Muffin Pan Sticky Toffee Pudding

These decadent, British-style sticky toffee puddings are sweetened with brown sugar, molasses, and dates, my favorite dried fruit. Because the dates are processed and baked along with rich toffee, vanilla, and molasses flavors, even date skeptics absolutely love this dessert!

These are my favorite Fall and Winter-time treats because they’re warm, sweet, sticky, and gooey. Along with a hot mug of tea, these sticky toffee puddings are comforting and indulgent. Nothing makes my belly feel more warm and fuzzy on a frosty evening. 

Despite their elegant presentation, these toffee puddings aren’t difficult to whip up and they freeze beautifully for later use! I recommend doubling the recipe when you get to prepping, because these will disappear faster than you’d expect! 

Sticky Toffee Pudding Muffin
Sticky Toffee Pudding (made in a muffin pan)

Before you get started

  • Gather your equipment and ingredients so that you have them ready to go when it’s time to start cooking! 
  • Take the butter and eggs out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to bake time so that they’re at room temperature when you begin cooking. This ensures that your batter has the right consistency so the toffee puddings bake with the perfect texture. 

Suggested Equipment & Appliances

  • 1 muffin tin with 12 cups (or two 6-cup muffin tins)
  • Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 2 Medium mixing bowls (1 heat-safe)
  • Medium saucepan
  • 1 whisk
  • Casserole dish or extra muffin pan
  • Blender or large food processor

Recipe Yield and Cook Time

  • Recipe Yield: 12 Servings 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 7 oz pitted medjool or deglet noor dates 
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (black treacle)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Toffee Sauce: 

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (black treacle)
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream 
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease 12 muffin cups in either one or two muffin pans using butter or non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Finely chop the pitted dates and add them into a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl along with the boiling water and baking soda. Give the ingredients a stir, then set aside the bowl for about 20 minutes. During this time the dates will soften so that they can be processed or blended.
  3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl and an electric hand mixer, beat together the butter, molasses, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Make sure to scrape along the edges of the bowl to well-incorporate the ingredients as you go. 
  4. Once the butter and sugars are well mixed, add in the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix once more to blend together.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to evenly mix. This includes the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour this mixture into the large mixing bowl with the wet ingredients, and beat once again only until fully combined. Stop mixing the batter once it’s evenly combined, or else your sticky toffee puddings will turn out too dense and tough!
  6. In a blender or water-tight food processor, blend the dates along with the liquid until pureed into a paste. Transfer the date paste into the large mixing bowl and gently fold it into the batter until spread throughout. 
  7. Spoon the batter into the 12 greased muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups  about ⅔ of the way up. Smooth the tops of each pudding to form a smooth layer. 
  8. Bake the toffee puddings on the middle rack for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick shoved into a muffin comes out clean. 
  9. While the puddings are baking in the oven, prepare your sticky toffee sauce! Start by heating a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the butter, and let it melt. Next, pour in the heavy (whipping) cream, vanilla extract, molasses, salt, and brown sugar. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent burning while the sauce thickens. 
  10. Remove the hot sticky toffee sauce from the heat, and let cool slightly while the puddings finish baking. 
  11. Once the puddings are done baking, place the muffin pans on top of a wire cooling rack. After a few minutes of cooling, remove the warm puddings from the pan and place them on a baking sheet or a foil-covered cutting board. 
  12. Brush all sides of every pudding with the sticky toffee sauce and set aside the remaining sauce to be used when serving. 
  13. Serve these delicious sticky toffee puddings warm, with the remaining toffee sauce heated and poured over each dessert. Garnish with vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or chopped pecans! 

Tips and Tricks

  • For optimal baking and perfect pudding texture, keep the oven door closed during the cooking time and center the muffin pan(s) on the middle rack. Additionally, you can ensure a fluffy and moist pudding texture by placing a casserole dish or another muffin pan filled with water on the bottom rack in the oven. Doing this will steam the toffee puddings while they bake. 
  • If using salted butter instead of unsalted, use ¼ teaspoon(s) of salt in the batter and toffee sauce instead of the ½ teaspoon(s) listed in the recipe. 
  • If you have any empty muffin cups in your baking pan, fill them ⅔ full with lukewarm water to ensure even baking of your toffee puddings! Be careful not to spill some of the water onto the batter-filled muffin cups.
  • These individual sticky toffee puddings will keep well if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Warm the puddings in the oven or microwave before serving. Store the toffee sauce in a separate container and warm either on the stovetop or in the microwave to thin before serving. 
  • They also freeze well for up to 3 months! Just wrap each individual pudding cake tightly using plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze them in an airtight bag or container. Freeze the sticky toffee sauce in a separate container (this will also keep well for up to 3 months.) Before serving, let the pudding cakes thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can also speed up the defrosting process in the microwave if you’re short on time.