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Cook for the Soul: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Hot Toffee Sauce

Try this fantastic recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding shared with Active Retirees by Lucy Lord from her cookbook Cook for the Soul.


My all-time favourite dessert has to be sticky toffee pudding. If it’s on the menu, I’ll always make room. A soft, lightly spiced sponge studded with dates and enough warm toffee sauce to sink a ship. Rich and indulgent, it’s just the ultimate comfort food.


180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
160ml boiling water
220g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
80g unsalted butter, softened
160g soft dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp black treacle
2 large eggs
100ml whole milk
Good-quality vanilla or toffee ice cream, to serve

120g unsalted butter
240g light brown sugar
200ml double cream
1 tbsp black treacle Pinch of salt



1. First, put the dates in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes to soften. Use the back of a fork to mash together roughly.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan and grease and line a 20cm ovenproof dish with butter.

3. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together into a large bowl. Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and treacle and beat again to mix. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating between.

5. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and gently fold until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the milk and mashed date mixture, gradually, stirring until everything is mixed in; it will be a thin mixture but this is what we’re looking for!

6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30–35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

7. For the sauce, add all the ingredients to a large saucepan over a medium heat until melted together. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for a few minutes, stirring often, until thickened.

8. Remove the baked sticky toffee pudding and leave to cool slightly, then use a skewer to prick holes all over the sponge and pour over most of the toffee sauce, keeping some in a jug for people to help themselves to!


•  Store the spongs in an airtight container for up to 5 days; keep the sauce separate. Freeze the sponge, wrapped in cling film then foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost before using.

• Add 120g roughly chopped pecans.

• For a boozy twist, add up to 60ml brandy or rum to the toffee sauce.


Extracted from Cook for the Soul by Lucy Lord (HarperCollins, RRP $34.99). Photography by Martin Poole.