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Lush sticky toffee pudding recipe with apple – baked in a pool of dark toffee sauce and served with even more at the table. Although more easily made as a family size, we love to serve them individually and freeze the rest for later.

sticky toffee pudding with macaron shell

Shall we Make Some S.T.P.?

Known affectionately in our family as S.T.P. – or Sticky Toffee Pudding. I make this, however, with a grated tart apple (Granny Smith), giving it a twist to the classic just made with dates. Somehow adding an apple makes us feel a bit better with the decadent luscious toffee sauce’s scrumptiousness!

This pudding goes against my French-style eating habits: I love dessert but shy away from over-sugared and filling puddings.  This is our exception – and the version below is my final answer to this most delicious dilemma called Sticky Toffee Pudding Syndrome.

What Nationality is Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Growing up with STP in Scotland, my parents would often drive my wee brother and I down to the Lake District in England.

The highlight of our trips there were mandatory stops at the legendary Cartmel Village Shop to stock up and taste their version. Known as the “Home of Sticky Toffee”, this is where it seems to have originated, making it another prized British pudding. Today, however, you’ll find it almost anywhere in the UK as its popularity has grown.

Did you know I converted Sticky Toffee Pudding into a STP macaron for my first book, Mad About Macarons? It makes it an entirely gluten-free version – both as a regular-sized macaron and as a giant macaron dessert.

Funnily enough, some American critics initially thought that S.T.P. was a “bit too British” for a macaron book – but little did they know that the recipe for sticky toffee pudding may well have originated in Canada, just like my Scottish Granny’s Matrimonial Cake (oaty date squares). Alas, I can’t find enough sources for this, so if you have any ideas of its history, please let me know in the comments below.

cup of sticky toffee macarons

Dark Sticky Toffee Pudding Toffee Sauce

I distinctly remember the look and taste of the original pudding from Cartmel in the Lake District. The difference over many other sticky toffee puddings we tried was that the original was distinctly dark and lush, covered in the darkest ever toffee sauce.

What I love about this recipe is that the sauce is used in baking the pudding and the extra sauce is poured over at the end.

Living in France has meant the necessity of making this at home, as it’s not something we can just run out to our local pâtisserie or boulangerie and find – so this Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding was created along the way. It’s often requested by my beau-père, Jean-Pierre, who’s accent is adorable: can we have more of that steeecky toa-fee pood-eeeng?

Well, here it is, beau-papa.

bowl of lush dark pudding smothered in toffee sauce

Sticky Toffee Family-Sized Pudding

There are two ways of making this recipe.

Normally it’s made as a flat cake, batter sitting (nearly floating) on top of a pool of toffee sauce then baked in a buttered ovenproof pie or gratin dish (20 x 30 x 6cm). It’s served spooned into pudding bowls – or teacups, inspired by Carina Contini’s family recipe for Sticky Ginger & Date Pudding in her Kitchen Garden Cookbook.

I adapted the recipe, cutting down slightly on the butter and sugar, plus I added a grated apple, since my Granny always mixed dates with apple. That’s a deliciously nostalgic family tradition I am continuing. Then I added 2 tablespoons of dark rum to the sticky toffee sauce. This makes the whole lusciousness extra heavenly for those cold, dark nights.

You could call this version a Tipsy Sticky Toffee Pudding! Plus don’t forget the apple.

lush sticky toffee pudding with macaron shell

Individual Sticky Toffee Puddings

However, the above family-sized flat cake version has one HUGE problem: we normally have at least second portions and it can get out of control. It’s what we call the Sticky Toffee Pudding Syndrome.

So, to avoid such sticky toffee impulses, my preferred method is to make individual puddings. 

To make individual puddings, pour the batter into standard muffin moulds. Use either buttered metallic moulds – even better, non-stick or silicone moulds so no greasing is necessary.

lush pudding in a pool of dark toffee sauce

The result is just enough for each person without the seconds. That way we eat half and freeze the rest directly in their moulds before anyone can ask for more. You have to be cruel to be kind, as these are rather too comforting and decadent.

Moreover, they’re so easy to freeze when removed from their silicone moulds and reheat when needed – making them so handy to serve stress-free for a dinner party later!

sticky toffee pudding with macaron shell
5 from 2 votes

Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : British, Canadian
Keyword : sticky toffee pudding, date pudding, toffee sauce
Servings : 12 people
Calories : 450kcal

Description

Lush Sticky Toffee Pudding with apple, baked in a pool of dark toffee sauce and served with more at the table. Serve individually using standard non-stick or silicone brioche/muffin or dariole moulds. If making as one big pudding in a gratin dish/cake tin, bake for 10 minutes longer.
The puddings and sauce also freeze well so a good make-ahead dessert recipe.

Ingredients

Sticky Toffee Sauce:

  • 175 g (6oz/¾ cup) butter, unsalted
  • pinch salt (fleur de sel, Maldon or Celtic sea salt)
  • 250 g (9oz/1½ cups) dark Muscovado sugar Vergeoise Brun or soft dark brown sugar
  • 225 g (8oz/1 cup) whipping cream (30% fat) or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp dark rum

Pudding Batter:

  • 175 g (6oz/1 cup) pitted dates roughly chopped
  • 175 ml (6fl oz/¾ cup) water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 tart apple (e.g. Granny Smith) peeled & grated
  • 75 g (3oz/ 1/3 cup) butter, unsalted
  • 110 g (4oz/½ cup + tbsp) soft dark brown sugar (Muscovado)
  • 2 medium eggs organic
  • 150 g (5.5oz/1 ¼ cups) plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (no need if use self-raising flour above)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Instructions

Sticky Toffee Sauce:

  • Melt the butter, sugar, cream and rum in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once dissolved, turn down the heat to low and stir occasionally until the sauce becomes smooth and glossy (about 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Batter:

  • In a saucepan, cover the chopped dates with the water and bring to the boil. Add the baking soda then mash until a smooth paste. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then stir in the grated apple until well combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4.
    Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or in a large stand-mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, flour and ground ginger. Fold in the date and apple mixture until mixed together.
  • Individual puddings: Pour 1/4 of the sauce (about a dessert spoon) at the bottom of each muffin cavity. Top with the batter until 1/3 from the top, giving enough room for the batter to rise. Bake for 25 minutes.
    (Large Version: Pour 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of a buttered standard gratin dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes.)
  • Remove the puddings from the moulds after 5 minutes cooling and place directly on serving dishes. Reheat the remaining 3/4 of toffee sauce and pour over each pudding. 

Notes

The puddings freeze well. To freeze, first cool the puddings, chill then transfer to a zip-lock bag or in containers. I decant the rest of the sauce separately into a jam jar to freeze. Just defrost and reheat before serving.
If you prefer the pudding without alcohol, then simply omit the rum.

From the market

From the kitchen

27 responses to “Sticky Toffee Pudding with Apple”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Jill,
    Absolutely delicious! In the end I made it in one large dish, we were six for our French bonfire night dinner, there was none left over…….what can I say!
    I am just about to make a double batch for the freezer as the family are coming over for Christmas. Perfect, thank you.
    Polly

    • Thrilled this was appreciated well at your French bonfire night, Polly – and even more delighted you’re making it again for Christmas. Thanks for you lovely words.

  2. Hi, I want to make this a French bonfire night dinner party. Two questions; what size moulds for individual puddings, and is the cooking time the same as the family size?
    Thank you

    • Hi Polly – thanks so much for asking, as I realised I needed to update the recipe exactly to answer this – and have done so for you. So for individual I just use standard muffin tins. Cooking time is about 10 minutes less for individual. I hope this helps. Have a super bonfire night. Sounds fun, especially as there are not many in France! Please let me know once you’ve made the recipe!

  3. @Judy Carruth: I think your confusion is that the directions say to pour 1/4 of the sauce into each of the molds… But what’s meant there is not 1/4 into each of four molds, but 1/4 of the total amount of sauce into the bottom of each of 12 molds — so a very small amount, like a tablespoon or so, just to put some toffee on what will ultimately be the top of each pudding….. and then reserve the remaining 3/4 of the sauce for when you serve them…. is that clearer?

    • Thanks for your feedback, Jilian. Indeed, this makes it clearer and I have specified this on the recipe card just to confirm. 1/4 sauce is for the puddings before baking and the other 3/4 is for serving separately.

  4. Hi, this STP recipe looks great but I don’t see how it can be for 12 people if you only divide it into 4 moulds?
    I’d like to serve 6 (and maybe have leftovers ) Could you please confirm the quantity?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Judy,
      I don’t know where you get the 4 moulds from? This is for 12 portions. As I say, either prepare them as one big family size or if making in individual moulds, put in 12 moulds. We often freeze half, so 6 are stashed away like money in the bank!

  5. Hi Jill! I will try this recipe, as I have been experimenting on STP and this will be my fourth attempt. Will the muscovado make the sauce this dark?

    • It certainly will. Let me know how you get on. Excited you’re making it – we love it!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh Jill I’m a true lover of STP. I cannot wait to add the apples! Well done…my pudding is already very moist so hopefully it won’t be too much ..thank you my dear friend. I can always depend on you to take from delicious to absolutely addictive.

    • You’re so sweet – thanks, Bea. One word, though. If adding apples and your recipe is already moist, then I suggest using this recipe, as I’ve tweeked the quantities to compensate for still a moist pudding but keeping the balance right. You’re right – this STP heaven is rather addictive. Guess you have the syndrome too!

  7. 5 stars
    You know I have STP syndrome, but this looks like STP on steroids! WOWEE! I’ve never baked individual cakes, and I’ve also never put some sauce in before the batter! YUM! I seriously need to make this, but then again, it could be quite dangerous! UGH!

    • Dangerous is the word with this one – that’s why I freeze the other half pretty much straight away before temptation kicks in for a second one! STP on steroids … love it!

  8. Always on the lookout for ways to use apples, since we’re still wading through the autumn’s crop, stored in the loft.
    The Contini cookery books are good, aren’t they! My daughter was at school with one of the daughters of Mary Contini, and we have photos of the hands-on fresh pasta making session she did with the class of 5 year olds. I love the idea of the individual moulds – very elegant and a good antidote to the eye-being-bigger-then-the-belly (to put it inelegantly) STP syndrome.

    • Isn’t that funny, Linda? I taught music for a year in the same school as Mary’s daughters. Small world. Glad you like the individual moulds and the apple – hope you make this.

  9. i’m not a huge fan of dates so i tend to keep away from these puddings but yours does look delicious. they are so very sweet, aren’t they? not that i have anything against that … cheers sherry

    • Hi Sherry, yes they’re normally very sweet but I love this particular recipe, as I’m not a fan of over sweet. The tart apple helps keep this moist, too. As for the dates, you don’t taste the dates – and without them it wouldn’t be this delicious texture, IMHO.

  10. 5 stars
    I finally made a sticky toffee pudding last winter while our kitchen was under renovations—it was not a thing of beauty though rich and delicious. I love, love the idea of adding apple. I’d have to freeze half, too. This sweet tooth enjoys this dessert way too much! Will need to try it again!

    • I admire you still making your puddings when the kitchen was crazy, Liz. That’s dessert love, indeed!

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe Jill. I love STP and I think adding apple is the answer to many a dry sponge I have had in various restaurants. Not many restaurants even add dates. Now, I am going to make my own and I definitely won’t be disappointed. Also the tip for freezing this is very welcome as sometimes a little goes a long way.

    • Really – no dates? Even without the apple, this recipe’s cake is very moist but a dry cake in a restaurant? That’s ridiculous. All the more reason in that case for us to make it at home! Thanks for popping in, Thomasina.

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