Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

I love sticky date pudding. It reminds me of my childhood.

I’ve eaten a fair few of those store-bought-aluminium-foil versions, but it somehow didn’t occur to me until recently that I could actually make one, probably. At first I thought it might be hard, but the recipes I looked at all seemed simple enough. I chose a promising looking recipe (they were all very similar, bar the sauce) and gave it a shot.

Now most recipes call for baking soda (bicarb) which is used to break down the dates as they soak in water, or at least I presume that’s the purpose of it. I went to the supermarket to get dried dates and butter and things thinking I had plenty of bicarb at home in the pantry, so I didn’t buy any. I came home to discover that I had used most of it to clean a vase. Not also was it extremely frustrating, but it was also the gayest reason possible for not having bicarb.

I used the tiny amount that was left in the box, but it wasn’t quite enough. I don’t know if that had much effect on the outcome, but the cake part came out a little denser than I was expecting, although it had risen a fair bit in the oven. I don’t know if that was a bad thing or not though really, because it still tasted amazing. I think it tasted better than store-bought. It’s more ‘datey’ for one.

Muffy loved it, and so did Natalia (her txt reads: “Omg you must bring us more. That pudding is so so good”). I have not been able to stop eating it myself! Now that the weather is getting colder, this is the perfect dessert to warm you up. But you should also eat it with icecream.

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe and I would recommend you do the same. It was still very sweet and I might even reduce it more next time. Here is my slight adaption.


  • 270g (1 1/2 cups) deseeded dried dates
  • 312ml (1 1/4 cups) water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 60g (1/4 cup) butter, roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence
  • 188g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
  • 120g (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp, firmly packed) brown sugar

Butterscotch Sauce:

  • 180g (3/4 cup plus 2 tsp, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 300ml (1 cup plus 2 1/2 Tbsp) cream
  • 25ml (1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp) golden syrup
  • 25g (1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp) butter


Heat dates and water in a saucepan on high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, take off the heat and add bicarb and 60g butter. Stir and set aside for about 20 minutes.

Make the butterscotch sauce by placing all ingredients into a saucepan. Stir over low heat until everything has melted and dissolved. Bring to the boil and let it caramelise and brown slightly, then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Leave it to thicken a bit, stirring occassionally. This might take 5-10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 160C (fan-forced). Grease a large springform tin or baking dish (or two – it’s quite large).

Chop up the dates with a stick blender or food processor (or whatever you have) to form a paste. How smooth you want it is up to you. Small chunks of date will help to add texture to the pudding. Add eggs and vanilla and combine.

Stir flour and sugar together in a bowl to break up any lumps (I sifted them both together). Add date mixture to flour mixture and gently fold together until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared tin or dish. If you want to stop it from forming a slightly crusty browned top, cut out a piece of baking paper the size of the tin, spray it with oil and lightly place on top of the mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Pour the butterscotch sauce over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven done (after paper is removed of course). Allow to sit for as long as you wish before eating. If you can wait, it’s best if it cools down completely in the fridge before you cut it into portions, so that it is more solid and manageable, and so that the sauce has had a chance to soak in. Simply microwave on high for 30 seconds or so to reheat. It also freezes well.

Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 1:52 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. was so perfect :) yummy I wanna try make it now

  2. It really was surprisingly easy. We could make a double batch together sometime soon?

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