Sticky toffee cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

Sticky toffee cake is based on the Sticky toffee pudding that you can find in my book Pride and Pudding. At one point people started baking the pudding batter as a cake and so this cake was born. My secret ingredient is appelstroop, a reduced apple syrup. Some health food stores do sell it, but if you can’t buy it you can replace it with date syrup.


For the cake

  • 450 g (1 lb) dates or prunes, pitted
  • 170 g ( oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (7 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 g (10½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100 g ( oz) appelstroop or date syrup
  • 50 g ( oz) baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting

For the toffee sauce (for 1 large cake, halve the recipe)

  • 50 g ( oz) butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) cream with at least 40% fat
  • 1 tbsp appelstroop or date syrup
  • pinch of sea salt


For two round 20 cm (8 inch) loose-based cake tins

Put the dates or prunes in a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, then drain and puree.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and prepare the cake tins.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Add a teaspoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from separating. Add the fruit puree and the appelstroop or date syrup, then add the remaining flour, the baking powder and salt. Mix well.

Divide the batter between the two cake tins and smooth the tops. Tap the tins on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes are baking, make the toffee sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan with the sugar, cream, appelstroop or date syrup and salt. Let it bubble until the sauce gets heavier on your spoon. Set aside to cool slightly.

When the cakes have cooled, cover one cake with half of the toffee sauce and place the second cake on top. Poke holes in the top cake with a skewer. Pour the rest of the sauce over the cake.

Serve a slice of cake with clotted cream or custard.