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.

IMG 5603   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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.

IMG 5604   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

 

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

IMG 5581   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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!

IMG 5586   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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.

IMG 5597   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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 }

Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy December 15, 2011

Holy moly! Can I have some of that right now! That looks amazing!

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner December 15, 2011

WOW! Angela, this looks amazzzzzzing!! Now i’m craving something sweet even more!

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Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous December 15, 2011

That looks so good! What a great brunch recipe!

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Hayley @ Oat Couture December 15, 2011

Oh wow!! Sticky toffee is one of my favourites and the fact that this one is vegan and ‘healthy’ just makes me want it all the more! Bookmarked!!! :)

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K December 15, 2011

This looks ridiculously good!! I will have to try this recipe out. Never had sticky toffee pudding before!

Thank you!

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Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles December 15, 2011

I’ve never had toffee pecan pudding, but I love love LOVE sticky desserts so this is right up my alley!

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Tiffany L December 15, 2011

Oh, Thank You So Much! I was talking to someone about sticky toffee pudding the other day and thinking…nope, never going to have that again because of the richness and the butter and the cream, etc etc! This was one of my favorite desserts while living in Scotland for 3.5 years. So thank you for thinking it all through! This is just awesome!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

I hope you enjoy it!

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Alicia @beingLA December 15, 2011

Wow. This looks so heavenly! Sinless desserts are my go-to’s. Thanks!

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Tricia December 15, 2011

Wow! Thank you for this. I’m British and always make a bee-line for the sticky toffee pudding when we visit. I keep it for those annual treats as it would be just too tempting to go overboard if I made it at home. Thank you for creating this more healthful version. May have to add it to my Christmas menu.

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Cait's Plate December 15, 2011

Looks absolutely incredible as always!!

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hannah alehandra December 15, 2011

My, oh my, Angela! This looks like heaven on a plate. Thank you!

http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Fiona December 15, 2011

Ahhhh! I am so excited about this recipe! I found out that this is my favorite dessert on a trip to Australia, but you cannot find it in America at all (or at least not in California). And now you’ve made a vegan and healthier version?? Yes! This is so awesome! Thank you for creating this recipe – I can’t wait to make it myself!!

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Jennifer @ Sweetly Vegan December 15, 2011

another delicious recipe!!! I love anything “sinless” during the holidays!!! going to make this when I return home to Minne for the holidays!!! I would love to see some sinless fudge!!!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit December 15, 2011

:|
I’m speechless. I want to eat the whole thing. In fact, I know if I made this I WOULD eat the whole thing. Maybe it’d be worth cutting the ingredients and making it into a 1 serving cake in a small ramekin? My gosh!

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Heidi @ Food Doodles December 15, 2011

That looks absolutely incredible. I honestly have never tried a “pudding” like this, but it looks amazing and certainly sounds delicious too. I’m sure I would love it!

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Char @ www.charskitchen.ca December 15, 2011

omg. your recipes everyday are just torture. I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding, but I love toffee and I love pecans! Looks amazing <3

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 15, 2011

oh. my. goodness. This looks like HEAVEN!

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Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) December 15, 2011

I recently tried Sticky Toffee Pudding a couple months ago and I feel in love with the moist gooeyness. I have to try this with slept flour over the holidays!

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 15, 2011

HOLY YUM. I can feel a cavity coming in just looking at this one but I could care less. Makin dis.

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Jennifer L December 15, 2011

Divine Angela!! I wanted to eat my screen it looks so good – this is one of my favourite desserts. YUMMMMM!!

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jo @ includingcake December 15, 2011

this looks amazing- a nice bit of traditional english dessert- yay! i really like the sauce concept as it could be used for lots of recipes to make a ‘saucey cake’, mmmm it’s got all sorts of ideas running around my head!

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) December 15, 2011

I’m pretty sure if I were wearing jeans, the button would pop straight off. The sheer sight of the dessert just added holiday lbs to my frame. lol. but I will make this. It looks too good to pass up :D

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 15, 2011

I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding before, but it looks amazing! I can’t say no to any dessert made with dates.

That’s awesome news about meeting with some cookbook publishers! Good luck. :)

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Celeste December 15, 2011

My roommate thought this was gorgeous and made it. She subbed out the 1/2 C brown sugar (she’s allergic) with 1 really ripe banana (used honey for the sauce) and it was divine. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

That’s great to know…thanks for the tip!

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Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious December 15, 2011

Looks so delicious. Great photos too.

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Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) December 15, 2011

This looks really, really good!!! You say that you don’t recommend leaving out the pecans, but would it still work without them? My mom doesn’t like nuts in desserts, but I would still love to try this sometime! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

yes for sure it would still work great :)

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sarah December 15, 2011

So exciting! Definitely making this for my English in-laws for Christmas :-)

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Cindy December 15, 2011

that looks like a great holiday treat!

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Melissa S December 15, 2011

Wow….this looks fantastic! Do you have any recommendations for subbing in flour to make this recipe gluten free?

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Becca December 15, 2011

And THIS is why of love OSG: healthy meal-time recipes balanced with incredible desserts. Yum.

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Kit-Kat December 15, 2011

I trust you,!

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Jessica @ Hungrygems December 15, 2011

This is righteously inexcusable. The most perfect mound of moist cake-like pudding doused in thick, sweet syrup without any ability to make this happen right now right here in front of me. This may be one of the only batters that I would be willing to leave taste-free as an investment in that brilliant final product. This looks outrageously divine – can’t wait to try!

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Megan Wall December 15, 2011

JOLLY GOOD SHOW!
:D I was recently in London accompanying my Father on a business trip and we were lucky enough to stay in the Hotel Chesterfield- beautiful, historic, stick your nose up as you walk in kinda place…
Anyways, every night after our galumphing about the town we would situate ourselves in the “Chesterfield Gentlemen’s Lounge” -ladies permitted now of course- even a lady of the tender age of 17 :D …ANYWAYS. my point. I ordered sticky toffee pudding for the first time ever and practically licked the plate clean… in a gentlemen’s lounge :) hehe!
Turns out I’m a bit of an Anglophile, workin towards a major in British History so this post made me incandescently happy. Thank you! will definitely be making this for my family!
sorry for the story…
looking ever forward to seeing what you make next! <3

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Merrill December 15, 2011

Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for this recipe!! In my pre-vegan days, sticky toffee pudding was my absolute favorite dessert. I wanna make this right now! I’m curious though, how does it hold up the next day? Is it a “make it and eat immediately” type of dessert or does it do okay with reheating?

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Hilary December 15, 2011

I want to make this for my Dad who is a sticky toffee pudding lover. But I won’t tell him its vegan and somewhat healthy! :)

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh December 15, 2011

I can’t even come up with proper words. Magnificent comes to mind.

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vegantester December 15, 2011

this will probably sound blasphemous but… i HATE HATE HATE dates, but i love a regular toffee pudding – any ideas how i could make this without the dates? like, if i just left out the dates, would i need to sub in something else?

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Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) December 16, 2011

Bahh if only this was gluten-free! Need to try to make this w a gluten-free flour lend because I’ve never wanted to eat something more in my life.

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jessie ann james December 16, 2011

Hey there! Im jessie and I seriously stop by for so many recipes! Just wanted to say thanks and those pics make we want pie…like now! YUMMY!!

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Burnsy December 16, 2011

Hey Angela, the classic version of this is probably my husband’s favorite dessert. I decline to eat much of it because it is so loaded with naughty stuff which means I will get to enjoy when I use your recipe! I’m curious if any of the sugar could be substituted with Grade B maple syrup? Somebody above mentioned a coconut palm sugar – I haven’t come across this one yet. Is it granulated and what is the replacement ratio? I’m also curious to know if you have heard of Whey Low? I’m trying to move away completely from refined sugars including brown sugar. I’d love to hear your thoughts. And, from what I have been reading, although fat does equal more calories, fat slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and prevents blood sugar levels from spiking which is when our body starts storing instead of burning. Butter will do the trick and earth balance is an awesome way to go. So don’t let people panic about fat! Thanks for your recipes – your vegan burritos turned out fabulous when I made them the other night!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2011

Im going to try it this weekend with Sucanat as a sweetener and I will report back on how that works. Maple syrup would be tricky as it would change the wet to dry ratio.

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