold night, cozied up with loved ones watching your favourite holiday show on TV.

Or reality TV shows if you are like us. I don’t know what’s more mind-numbing….watching Kris Humphries or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for the 765 time.

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Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

This sticky pudding cake has the perfect amount of sweetness, remaining true to the original classic dessert, without going overboard. The cake is fantastic; once the sauce is poured on, it turns into a gooey, moist, and dense cake. The toasted pecans add a lovely texture to this dish and I don’t recommend skipping them unless necessary. Whatever you do…serve this dish WARM!

print this recipe!

Inspired by Taste.com.au and Historical Foods.

Yield: 6-8 servings

For the cake:

  • 200 grams pitted dates (about 1.5 cups), roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan butter substitute), lightly softened
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar (75 grams) OR 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  tsp kosher salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)

 

For the toffee sauce:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown rice syrup*
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar (35 grams) OR Sucanat
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1 tbsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • salt, to taste

 

1. Preheat oven to 325F and toast the pecans for about 8-10 mins. Now, preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish or an 8-inch square pan with Earth Balance. .

2. In a medium sized pot, bring 1.5 cups of almond milk to a low boil. Add in the chopped and pitted dates and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 minute, remove from heat, and stir in baking soda. It will froth up a bit.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the softened Earth Balance and brown sugar until no clumps remain. You can also use an electric mixer if desired. Now add in the date & almond milk mixture and stir.

4. Add the dry ingredients (cinnamon, salt, 1/2 cup of pecans, and whole wheat pastry flour) into the wet and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.

5. Bake at 375F for 27-28 minutes, or until the cake gently springs back when you touch it.

6. Toffee sauce: About 10 mins before the cake is done, make your toffee sauce by whisking together the sauce ingredients in a pot (use the same one). Bring to a low simmer over medium heat, and then reduce heat to low, whisking frequently making sure it doesn’t burn. Heat for about 5 minutes while standing over the pot to stir & watch. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. Remove cake from oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and then prick with a fork or toothpick all over. I made about 100 holes. Pour 2/3 of the toffee sauce over the top of the cake (reserving the other 1/3 of the sauce for later) and smooth out with a spoon.

8. Scoop out your portions onto plates, drizzle with remaining sauce, and top with toasted pecans. Serve with a side of your favourite vegan ice cream (I love coconut bliss).

*Note: Other liquid sweeteners may work instead of brown rice syrup (you can use honey if you eat it), however the taste and consistency will change slightly. Maple syrup would also work, although it won’t get quite as thick.

 

After I made this cake, I realized that some recipes actually mix everything straight into the pot on the stove! I think I will certainly try that next time to save cleaning another bowl.

The batter for the sticky toffee cake is quite thick and dense, but far from being dry.

IMG 5573   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

Spoon batter into your prepared dish. I used a pie dish because they photograph better than the 8-inch square pans, but feel free to use whichever you prefer. Single serving ramekins might be fun too! Although, you’d probably have to reduce the cooking time slightly for single servings.

IMG 5576   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

After baking about 28-30 minutes…it’s golden and slowly springs back after being touched.

IMG 5577   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

Grab a fork or toothpick and make about 100 holes all over the top of the cake. Get out all your holiday frustrations! This allows the sauce to sink into the cake and make it all gooey and wonderful!

IMG 5579   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

Pour on 2/3 of your toffee sauce, leaving the rest for later.

IMG 5580   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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The sauce will soak into all those holes and create a gooey and dense, “pudding-like” cake.

IMG 5582   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

Check that out!

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Now portion out your servings onto plates or bowls and drizzle on more toffee sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted pecans and serve with a scoop of vegan ice cream.

IMG 55931   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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Prepare yourself for a dessert you won’t soon forget.

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You will, however, forget all about the sugar, cream, and butter that I cut out.

IMG 5608   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

Trust me on this one.

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{ 189 comments… read them below or add one }

LizAshlee December 15, 2011

Just stopped by to browse your recipes for banana bread but these photos caught my eye…sticky..pecan…syrup…YUM!! :)

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cheryl December 15, 2011

omg … you have outdone yourself this time … wow .. looks amazing

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Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes December 15, 2011

This looks STUNNING. MY what a wonderful holiday dish. Can’t wait to try it!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 15, 2011

Uh-mazing. I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding but you just made it look too good to resist!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 15, 2011

Oooh my… my neighbour in Bahrain used to make the most divine sticky toffee pudding and I miss it so so much! I’m loving the sounds of this lightened up version!

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes December 15, 2011

I love the transition from yesterday’s post to this :)

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lauren @ spiced plate December 15, 2011

Oooh — since it’s sinless, I’ll have twice as much! yum! Thanks for sharing — I want to make this over the weekend for my pecan-loving husband who just finished finals! yeay!

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Katrina December 15, 2011

Oh my! This sounds lovely!

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Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa December 15, 2011

Amazing. I was just in England a few weeks ago and have a delicious sticky toffee pudding. I begged the chef for the recipe and have been dying to re-create it (vegan style) at home. So…thanks for doing the work for me!

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Rebekah December 15, 2011

This looks incredible! Wondering which vegan ice cream(s) you prefer??

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Thanks Rebekah, I really enjoy Coconut Bliss brand. It’s expensive so we don’t buy it often, but it’s lovely for a treat.

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Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition December 15, 2011

My father would die if I came home with this! It’s his favorite kind of food. Thanks Angela : )

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Lindsey December 15, 2011

Yum! I had another dessert planned for Christmas but this looks too yummy not to make! Decisions, decisions! Or maybe I make both ;)

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Ashley December 15, 2011

I’ve never had sticky pudding! But I’m in charge of cooking for our Christmas dinner this year, so I might be putting this on the table. It looks amazing!

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed December 15, 2011

oh dear, that’s just amazing. I want some for real. I LOVE dates.LOVE them. I put them in so many recipes and love that this is kinda designed FOR them. Amazing.

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Jesse December 15, 2011

This looks amazing! Thanks for the amazing vegan desserts you make- I need a few for my parties and dinners!

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Kris | iheartwellness.com December 15, 2011

Oh WOW, you’re killing me over here…seriously this looks like gooey heaven!

HAHAH!!! Kris Humphries really picks my ass, but I still watch that dang Kourtney and Kim take New York…I just caught up on the latest epi last night!

xxoo

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Amanda December 15, 2011

I don’t think I’ve ever tried sticky toffee pudding, but I have a killer sweet tooth, so I’d probably love it. Your lightened up version looks fabulous!

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Lys December 15, 2011

I love sticky toffee pudding! And I totally thought I’d never be able to eat it again when I went on a plant based diet. Thank you!

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jenna December 15, 2011

Ohhhh man, this looks amazing! I keep forgetting to make a vegan version of this dessert, but thanks to your post, tonight’s the night! What better to follow a huge salad down with?

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate December 15, 2011

I’ve never tried this dessert– but now I DEFINITELY want to!!!

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katie@ KatieDid December 15, 2011

I’m thinking of always dumping toffee into holes on any cake I make from now on. Seriously… how have I never seen or thought of this sooner- instantly the moistest cake ever! SO delicious looking, I’m sure your guest will love it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

I agree, it’s a great method

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Dutchgirl Sam December 15, 2011

LOVE it! Wouw, that looks great! Today I had yesterdays salad for lunch and I’ll surely make this incredible recepy this weekend (without the sugar, don’t eat that). Thanks!

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jenna December 15, 2011

you kill me with your desserts. they always look amazing!! this is on my to make list for sure.

where do you buy your brown rice syrup from? is it affordable?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

I buy it in bulk (well technically using up leftovers from my bakery…I have huge PAILS of it). But you can find it at loblaws/superstore in the natural food section or Whole Foods has it too, among others. It’s on the pricier side, around $10 or so for a bottle here in Canada I think. I haven’t bought it in a while because I’ve had it in pails for so long. You could probably find it cheaper online, like many natural food products.

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Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction December 15, 2011

Looks sinful! YUM

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 15, 2011

I’ve been wanting to make a vegan sticky toffee pudding for AGES, and now I’ve got one yaay!! :D

Would I be able to make this without nuts though? Or can you suggest a good sub? Some of my family are allergic!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Yes you can definitely make it without the nuts…it’s optional. :)

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kaila @ healthyhelper December 15, 2011

WOW! Talk about mouth watering! You are a perfect example of how healthy things can still be decadent and tasty! This recipe sounds amazing!

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Judy December 15, 2011

Oh my goodness. That looks amazing! Thanks for all your hard research, I am very happy to reap the rewards. I think I will try making it over xmas with my family.

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Mary @ Bake Break December 15, 2011

Oh my gosh! That looks incredible!! At least you have the raw cabbage to balance you out – I feel like I’m made of sugar these days!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 15, 2011

This looks…divine! I love bread puddings and dense “low” cakes that are not overly cakey and puffy; but more dense and flat…this one looks perfect! And then with the sauce. I don’t even need cake or brownies really; just give me a vat of frosting or sauce. I like a little cake with my sauce and brownie with my frosting. lol

Great job on the re-make on this..AND the photos are beautiful. They set the mood, the lighting is wonderful, the dishes are adorable, there is diversity in the angles and the shots…seriously….just gorgeous photography! And the pouring/action shot…you rocked it. I hope you submitted these!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

You are too kind Averie…thank you. I adore your photography as well!

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Beth December 15, 2011

Oh, Angela…. you have outdone yourself…… Can’t wait to try it, then have a Back on Track salad the next day!!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 15, 2011

Sticky toffee is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts… to order in restaurants where I can magically forget all about the sugar and butter. Love how you lightened this up to a point where I can make it from home! :)

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life December 15, 2011

You have no idea what this recipe means to me! I grew up with English parents and my aunt made a to-die-for Sticky Toffee Pudding. I went back to England this past May to visit for the first time in ten years and I couldn’t partake in her amazing pudding because sugar just makes me so yuck…:(. I really missed it! Now I can make it myself – I can easily sub in coconut palm sugar or Sucanat for the brown sugar. Yum!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Those sugar subs are a great idea…I will have to try that Sunday! Thanks for the idea :) Im happy that you are excited about it…I hope you like it. Let me know!

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Casey @ Insatiably Healthy December 15, 2011

Yum! I make a similar vegan sticky date pudding. This reminds me heaps of it :)

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Rachel December 15, 2011

OH MY GOD! I have all the ingredients in my kitchen right now. Excuse me, I have some sticky toffee pudding to make.

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Rachel December 15, 2011

Ridiculous to make two comments on the same post, maybe? But I have an idea: Sticky toffee pudding overnight oats. Chopped up dates, pecans, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Yep, tomorrow morning’s breakfast. Done.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Umm….wow…can I come over?

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 15, 2011

Making this. ohmygosh YUM :D

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Tonya December 15, 2011

O.M.G. I saw that picture and the words “sticky toffee pecans” and for the first time ever I was not interested in any of your lovely writing. I immediately scrolled down to the recipe! LOL will make this this weekend :-) Ang, you rock! I think i’ve made more of your recipes this month than ever!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

haha :) I probably would have too.

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Zoe December 15, 2011

I love reading your blog and enjoy your recipes. I was all set to make your brownie pumpkin pie with pecan streusel for my Christmas contribution but now ….. What a dilemma. Sticky Toffee is one of my all time favourites. Thank you for such a wonderful dilemma :-)

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 15, 2011

Wow I’ve never tried, seen, or even heard of anything like this before! It looks to die for!
Good luck meeting with the cookbook publishers!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Thank you very much! Im a huge ball of nerves right now.

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Ally December 15, 2011

DUDE…I’m not even vegan and I will so be making this. Look at that sauce!

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Lauren December 15, 2011

This looks so good!. I’ve made another vegan version of this many times, as it’s my boyfriends favorite dessert. But I like how you’ve lightened up this version. I would like to try it this weekend for a holiday party I’m having. Any ideas of how to do some prep ahead of time so I’m not stuck in the kitchen while the party is going on without me?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

Hey Lauren,

Good question! I was wondering the same thing. I’m not sure, but I would think you could make the cake and sauce ahead of time (without adding on the sauce).

Prior to serving you could gently heat the cake in the oven, perhaps? Maybe 5-6 minutes or so to make sure it was heated through. If you do this, you might want to bake the cake for a couple minutes less just to prevent over baking it. You could keep the sauce in the saucepan on the stovetop until ready, and then just reheat it directly on the stove top, pour it over the cake, and reserve some of it for the topping. Of course, the pecans can be toasted ahead of time too. Please let me know if you end up trying it out. I think above all, just make sure it’s warm when serving as its so lovely that way. Have fun at your party!

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Shannon January 27, 2013

I’ve just made the pudding for my dinner party tonight! I too wanted to make it ahead of time, so my plan is to only cook for 24 minutes, and then reheat for 5-10 just before serving in a 325 oven. Hopefully it doesn’t overbake! I’ll let you both know how it worked out.

Ps, this recipe couldn’t be simpler! Less than 20 minutes altogether. Thanks Angela!

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