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.

IMG 5593   Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

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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{ 182 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia December 16, 2011

I am speechless….. This dish just looks amazing!!!
And I totally know that I’d love it even though I’ve never tried toffe pudding – just from looking at the beautiful pictures.

Good luck with the publisher meetings! I can’t wait to buy your cookbook. :)

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Alexandra T December 16, 2011

sweet baby jesus! this looks amazing

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Rebecca December 16, 2011

Hey, thanks for putting in the “grams”! Makes it much easier for European readers/cooks :)!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2011

I will keep that in mind :)

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greenthyme December 16, 2011

Wow this looks delicious. I love how you cut the sugar down too. I’m a big fan of using dates in desserts too. Great photography by the way.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 16, 2011

Holy crap Angela! This looks out of this world, and to top it off it seems reasonably healthy, you did it! I bow my head to you!!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 16, 2011

I’ve actually never had sticky toffee pudding, but this looks divine. And I love using dates for sweetness in recipes (or a combo of ripe bananas and dates). I often don’t even have to add any additional sugar (or agave, etc.)
I am loving this recipe series!!

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Hilary December 16, 2011

You read my mind! My sister and I fell in love with sticky toffee pudding when I studied abroad in England. Her birthday is coming up next week and I was planning on making her one. This is perfect!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2011

thats so nice of you…enjoy :)

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Jenna | The Paleo Project December 16, 2011

You had me at sticky. Toffee. and Pecan. DONE.

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Rose Chilibeck December 16, 2011

Oh WOW…yet another recipe I’m rushing to the kitchen to make….I”ve always wanted to make a home made pudding but it always looks so difficult and so many ingredients…this one looks perfect and I can’t wait to try!!! :))

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Moni'sMeals December 16, 2011

Did you say….Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding??

I can’t wait to try this. It looks and sounds just fantastic!

Oh and I DO trust you, trust me. ;)

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Dani December 16, 2011

My mouth is watering just looking at that!!! maybe this is what i’ll make for christmas dinner!!

I’d love it if you would check out my new blog at chocolatecoveredsneakers.wordpress.com

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Wendy Irene December 16, 2011

The sticky toffee pecan pudding looks wonderful! “I really just want it to slow down so I can do everything I want to do.” <- Amen to that! I know just what you mean :)

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Krista December 16, 2011

Oh my! This looks incredible!!! :D I think I’ll try using a GF flour blend and see if it turns out!

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Tracy @ Commit to Fit December 16, 2011

I had no idea what sticky toffee pudding was until last year and I am glad I found out! This looks fantastic. :)

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Roz December 16, 2011

O.M.G! With a capital O! Thank you Angela!

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olivia December 16, 2011

This has nothing to do with the amazing recipe above (Will so being making it soon!) but, I had the stomach flu this past week and I was totally stumped on how to get protein in without upsetting my stomach! I was able to get by on day one with miso soup, rice and toast. But by day two, I was feeling very weak from no protein. I haven’t come across anything online (they just recommend BRAT). It took a full day of high protein food after my stomach calmed down before I stopped feeling woozy : ( I know you also pay attention to healthy protein levels, so I was wondering if you had any ideas?

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Natalie December 16, 2011

I wonder if instead of rice you could try quinoa it is high in protein for a grain, may not give you as much as you need but should be more then rice alone but might be gentle on the stomach like rice

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2011

quinoa is a great idea….I was also thinking hemp seeds? I find both are very easy on my stomach and hemp is a great protein source.

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Natalie December 16, 2011

Do you think that the almond milk could be replaced with coconut milk or soy milk? I’m trying to make a dessert and my sister in law is allergic to nuts
Thanks can’t wait to try this one

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2011

yes I cant see why not!

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Kathy December 17, 2011

I’m drooling.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 17, 2011

My stomach just grumbled reading this, seriously. I’m thinking of foregoing lunch and eating a whole recipe of this myself!

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 17, 2011

oh. my. gosh. that looks like absolute heaven.

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Kasey @PowerCakes.blogspot.com December 17, 2011

wow this looks sooo amazing!!

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Emily December 17, 2011

Oh my! I am so excited to try making this! Sticky toffee pudding is one of the things I miss most with not eating dairy. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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Cristina December 18, 2011

Angela,

I had a Christmas party last night and happened to have all the ingredients in the pantry, so I thought I’d whip this up. I used Turbinado sugar because it’s all I had. This is hands down the best dessert I’ve ever had and all of our friends throughly enjoyed it as well! Thank you for posting! I am making it for Christmas next week too

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Stacy December 18, 2011

Omg my mouth is watering. I’ll have to make this tomorrow. Can’t wait.

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Jonathan December 18, 2011

Um….YES. I love your intention of making an extremely decadent dessert healthier while still retaining the nostalgic flavor and impression of eating something bad for you. But I wouldn’t call it ‘Sinless’ – that may take some of the fun out of it. :)

Thank you for sharing, Angela!

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Jenny$1983 December 19, 2011

I cannot thank you enough for this recipe. This is my absolute favourite pudding in all the world (although I love it with custard – I’m from the north west of England!), but I very sadly gave up on it years ago. Now, I hope to make this, and if it’s a success it will be my first true “Now I can die happy” moment.

Thank you so much, you wonderful, beautiful, talented lady you :)

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Elyse December 19, 2011

I made this on Friday night – amazing!!!!!

Thanks so much for your hard, and delicious, work!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 19, 2011

Glad to hear that!!

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Tamar December 19, 2011

Fantastic recipe, I made it and wouldn’t change a thing…except maybe adding a bit of Brandy to the toffee sauce!

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AGS December 21, 2011

Just so you know, a friend of mine in Russia is now desperately trying to find almond milk so she can make this on Saturday (American Christmas Eve).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 21, 2011

Wow, good stuff! Can she find soy milk? That would work too

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Katalin December 21, 2011

That. Was. DELICIOUS. I made this the day after you posted it, and it was to die for. My whole family gobbled it up in one sitting. It’s definitely a keeper! The sauce was amazing!

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Kat @ a dash of fairydust December 24, 2011

My sister wanted to whip up something for me for Christmas and when she asked me what I’d like to have,I decided on this one… It’s soooo good,I guess I haven’t eaten anything compareable for YEARS! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe,Angela!

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Jess December 24, 2011

I just made this for our Christmas Eve dessert and we loved it!! The flavor is so incredibly rich!!
As always, thank you so much for your delicious recipes and wonderful stories!

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Ellen December 25, 2011

I made this for my (non-vegan) family on Christmas Eve and it was a huge hit! Absolutely delicious and it had a great toffee flavor.

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Maya-Lin December 26, 2011

Just completed the recepie this morning (prepd the cake Christmas eve and decided to add the toffee sauce and dig in for breakfast :) and it is DIVINE. The dates were such a lovely addition and the coconut bliss brought all the flavors together wonderfully. Im in desert heaven. Literally. I write this as i glide atop a fluffy cloud overlooking desertopia. The view is quite nice. This is my first vegan Christmas and by far the best. Love what you do!!

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Rose Chilibeck December 26, 2011

I made this last night for our Christmas dinner and WOW…so amazing! I can’t believe how EVERY recipe of yours turns our so perfectly!! I took a picture of mine and posted to your FB page!! Here’s to a New Year filled with more “Oh She Glows” recipes :))

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Krista December 26, 2011

I made this with Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend and it turned out beautifully!!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

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Candace April 25, 2012

I made this and it turned out perfectly! Only change I made was to use GF AP flour. I think I had to bake it for an extra few minutes due to that. I was wondering though, if you thought it would be possible to turn this into a muffin recipe?

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Angela Merchant June 5, 2012

This is amazing! My sister and I created a 5 course vegan dinner for my parents, using lots of your recipes (thank you!) But this dessert was the best! It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal, sweet, sticky, delectable. I used spelt flour instead of all-purpose to keep it all whole grain and it was tastier than ever. Thanks for all the fantastic recipes!

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jodi m August 11, 2012

Hi there from Melbourne, Australia. Came across your website and made the enchilada bake and the dessert above, what a WOW factor meal!!! Absolutely delicious!!! I have made some dud recipes (as I have only been vegan for one month!), and yours are definate highlights of my vegan cooking, which I will be making again….and again!!!! And wonderful for non-vegan eaters to enjoy as well!!!
With the pudding, after I took it out of the oven, it had cracks in it, so I brushed the sauce on (where it soaked into the cracks!!!), then placed pecans all over the top and drizzled more sauce on top, it looked fantastic!!!!!
Can’t wait to try more of your recipes, you are amazing!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 12, 2012

Thank you so much Jodi, Im so happy to hear that! Take care :)

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Anne-Michelle Frances November 13, 2012

We have a nut allergy in our house, and the only nut we can have is almonds. Are the pecans a requirement, or can they be omitted or substituted with something else? This looks too divine to pass up!

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