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April '10 DB Challenge, Sticky Toffee Pudding

Warm sticky toffee pudding with whipped cream

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Our hostess this month came up with something really interesting as a challenge, steamed or boiled pudding. I've steamed many things, but never a pie or cake, so this was definitely something new and different for me.

I made a Beef & Guinness pudding to try out the suet crust that was also part of the challenge as well as to do something savoury for a change, but also wanted to make something sweet. A friend of mine lent me an old cookbook crammed with traditional recipes, including steamed puddings.

I was all set on making a toffee apple pudding but then changed my mind about five minutes before going out to buy ingredients for two reasons. 1) I wanted to try a sponge pudding as I'd already be doing a pudding with a crust. 2) I remembered how much I LOOOOOVE sticky toffee pudding!

Batter ready to be steamed

After sifting through recipes for baked versions, I found a couple of steamed recipes, so I was set. The only other thing was that every single recipe included dates, either pureed or in little chunks.

Now, I may be wrong about this, but I don't ever recall having a sticky toffee pudding in South Africa that included dates. Maybe they did but never included it in the description of the pudding on the front of the packaging, or they just didn't include dates. Possibly if I'd read the list of ingredients on the back I would have seen it included.

Sponge almost double in size after steaming, yum!

In any case, I avoid buying sticky toffee pudding here in Ireland because it always says something like "Sticky Toffee pudding with Currants/Raisins/Dates/Sultanas". I have nothing against any of those things, I just don't like little chewy bits in my sticky toffee pudding. For me it's a moist sponge soaked in a lovely rich toffee sauce.

And so, I left out the dates from my sticky toffee pudding! Might explain why it's a bit light in colour...

I was very surprised at the way the sponge came out, it was moist and dense, absolutely lovely! The only thing I would do differently is to use a skewer to poke the sponge in a few places before pouring the sauce over so that it absorbs more. Otherwise, I'd definitely make it again, and steamed at that!


Sponge Ingredients:

45g Butter or Margarine, room temperature

45g Light Brown Sugar

100ml Water

180g Self Raising Flour

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg


Sauce Ingredients:

15g Butter

60g Brown Sugar

65ml Double Cream



  • Grease 4x 250ml ramekins or dariole moulds
  • or
  • Grease a 1l pudding bowl
  • Cream the butter or margarine and sugar
  • Gradually beat the egg in
  • Add the water and vanilla and beat until combined
  • Stir in the flour until thoroughly combined
  • Pour batter into the ramekins or pudding bowl
  • Cover ramekins or pudding bowl well with tin foil
  • Tip: Make sure to put a pleat in the foil so allow for the sponge to rise
  • Steam ramekins for 30-45mins
  • or
  • Steam pudding bowl for 1hour 30mins


  • About 10mins before the pudding is done, prepare the sauce
  • Put the cream, butter and sugar in a pot over low heat
  • Cook until the sugar has melted and it darkens and becomes thick


  • Serve:
  • Serve in ramekins with sauce and a dollop of whipped cream
  • Tip: Use a skewer and poke the sponge in a few places so that the pudding absorbs some of the sauce
  • Serve out of ramekins with sauce spooned over and a dollop of whipped cream
  • Tip: To release from ramekin or mould, slide a knife around the the edge and invert onto a plate
  • Serve from the pudding bowl at the table by spooning the pudding out at the table and pouring the sauce over, again, with a dollop of whipped cream


Recipe adapted from The Pudding Club and Big Oven

Thank you Esther for this interesting challenge! Making my own sticky toffee pudding is dangerous but I'm not complaining :)