Rye whiskey and rye flour boost the flavor in the classic British dessert
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

1½ hrs 30 min active, plus cooling

10 Servings

To update Britain’s sticky toffee pudding—a steamed, too-often bland dessert hidden under a gluey, cloying syrup—we employed a bit of reverse-engineering, starting with the sauce. Instead of the traditional cream, we gave the toffee glaze a taste from home by spiking it with rye whiskey. The whiskey’s spice and heat cut through the sweetness of the dark brown sugar and corn syrup; orange zest added brightness. For the cake itself, we wanted to mirror the flavor of the rye, so we used a blend of rye and all-purpose flours. Dates that are steeped in coffee, then pureed, gave body. Together, the nutty rye and bitter coffee balanced the cake’s sweetness. To improve the dessert’s presentation, we made it in a Bundt pan. Covering the pan with foil kept the cake rich and moist, similar to a traditional steamed pudding.

Ingredients

  • 8

    ounces pitted dates (about 1½ cups)

  • 1

    cup brewed coffee

  • 142

    grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 117

    grams (¾ cup) rye flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1

    teaspoon ground allspice

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the toffee sauce
  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar

  • cup light corn syrup

  • 2

    teaspoons finely grated orange zest

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6

    tablespoons rye whiskey

  • 8

    tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled

Directions

  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. Lightly coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with butter and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the dates and coffee to a boil. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, salt and baking soda.
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  2. 02
    Transfer the coffee-date mixture to a food processor, add the sugar and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla and allspice. Then, with the processor running, add the butter. Pour the date mixture over the flour mixture and whisk gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake until firm and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove the foil and cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
    See It
  3. 03
    While the cake cools, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, zest and salt. Bring to a boil, then cook until the mixture hits 240ºF, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce to low and add the whiskey, 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing the bubbling to subside before adding more. Whisk in the butter 2 tablespoons at a time until melted and smooth.
    See It
  4. 04
    Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Brush the top and sides generously with the warm toffee sauce. Slice and serve drizzled with additional sauce. The sauced, cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cooled sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. To reheat, wrap the cake in foil and place in a 300ºF oven until warmed. Microwave the sauce until bubbling.
    See It
Tip: Don’t chop the dates. Their texture was unpleasant in the finished dish. The food processor is the best bet. And be sure to check your dates for pits.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Get Ready to Cook

10

Servings

1½ hrs

30 min active, plus cooling

Tip

Don’t chop the dates. Their texture was unpleasant in the finished dish. The food processor is the best bet. And be sure to check your dates for pits.

Ingredients

  • 8

    ounces pitted dates (about 1½ cups)

  • 1

    cup brewed coffee

  • 142

    grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 117

    grams (¾ cup) rye flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1

    teaspoon ground allspice

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the toffee sauce
  • 198

    grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar

  • cup light corn syrup

  • 2

    teaspoons finely grated orange zest

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6

    tablespoons rye whiskey

  • 8

    tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled

Step 1 of 4

Prepare the wet and dry ingredients

Butter and all-purpose flour for pan
8
ounces pitted dates
1
cup brewed coffee
142
grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
117
grams (¾ cup) rye flour
1
teaspoon baking powder
1
teaspoon kosher salt
½
teaspoon baking soda

Heat the oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. Lightly coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with butter and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the dates and coffee to a boil. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Step 2 of 4

Make the batter and bake the cake

198
grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar
4
large eggs
2
teaspoons vanilla extract
1
teaspoon ground allspice
12
tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Transfer the coffee-date mixture to a food processor, add the sugar and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla and allspice. Then, with the processor running, add the butter. Pour the date mixture over the flour mixture and whisk gently until thoroughly combined.


Transfer to the prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake until firm and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove the foil and cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.

Step 3 of 4

Make the toffee sauce

198
grams (1 cup packed) dark brown sugar
light corn syrup
2
teaspoons finely grated orange zest
teaspoon kosher salt
6
tablespoons rye whiskey
8
tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled

While the cake cools, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, zest and salt. Bring to a boil, then cook until the mixture hits 240ºF, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce to low and add the whiskey, 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing the bubbling to subside before adding more. Whisk in the butter 2 tablespoons at a time until melted and smooth.

Step 4 of 4

Sauce the cake and serve

Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Brush the top and sides generously with the warm toffee sauce. Slice and serve drizzled with additional sauce. The sauced, cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cooled sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. To reheat, wrap the cake in foil and place in a 300ºF oven until warmed. Microwave the sauce until bubbling.

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