Somehow I went from eating raw cabbage to baking one of the richest desserts known to man.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
After baking about 28-30 minutes…it’s golden and slowly springs back after being touched.
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!
Pour on 2/3 of your toffee sauce, leaving the rest for later.
The sauce will soak into all those holes and create a gooey and dense, “pudding-like” cake.
Check that out!
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.
Prepare yourself for a dessert you won’t soon forget.
You will, however, forget all about the sugar, cream, and butter that I cut out.
Trust me on this one.
Just stopped by to browse your recipes for banana bread but these photos caught my eye…sticky..pecan…syrup…YUM!! :)
omg … you have outdone yourself this time … wow .. looks amazing
This looks STUNNING. MY what a wonderful holiday dish. Can’t wait to try it!
Uh-mazing. I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding but you just made it look too good to resist!
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!
I love the transition from yesterday’s post to this :)
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!
Oh my! This sounds lovely!
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!
This looks incredible! Wondering which vegan ice cream(s) you prefer??
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.
My father would die if I came home with this! It’s his favorite kind of food. Thanks Angela : )
Yum! I had another dessert planned for Christmas but this looks too yummy not to make! Decisions, decisions! Or maybe I make both ;)
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!
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.
This looks amazing! Thanks for the amazing vegan desserts you make- I need a few for my parties and dinners!
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!
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!
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!
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?
I’ve never tried this dessert– but now I DEFINITELY want to!!!
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.
I agree, it’s a great method
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!
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?
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.
Looks sinful! YUM
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!
Yes you can definitely make it without the nuts…it’s optional. :)
WOW! Talk about mouth watering! You are a perfect example of how healthy things can still be decadent and tasty! This recipe sounds amazing!
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.
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!
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!
You are too kind Averie…thank you. I adore your photography as well!
Oh, Angela…. you have outdone yourself…… Can’t wait to try it, then have a Back on Track salad the next day!!!
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! :)
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!
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!
Yum! I make a similar vegan sticky date pudding. This reminds me heaps of it :)
OH MY GOD! I have all the ingredients in my kitchen right now. Excuse me, I have some sticky toffee pudding to make.
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.
Umm….wow…can I come over?
Making this. ohmygosh YUM :D
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!
haha :) I probably would have too.
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 :-)
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!!!!
Thank you very much! Im a huge ball of nerves right now.
DUDE…I’m not even vegan and I will so be making this. Look at that sauce!
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?
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!
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!
Holy moly! Can I have some of that right now! That looks amazing!
WOW! Angela, this looks amazzzzzzing!! Now i’m craving something sweet even more!
That looks so good! What a great brunch recipe!
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!!! :)
This looks ridiculously good!! I will have to try this recipe out. Never had sticky toffee pudding before!
I’ve never had toffee pecan pudding, but I love love LOVE sticky desserts so this is right up my alley!
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!!
I hope you enjoy it!
Wow. This looks so heavenly! Sinless desserts are my go-to’s. Thanks!
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.
Looks absolutely incredible as always!!