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Divide approx. 30g of the cooked noodles to each chicken soup portion just before serving

Sticky date pudding is a beloved winter dessert in Australia and New Zealand. This irresistible treat features small, moist sponge cakes infused with deliciously soaked, sugary dates and generously drenched in warm caramel sauce.

Enjoy it on its own or elevate the experience with a dollop of fresh cream, smooth vanilla custard or creamy ice cream.

Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.
Delightful twists to the traditional recipe

In my rendition, I’ve introduced the crunch of toasted macadamia nuts, delicately placed atop each pudding with a syrupy glaze. This Australian-inspired addition infuses a unique and attractive touch. However, feel free to experiment with Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, or pecan nuts.

To maintain a perfect balance, I’ve carefully reduced the amount of cream traditionally used in the caramel sauce by more than half. With the pudding already boasting richness from the combination of butter and sugar, this adjustment ensures an indulgence without overwhelming heaviness.

The Origins of this Pudding

Sticky date puddings, commonly referred to as sticky toffee puddings in the UK and Canada, were introduced in England during the 1960s. They quickly gained popularity, eventually making their way to Australia in the 1980s. Today, this well-loved dessert is a family-favourite in and outside the home.

An adobe photo of french onion soup
Dinner Party Delight

This is a fantastic dessert to have made ahead of time for a warm & cosy dinner party.

Prepare it in advance and simply heat up each serving in the microwave or oven. The final touch? Drizzle more caramel sauce over the warm dessert once it’s plated. No need for fussy decorations, just serve it with a dollop of cream, custard, or ice cream. But be warned, your guests will be craving seconds of this addictive treat!

As soon as the puddings come out of the oven and have been tipped onto a plate, this is the crucial moment to drizzle the caramel sauce all over the warm pudding.

This makes the pudding delicately moist as well as giving the sponge that signature dark brown colour.

Gluten-Free Sticky Date Pudding

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
This recipe makes warm and gooey mini cakes topped with caramel sauce and toasted macadamia nuts. These are a perfect gluten-free dessert to serve at a dinner party or special occasion. Easy to make, assemble and make ahead of time!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Soaking time for dates 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course baking, Dessert
Cuisine Australian, British
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Sticky Date Pudding

  • 250 g pitted dates, chopped in half
  • 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 350 ml boiling water
  • 125 g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 140 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 220 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free self-raising flour

Macadamia base

  • 60 g macadamia nuts, chopped coarsely
  • tbsp brown sugar
  • 30 g butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup or maple syrup

Caramel sauce

  • 100 g light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp full-fat, single or plant-based cream
  • 50 g butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt

Extra

  • Thick cream, vanilla custard or ice cream, to serve (optional)

Instructions
 

Sticky Date Pudding

  • In a medium bowl, add the halved dates and baking soda. Pour the boiling water over them and allow to stand for 20 mins.
    In a medium bowl, add the halved dates and baking soda. Pour the boiling water over them and allow to stand for 20 mins.
  • Transfer the bowl contents to a food processor or use a handheld stick blender to blend until smooth.
    Transfer the bowl contents to a food processor or use a handheld stick blender to blend until smooth.
  • In a stand mixer bowl or medium bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence until pale and fluffy.
    In a stand mixer bowl or medium bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence until pale and fluffy.
  • Add one egg at a time, beating well for 5 mins.
  • Using a large spatula, fold the date mixture and self-raising flour gently into the butter mixture until no visible flour streaks are visible. Set aside to prepare the macadamia base.
    fold the date mixture and self-raising flour gently into the butter mixture

Macadamia base

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Toast the chopped macadamia nuts on a baking tray for 5 mins, stirring them halfway through. Keep the oven on for the puddings to bake next.
    chopped macadamia nuts
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, melted butter and golden/maple syrup together.

Assembling before baking

  • Lightly grease each ramekin with some butter and place them on a large baking tray.
  • Add a spoonful of the mixed butter, sugar & golden syrup mixture to each ramekin.
    Add a spoonful of the mixed butter, sugar & golden syrup mixture to each ramekin, followed by a sprinkling of the toasted macadamia nuts.
  • Next, sprinkle the toasted macadamia nuts on top of the syrup layer.
    Next, sprinkle the toasted macadamia nuts on top of the syrup layer.
  • Evenly add the pudding mixture on top of the syrup macadamia layer in each prepared ramekin dish.
    Evenly add the pudding mixture on top of the syrup macadamia layer in each prepared ramekin dish.

Baking

  • Bake the puddings on the middle shelf for 30 mins at 180°C/350°F. Test with a toothpick by inserting it into the centre of a pudding to see if it comes out clean before removing them from the oven.
    Bake the puddings on the middle shelf for 30 mins at 180°C/350°F.

Caramel sauce (A good time to make the sauce is while the puddings are baking)

  • Combine all the caramel sauce ingredients in a small pan and stir over medium-low heat, until the sugar has dissolved, without bringing it to a boil.
  • Once dissolved, bring the caramel sauce to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for around 3 mins or until the sauce thickens very slightly. It should look glossy and smooth.
    bring the caramel sauce to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for around 3 mins
  • If making the sauce ahead of time, cover the pan with the lid and set it aside to reheat again. If preparing a day ahead, chill the cooled-down caramel sauce in the pan to then reheat directly on the stove the next day.

Assembling after baking

  • Allow the puddings to cool down for 5 mins before tipping them out onto a small dessert plate. Trim the bottoms slightly if you like the pudding to have straight sides.
    tipping them out onto a small dessert plate.
  • Poke each pudding several times with a skewer or toothpick.
    Poke each pudding several times with a skewer or toothpick.
  • Rearrange some of the macadamia nuts back on top of the pudding if any fell off during tipping.
  • Pour the warm caramel sauce over the warm date puddings, letting them drip down the sides to form some pools of sauce on the plate.
    Pour the warm caramel sauce over the warm date puddings
  • Serve immediately with an optional serving of cream, custard or ice cream and extra caramel sauce on the side.

Notes

  • Keeps for 5 days chilled
  • Puddings are freezer-friendly
  • Caramel sauce can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred to a zip lock bag. This makes it easy to defrost faster.
  • Puddings can be reheated directly from the fridge or freezer in the microwave together with the caramel sauce.
Keyword gluten-free dessert, gluten-free pudding, sticky date pudding, sticky toffee pudding
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by | Jan 22, 2024 | Baking, Desserts | 2 comments

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