James Martin’s seven step freezable sticky toffee pudding recipe with a rich toffee sauce

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Sticky toffee pudding is a popular pudding consisting of a moist sponge cake that can be eaten on its own or with a toffee sauce. James Martin has shared his simple recipe with a rich topping sauce. 

Sharing the recipe on his website, James explained: “The origins of sticky toffee pudding are mixed.

“Some people say it comes from the Sharrow Bay Hotel in the Lake District, while others claim it comes from the Undo Arms Hotel in Aberdeenshire.

“For me, I like to this Francis Coulson or Brian Sack, the original owners of the Sharrow Bay, invented this dish in their fantastic hotel on the banks of Lake Ullswater. 

“All I’ve done over the years is to tweak their recipe. I make it with a really rich toffee sauce – let’s face it, if you’re going to make a pud like this, you’ve got to do it properly.”

The chef’s recipe is super simple and requires just nine ingredients to make.

For those wanting to make the toffee sauce to add on to the sponge, there is an additional three ingredients required. 


For the pudding:

– 75g soft butter

– 175g dark brown Demerara sugar

– 200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

– One tbsp golden syrup

– Two tbsp black treacle

– Two eggs

– One tsp vanilla extract

– 200g pitted dried dates

– One tbsp bicarbonate of soda

For the toffee sauce:

– 100g sugar

– 100g butter

– 200ml double cream

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Firstly you need to preheat the oven to 200 degrees/400F/Gas mark 6. 

Then grease a 23cm tin thoroughly with 25g of the butter, then dust the inside of the tin with flour.

Method for the sponge:

1. Using a food mixer, blend the remaining butter and sugar together. 

2. Slowly add the golden syrup, treacle, eggs, vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue mixing. 

3. Add the flour and turn the mixer down until all the ingredients are combined.

4. Place the dates in a saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil. 

5. Puree the water and date mixture and add the bicarbonate of soda. 

6. While the mixture is still hot, add the egg and combine. Once combined, pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is just firm to touch.

7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning it out of the tin and cutting it into squares. 

Method for the sauce:

1. To make the sauce, melt the butter and sugar together in a small pan before adding the cream and bringing it to the boil.

2. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

3. To serve, re-heat the sponge in a microwave or heat for five minutes in the oven at 180c/350F/Gas mark 4. 

4. Place onto a plate with lots of the sauce on the top – you could even add ice cream too.

5. The sponge and sauce can be made in advance and even be frozen.

The sponge could also be served with clotted cream, whipped cream or fresh cream.

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