Sticky date and fig puddings

With only 20 minutes prep time needed, these tasty sticky date and fig puddings are a must-try. Topped with toffee sauce, they’ll go down a treat.

4

20m

Note: + 15 mins standing time

3h

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (70g) finely chopped dried dates
  • 1/3 cup (65g) finely chopped dried figs
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 70g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 1 Coles Australian Free Range Egg
  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 1/4 cup (35g) self-raising flour

Toffee sauce

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) thickened cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

STEP 1

Grease four 1-cup (250ml) dariole moulds or ramekins and line the bases with baking paper. Place the date, fig and tea bag in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Stand for 10 mins. Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. Stand for 2 mins.

STEP 2

Remove the tea bag and discard. Transfer fig mixture to a food processor and process until almost smooth.

STEP 3

Use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in egg. Stir in combined flour and fig mixture. Spoon among the prepared moulds. Smooth the surfaces.

STEP 4

Cut four 15cm squares of baking paper and foil. Place foil on top of the baking paper and make a small pleat in the centre. Place over a mould, foil-side up. Secure with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining moulds, baking paper and foil. Place moulds in a slow cooker. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up side of moulds. Cover and cook for 3 hours on low or until a skewer inserted in the centres comes out clean.

STEP 5

Meanwhile, to make the toffee sauce, place sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5-8 mins or until golden brown. Carefully add the cream. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until the sauce is smooth. Stir in the salt. Cool slightly.

STEP 6

Turn puddings onto serving plates. Drizzle with toffee sauce to serve.

Serve with vanilla ice cream

Dietary information

Nut-free
Peanut-free
Sesame-free
Soy-free
Vegetarian

Sticky date pudding recipe

Sticky date pudding is a classic for good reason. Unlike fresh fruit desserts, this one is made with dried fruit and other basic ingredients you probably have on hand in the pantry and fridge, so it’s easy to put together whenever you want to treat the family to a comforting dessert. Whether it’s steamed or baked, it has a soft, moist texture that’s so satisfying to sink a spoon into. The cooked pudding is great on its own, but adding a rich, sticky toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream takes it to the next level of deliciousness.

This dessert is said to have originated in Britain, where it is known as sticky toffee pudding, but it is also hugely popular in Australia and New Zealand. It’s a perfect cold weather dessert because when you eat it, you’ll feel like it’s warming you up from the inside out.

Equipment you will need for sticky date pudding

This version of sticky date pudding is made by steaming the batter in individual moulds in the slow cooker. This method is easy because you don’t have to turn on your oven or keep an eye on the stove – and once the puddings are in the slow cooker you can set and forget until it’s time to make the sauce.

To make individual sticky date puddings, you’ll need four 1 cup (250ml) dariole moulds, which are tall narrow moulds with sloping sides that are used to make individual puddings and desserts such as panna cotta. If you don’t have dariole moulds, use ramekins instead. Before you start, grease each mould or ramekin and line the base with a square of baking paper. This makes it easy to turn out the puddings.

The dried fruit in this recipe needs to be soaked in hot liquid to soften, then processed to make a puree, so make sure you have a heatproof bowl handy along with a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender or hand blender can do the job for you.

It’s best to use an electric mixer and mixing bowl to whip up the batter. This could be a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer. If you don’t have these, you can beat the mixture the old-fashioned way using a wooden spoon.

You’ll need more baking paper on hand along with foil and kitchen string. These help you create lids to seal the batter inside the moulds to keep water and steam out. It’s important to make a pleat in the centre of the paper and foil squares before you secure them to the moulds. That way there is room for the batter to expand during cooking. Have a skewer handy for testing the puddings to make sure they’re cooked in the centre.

You’ll still need to use your stovetop to make the toffee sauce but it doesn’t take long to make. Grab a small saucepan and you’re good to go.

Ingredients you will need for sticky date pudding

Sticky date pudding has dates in it – surprise surprise – but this recipe also uses a smaller quantity of dried figs for a different flavour and texture. If you don’t have figs, add another 1/3 cup (65g) dates instead. Using dried fruit makes for easy prep, especially if you start with dates that are already pitted. It’s good to finely chop all the fruit before soaking so it’s easier to process into a puree, but if you’re short on time you can probably skip this step without affecting the result. Adding an Earl Grey tea bag with the boiling water infuses extra flavour and aroma into the puddings, but you can use plain water if you prefer. Don’t forget to add ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda for the last 2 minutes of soaking – this helps break down the fruit mixture further and helps the puddings rise. Discard the tea bag before processing the date mixture in a food processor until the puree is almost smooth.

The pudding batter begins the same way as making cake batter – you beat 70g softened butter with ½ cup (110g) brown sugar until it’s pale and creamy, then add an egg and beat to combine. Next, you add a mix of ½ cup (75g) plain flour and ¼ cup (35g) self-raising flour. This amount of self-raising flour is just enough to give the puddings a lift without them rising too much. Finally, mix in the date puree to make a smooth batter. 

Once you have your batter ready, divide it among the moulds and cover with the paper and foil squares, then tie kitchen string around the top to secure. Stand the moulds in the slow cooker and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the moulds. This means the puddings will cook gently in the steam without overheating. If the water level is too high, the water can get into the puddings and make them soggy. Pop on the lid and leave them to cook on low for 3 hours. You’ll know they’re ready when a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean.

While the puddings are steaming, you can make the toffee sauce. Start by heating ½ cup (110g) caster sugar in the saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve. After 5-8 minutes, the sugar will have melted and turned golden brown. Carefully add the cream to the pan – it will bubble up, so make sure you don’t burn yourself on the hot sugar. Now reduce the heat to low and stir for another 5 minutes until it thickens into a beautiful toffee sauce. Stir in ½ tsp salt – the salt balances the sweetness of the caramel and enhances the flavour. Then turn off the heat and leave the sauce to cool slightly.

How to serve sticky date pudding

To serve the puddings, remove them from the slow cooker and remove the foil, paper and string. Then turn them onto serving plates and serve immediately with a drizzle of sweet toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Now get cooking

We think this slow cooker recipe is our best ever sticky date pudding recipe because it’s easy, looks amazing and tastes absolutely delicious. Give these mouth-watering puddings a go and make them your way with our simple tips. While you have the slow cooker out, use more dates to make our amazing banana, date and walnut bread. Want the pudding and sauce all in one dish? Go for a self-saucing pudding, like our sticky banana and malt self-saucing pudding and pumpkin and caramel self-saucing pudding . Plus, find more classics and new ways to indulge with our dessert recipes collection.

Nutrition Information

Per Serve

Energy: 2116kJ/506 Cals (24%)

Protein: 6g (12%)

Fat: 20g (29%)

Sat fat: 13g (54%)

Carb: 75g (24%)

Sugar: 54g (60%)

Fibre: 5g (17%)

Sodium: 444mg (22%)

 

FAQs

  • How to store sticky date pudding?
    If you don’t need to serve all of the puddings at once, leave the foil tops on the leftover puddings and store them in their moulds in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. That way you can reheat them in water in the slow cooker for 11/2 hours on high or 2 hours on low until heated through. Alternatively uncover and turn out the puddings then reheat in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds from room temperature or 45 seconds-1 minute from chilled or until heated through. 

  • Can I freeze sticky date pudding?
    Freeze the puddings in their moulds as above or turn out first and wrap individually before freezing in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat as above.

  • What can I do with leftover toffee sauce?
    Store any leftover toffee sauce in an airtight container or covered jug in the fridge for up to 5 days. It tastes great poured over vanilla ice cream, pancakes or caramelised apples.

  • Can I make it without a slow cooker?
    To make baked puddings, place the moulds in a roasting pan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the moulds. Bake at 160°C for 35-40 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

  • Can I make one large pudding?
    You can make one pudding if you have a pan with a 4 cup (1L) capacity that fits in your slow cooker. To use a 4 cup (1L) pudding basin, you’ll need to cut 30cm squares of baking paper and foil for the top. You could also try using a 10cm x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan. A larger pudding will take longer to cook, so increase the cooking time to 3-4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.