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.
wow this looks sooo amazing!!
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!
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
Omg my mouth is watering. I’ll have to make this tomorrow. Can’t wait.
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!
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 :)
I made this on Friday night – amazing!!!!!
Thanks so much for your hard, and delicious, work!!
Glad to hear that!!
Fantastic recipe, I made it and wouldn’t change a thing…except maybe adding a bit of Brandy to the toffee sauce!
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).
Wow, good stuff! Can she find soy milk? That would work too
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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 :))
I made this with Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend and it turned out beautifully!!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
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?
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!
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!!
Thank you so much Jodi, Im so happy to hear that! Take care :)
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!
just made this (a gluten free version) and it is sooooo amazing. I had to stop myself just now from just eating it out of the pan (after my initial taste test).
Wow! What flour did you use? I need to make a GF vegan dessert for Christmas Eve and this would be perfect, as long as I can do it GF.
This may be a silly question, but I am always curious about desserts made with dates… Is the date taste really prominent? I am not a fan of dates, unfortunately, but this and other recipes on here look soooo delicious and I would love to try them!
I cannot get over how amazing this dish is. I made it yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was phenomenal. When I ate dairy, I was a bread pudding fanatic and I thought nothing would ever be as delicious. I was wrong. This is by far the best dessert I’ve ever had. My whole family loved it! This will definitely make an appearance again at Christmas. Outstanding! Thank you so much!
Would this be good gluten free do you think (just sub out a GF flour mix)? I’m in charge of dessert this christmas and am craving sticky toffee pudding but have family members that need GF dessert.
Mmm…made a gluten free version of this for our christmas dessert and it was delicious!
Hi! Could you let me know what GF flour you used?
so this recipe was to DIE for.
thank you so much for posting XO
Just made this fantastic dessert. All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!! Yippeee! DEEEEELISHHH! YUMM!
Will have tomorrow for New Year’s Eve dinner. Should I refrigerate it until tomorrow?
Thanks and Happy New Year!!
You can pop it in the fridge or leave on the counter (wrapped up) its your call! Enjoy
I have stopped, mid-pudding, to thank you for this amazing recipe! :)
My other half likes his puddings – at a restaurant, he considers it essential to view the dessert menu first, so that he knows how much room to leave!
So, the fact that he thought this was brilliant, is true praise :)
I had no pecans, so substituted walnuts, and used maple syrup rather than rice syrup for the sauce.
I will definitely be making it again!
There are no words for how good this is! I made it last weekend and the hubby and kids all loved it! I ate at least 3/4 of it myself. And I will be making the toffee sauce again and again. It was delicious! Can’t wait to try it on the banana soft serve next!
I am gaining weight just looking at this thing!hahaha
Looks so delicious
I’d never heard of sticky toffee puddings? I’m born and raised in Los Angeles though, and I’m not familiar with English/British dishes
This is the first recipe of yours I’ve ever made and it was SUCH a success. My friend isn’t a vegan, but she is very open to vegan baking so I ended up making this for her birthday. She adored it (as did everyone at the get together). I showed her your website. Needless to day, you’ve got two new fans.
Thank you, I appreciate it!
This has to be one of the best vegan desserts I have ever made, hands down. An excellent recipe, and super easy to make. You won’t be disappointed!
I made this a few months ago (before I knew I had Celiac) And it was DELISH! Can I make a Gluten free version?
Had to tell you–no kidding, I had the raw cabbage salad with tahini dressing for “dinner” and am now eating the sticky pudding. Hey what the hell, my husband is out of town. When he’s gone, I always make something he doesn’t care for: an all grain dinner, or something raw. Both are super delicious, by the way! Thanks, I so love your blog.
Hi, I just HAD to comment. I just made this “pudding” and it was divine. What a wonderful recipe, thank you. And that toffee sauce is amaaaaaazing! I used GF flour (as that’s all that I had) and it came out perfectly. I don’t have enough good things to say about it. Thanks again.
any particular kind of GF flour?
omg. That sinless sticky toffee pecan pudding sounds sooooo good. Any suggestions on how you might make it gluten free?
Good Morning! This is the first time I have visited your website and I must say the Sinless Toffee Pudding recipe has my.mouth watering. I will make it for our Thanksgiving in November. My question is: can I substitute 11/4 GF all purpose flour mix for the wheat pastry? Do I use xanthum gum?
Thank you for your help?
I’m sorry I haven’t tried it with another flour yet. In my experience, GF all purpose flours can be hit and miss so I wouldnt know. If you do try something out please let me know how it goes. Best of luck and sorry I couldn’t help more.
I made this tonight and it turned out fabulously. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
I made it gluten free. I had to use a little more flour than listed in the recipe to get the batter the same texture as shown in the pictures. I used 0.5 cup sorghum flour, 0.5 cup millet flour, and 0.5 cup tapioca starch. I didn’t bother with xanthan gum or any other binder. It didn’t seem necessary for a cake I was just going to scoop to serve anyway. It worked fantastically! The texture was dense, but not too dense, and the sauce soaked in really well. Delightful!
I made this today and it was delicious! I used honey, butter and milk and baked only a half portion in a loaf pan for 15 minutes. Only 45 minutes from start to finish!
whats the point then? you made something ethical into something with death ewww.
hi this looks amazing. but i really wish you did not push earth balance due to palm oil being the number one issue facing the murder of orangutans and elephants. there are plenty of vegan butter recipes or canola oil works well in baking. i would implore you to dismiss earth balance, it is not vegan in terms of ethics.
My family LOVED sticky toffee pudding but left it behind when my husband became vegan (the kids and I aren’t strictly vegan yet). I wanted to wow my husband for his birthday and found this recipe. It’s wonderful! Thank you!! BTW – we have always found that the cake part of sticky toffee pudding is always best when made the day before it is consumed. We then reheat it on low before we serve it.
I made this dessert yesterday and it is absolutely fabulous! I cut the ingredients in half and poured the cake into 3 small Corningware ramekin dishes…baked the stuff for 25 minutes. The only change I made was that I blended the almond milk and medjool dates in my Vitamix briefly before heating it on the stove…this mixed the dates well with the milk.
I was able to find the brown rice syrup and I’m so happy that I did…the toffee topping was the perfect texture and flavor.
Thanks so much for a recipe that I will be using again for Christmas dinner…YUM!!
Made this last night for my own belated birthday party. Followed the recipe exactly and it was DELISH. I would double the sauce! And I made the sauce very slightly salty, which I think amped it up a bit. SOOOOOOOOO good. Making it again for Christmas, and for every excuse I can find to bake!
Is there a way to prepare this in advance, like baking the day or at least several hours before and then reheating? I always want to socialize rather than spending my time in the kitchen when we have a houseful of guests.
I am also wondering the same.
I am also wondering how maple syrup would substitute for brown rice syrup.
I made this for Christmas Eve this year (with a few alterations); it was easy and came out so well! Would recommend–although I really can’t convince myself of the “sinless” part…
You’re my favorite person ever! I made this last night, followed recipe exactly, super easy & quick & a miracle in my mouth. I ate 1/2 by myself and only stopped because I was painfully full. Just ate more today and I could just cry tears of joy, it was so dang good. Keep it up & thank you again!
Can yo make this sticky pudding with gluten free flour? It sounds so good!
Words cannot express how amazing this recipe. My dad thinks vegan is a dirty word, but he LOVES this! Thanks for this and your website!
This pudding is AWESOME! I just made it but sadly the flour left lumps in it so I’d highly recommend sifting your flour because there were tiny lumps that didn’t bake out. I used to eat sticky date pudding and I remember eating it until I felt sick, that’s how much I liked it! Is sticky date pudding known as sticky toffee pudding in Canada or have you just called it that for your recipe? I think I could leave out some of the sugar in the recipe, just because dates are sooo sweet alone!
Just made this tonight and it was loved by a diverse group of picky eaters! Everyone had seconds and some had a 3rd serving. I used fresh Barhi dates from The Date People (mail order). Took me longer than the 20-min noted by Shannon, but I made it in a kitchen that wasn’t mine so that added time. Wouldn’t call it “sinless,” but it was very sweet. I will further reduce the sugar next time. Only complaint was that I had to comb the comments for ones from folks who had actually made the dish…it’s nice to hear that people think it looks good, but I like to hear reviews and tips from others.