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Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

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Sticky Date Pudding, is a popular dessert in Australia and New Zealand. The British call this steamed dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding and are so fond of it they often refer to it as STP. If a country uses an acronym for a dessert I think it must be worth checking out…so I did.

Referred to as a modern British classic most sources follow the roots of this dessert all the way back to Canada. Surprising I’d say…my mom never made Sticky Date Pudding.

I was introduced to this delicious dessert from my Canadian born Australian friend. We made it when I was visiting her in Australia and we both love it. My gluten free version of Sticky Date Pudding is in no way a compromise.

Pudding vs Cake

When I hear pudding I think of the creamy smooth, often milk-based, dessert my mom spooned out of a can or sometimes made from a box. Some countries would call this custard. In Canada it’s pudding.

But I’m sure you’ve heard of Christmas pudding, plum pudding and figgy pudding (even Yorkshire pudding) so clearly there is more than one definition. This dessert is really just a cake made with dates. Adding caramel sauce makes it sticky and irresistible. Adding extra whipped cream, or ice cream if you prefer, just makes a fabulous combination. The whole strawberry on top seems like tradition.

A Little Pantry Tip for  Sticky Date Pudding

Every pantry needs flour but a gluten free pantry needs a variety of flours. In this recipe I used my gluten free flour mix which is a combination of 60% starch and 40% whole grain flours. I have had excellent results baking muffins and quick breads with this flour mix.

The Sticky in Sticky Date Pudding

Caramel sauce is what makes this cake sticky and I love the easy version I’m sharing here. If you have kids in the house, no matter how old they are, get them in the kitchen making this caramel sauce. Only three ingredients turns into a sticky, sweet sauce no one can resist. It is the kind of science experiment that is guaranteed to be successful and can create some fun in the kitchen.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of this dessert. Did you know it was Canadian? Did your mom make it? I think it sounds like a great fall or winter dessert…and it would also be perfect for the Christmas season.


1⅓ cups pitted dates, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1¾ cups boiling water
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups gluten free flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
7 Tbsp butter
GARNISH – whipped cream, whole strawberries


Combine dates and baking soda in a bowl. Pour boiling water over dates and let stand for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9” round springform pan or cake pan and line with waxed paper.
In food processor blend date mixture until smooth.
Add butter, sugar and vanilla to processor, pulse until combined.
Add eggs one at a time, pulsing after each addition.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Process until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
*This recipe can easily be made in an electric mixer. Chop the dates finely for a similar texture.
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes until combined.
Slice cake and top each piece with whipped cream and a whole strawberry. Drizzle caramel sauce on or around cake. Serve.


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