This vegan sticky toffee pudding is a gloriously warming pudding with comforting, nostalgic flavors. It can be the perfect distraction from the cold weather.
The pudding of so many childhoods: vegan sticky toffee pudding is a winter essential. With its silky, deeply caramel flavor, it’s difficult to have just one helping.
Traditional recipes often call for steaming the pudding, but this can take hours! This version is baked instead, which means it’s in the oven for under half an hour.
Dark molasses, brown sugar, and caramel sauce are the stars of this dessert. Enjoy soaked in the warm homemade sauce, with a generous helping of vegan whipped cream or ice cream to balance the flavors.
This recipe is inspired by the book ‘Favourite Pudding Recipes’ by Myles Foster, published in 1999. The butter, cream, and eggs have been replaced to make this recipe vegan and allergy-friendly.
- Pitted dates - medjool dates are ideal for the softer, smoother consistency.
- Vegan butter - I used Country Crock Plant Butter.
- Granulated or caster sugar - caster has a slightly finer texture.
- Unbleached all-purpose flour or plain flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda - also called bicarbonate of soda.
- Vanilla extract
- Vinegar - apple cider or white vinegar is best.
- Light brown or soft brown sugar
- Coconut cream - an ideal substitute for heavy cream.
To get coconut cream, put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure it’s full-fat as it needs to have a solid layer of cream (I used the Thai Kitchen brand). Once chilled, carefully scoop the solid cream off the top.
- Golden Syrup - has a rich, buttery flavor, similar to honey but is completely vegan. It helps prevent the sugar in the toffee sauce from crystallizing.
It's commonly used in other British dessert recipes such as Brandy Snaps.
- Rum - this is optional but add a delicious flavor.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a 9-by-9 inch baking pan.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the dates and baking soda. Cover the pan and let the dates soak for 10 minutes.
3. Add the vegan butter and sugar to a large bowl or stand mixer. Cream together at medium-high speed.
4. Mix in the vanilla and vinegar. Gradually add the soaked dates along with the water and combine.
5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add this on top of the liquid mixture in stages, stirring slowly between additions until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check before removing that it has risen and is slightly springy to touch.
7. While the cake is baking, make the toffee sauce. Add the vegan butter, brown sugar, coconut cream, and golden syrup to a saucepan. Heat on low until the sugar is dissolved.
8. Gently boil for around 5 minutes; the sauce should thicken. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the rum.
9. As soon as the cake is finished baking, poke it all over with a skewer or toothpick. Spread half of the toffee sauce on top.
10. This is an optional but delicious step. If your pan is broiler-safe, place it under the broiler for 30 seconds to toast the sauce!
11. Serve warm and drizzle with the remaining toffee sauce. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Dates are very traditional in sticky toffee pudding, but can be swapped out for dried figs for a slightly different texture and flavor.
- Replace a little of the golden syrup with blackstrap molasses for an even deeper flavor. It will be less sweet and a little malty.
- Add in a few warming spices to the flour for a winter twist; try cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, or cloves.
- Coconut cream can be substituted with other non-dairy milk such as soy or cashew. The finished sauce won’t be quite as creamy, but will still be delicious.
- Non-alcoholic rum flavoring can be used in place of rum to achieve a similar taste.
- Vinegar can be replaced with an equal amount of lemon or lime juice. It simply provides an acid to react with the baking soda.
This pudding is best eaten warm, but it can be baked up to 5 days ahead and reheated when serving. Keep the cake and sauce separate if doing this, and reheat separately too.
More Vegan Cake Recipes
- Baked Cheesecake (New York-Style)
- Lemon Cake
- Jamaican Fruit Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Galette des Rois (King Cake)
Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Mixing bowls
Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, select the Metric option below and use measuring spoons.
- 5 oz dried pitted dates, chopped (about 10 Medjool dates)
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted), I used Country Crock Plant Butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar, or caster sugar
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or plain flour (spooned and levelled)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted)
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar, or soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon coconut cream, See Notes
- 2 tablespoon golden syrup
- ½ tablespoon rum, optional
Make the pudding:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and grease a 9-by-9 inch baking pan.
- Bring the water to a boil in a covered saucepan. Turn off the heat, add the dates and stir in the baking soda. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.5 oz dried pitted dates ,1 teaspoon baking soda ,1 cup water
- Cream the vegan butter and sugar in a large bowl with a large spoon or a mixer, until light in colour.4 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted) ,1 cup granulated sugar
- Mix in the vanilla and vinegar, then gradually stir in the date mixture.1 teaspoon vanilla extract ,1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl. Gradually stir it into the liquid mixture until the batter is just combined.2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ,1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch.
Make the toffee sauce:
- Add the vegan butter, brown sugar, coconut cream and golden syrup to a heavy bottom saucepan.3 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted) ,½ cup packed light brown sugar ,2 tablespoon coconut cream ,2 tablespoon golden syrup
- Boil at low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens - about 5 mins. Stir in the rum and remove it from the heat.½ tablespoon rum
Add the sauce:
- Poke the cake all over with a skewer or toothpick as soon as it’s removed from the oven. Spread half the toffee sauce on top.
- Optional step: If your pan is broiler-safe, place it under the broiler for about 30 seconds to toast the toffee sauce. Watch it carefully, so it doesn’t burn.
- Slice the cake and serve warm with the remaining toffee sauce.
- To get coconut cream, chill a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight in the fridge. I used the Thai Kitchen brand. Do not shake the can before refrigerating.
- You can also add soy or cashew milk instead.
- This pudding is best eaten warm, but it can be baked up to 5 days ahead and reheated when serving. Keep the cake and sauce separate if doing this, and reheat separately too.
- Adapted from Favourite Pudding Recipes by Myles Foster (published 1999).