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.
My, oh my, Angela! This looks like heaven on a plate. Thank you!
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!!
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!!!
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!
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!
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
oh. my. goodness. This looks like HEAVEN!
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!
HOLY YUM. I can feel a cavity coming in just looking at this one but I could care less. Makin dis.
Divine Angela!! I wanted to eat my screen it looks so good – this is one of my favourite desserts. YUMMMMM!!
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!
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
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. :)
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!
That’s great to know…thanks for the tip!
Looks so delicious. Great photos too.
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! :)
yes for sure it would still work great :)
So exciting! Definitely making this for my English in-laws for Christmas :-)
that looks like a great holiday treat!
Wow….this looks fantastic! Do you have any recommendations for subbing in flour to make this recipe gluten free?
And THIS is why of love OSG: healthy meal-time recipes balanced with incredible desserts. Yum.
I trust you,!
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!
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
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?
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! :)
I can’t even come up with proper words. Magnificent comes to mind.
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?
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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. :)
sweet baby jesus! this looks amazing
Hey, thanks for putting in the “grams”! Makes it much easier for European readers/cooks :)!
I will keep that in mind :)
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.
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!!
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!!
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!!
thats so nice of you…enjoy :)
You had me at sticky. Toffee. and Pecan. DONE.
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!!! :))
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. ;)
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
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 :)
Oh my! This looks incredible!!! :D I think I’ll try using a GF flour blend and see if it turns out!
I had no idea what sticky toffee pudding was until last year and I am glad I found out! This looks fantastic. :)
O.M.G! With a capital O! Thank you Angela!
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?
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
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.
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
yes I cant see why not!
My stomach just grumbled reading this, seriously. I’m thinking of foregoing lunch and eating a whole recipe of this myself!
oh. my. gosh. that looks like absolute heaven.