Sticky Date Pudding


This deliciously naughty cake has been - by far - the most highly requested dessert in my entire career as the family cake dealer. I make it every Christmas, Easter, and at least twice on every visit to see my family in Pittsburgh. Adored even by those who dislike dates, this right here is my go to recipe for just about any occasion. With the weather cooling slightly, I figured now would be a good time to share this bad boy, just to get a little inspiration going for the colder months.

Sticky Date Pudding

300 grams pitted dates

1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda

600ml boiling water

120 grams unsalted butter

200 grams brown sugar

1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

2 Eggs

3 cups plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder


Butterscotch sauce

2.5 cups brown sugar

250 grams unsalted butter

300ml Cream

Double cream for serving

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degreesC

2. Spray and flour a 10” square or round cake tin to prevent the pudding from sticking while baking. A porcelain or Pyrex baking dish is also great for this recipe, just spray the dish ahead of pouring in batter.

3. Place dates and bicarbonate soda into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the dates and let sit for 15 minutes.

4. Using a stick blender, process the dates to make a purée. Allow to cool. 

5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, butter and vanilla bean extract and whisk until creamy. Add in the eggs, then the cooled down date mixture.

6. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and then fold through into the date mixture.

7. Pour cake mix into an over proof baking dish or prepared cake tin.

8. Bake at 180 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Test the center of the cake with a skewer – the skewer should come out clean, or with small sticky crumbs, not wet.

9. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack, or let cool in baking dish.

Butterscotch sauce

In a medium saucepan, boil the cream, sugar and butter. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes on medium heat. The sauce will thicken and turn caramel in colour.

Serve the cake warm with hot butterscotch sauce and a generous dollop of double cream.

This recipe is an adaptation of Pete Evans' Sticky Date Pudding recipe from Short Orders.

Photography by Shayben Moussa