Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce

Boy, oh boy. It’s not often I can truly rave about a dessert, but these Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce scored a 10/10 for me.

Not normally one for cake type desserts, I have to say that this recipe from Kathy Knudsen at Australian Good Taste, March 2009 (at is, in a word, spectacular. As far as I’m concerned, there’ll be absolutely no need to try other alternatives. The sponge is unbelievably soft, thanks to the dates, and when steeped in the rich, dark butterscotch sauce, incredibly moist. A winner, no matter how you look at it.

I did make some changes to the recipe. Firstly, I switched the butterscotch sauce to one I’d used previously in my Boozy Banoffee Trifle – provided by Delia Smith – a recipe which frankly can’t be beaten. I also created a creme fraiche/cream mix instead of plain cream in order to balance the sweetness. Finally, the original recipe said it served six, but I saw that many reviewers said the puddings were too big. So I decided to halve the recipe and make five mini-bundt sized portions instead. I’m glad I did, as for five people, it was just perfect. I’ve left the recipe as is though, so depending on what you decide to cook the cakes in, it should serve anywhere from 6-10 portions. Enjoy!

Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce

Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 or 5 mini-bundt sized portions – 83ml (1/3 cup) – if recipe is halved


For the cakes

  • Soft butter to grease ramekins (or butter and flour to prepare bundt tins)
  • 285 g 1-3/4 cups pitted dates, halved (I used gourmet Medjool dates)
  • 250 ml 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80 g butter at room temperature
  • 100 g ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 g ¾ cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 75 g ½ cup plain flour, sifted

Butterscotch Sauce:

  • 150 g 5 oz golden syrup
  • 50 g 2 oz butter
  • 75 g 3 oz soft brown sugar
  • 50 g 2 oz golden granulated sugar (or white)
  • 150 ml 5 fl oz heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1-2 Tbsp light muscovado sugar to taste
  • Lightly roasted pecan nuts optional


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Put on a kettle of water to boil for the bain marie.
  • Brush a six hole 185ml (3/4 cup) muffin pan with melted butter to lightly grease and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. If using a mini-bundt pan, brush with soft butter then thoroughly dust with flour.
  • Combine the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften. Use a fork to coarsely mash.
  • Use an electric beater to beat the butter and caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the date mixture and the combined flour. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans and smooth the surfaces.
  • Place the muffin pan (or mini-bundt pan) in a roasting dish and carefully pour in enough boiling water to come no more than half way up the sides of whatever you’re using. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (my mini-bundt sized cakes cooked around 15-20 minutes) or until the surface of the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched, or a skewer comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for about 5 minutes to stand before turning the cakes onto a wire rack. You’ll see that, given the cakes have been cooked in a bain marie, the bottoms of the cake (which will be the tops when inverted) are very soft and not browned – this is normal.
    Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce
  • While the cakes are cooking, place the golden syrup, butter and sugars in a small saucepan. Then place over a gentle heat and allow to slowly melt and dissolve, giving it a stir from time to time, which will take 5-7 minutes. Let it continue to cook at a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes, then gradually stir in the double cream and vanilla extract until well combined. Take off heat and let it cool.
  • You can serve the puddings immediately if you like. However, it’s easy enough to make these ahead. I let my cakes cool completely. Then, a couple of hours before serving, I placed the puddings onto serving plates and poured 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce over each pudding, and simply let them steep in the sauce – the puddings became beautifully moist and flavoursome. When it came time to serve, I microwaved each of the puddings for 15 seconds on high (until they’re just slightly warm), topped with the creme fraiche/cream mixture, then drizzled more sauce over top. If you want, you can also add chopped roasted nuts over top.
Keyword Butterscotch sauce, Puddings, Sticy dates
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.


  1. The mini-bundt are adorable! Love the gold theme in your photos too. The golden fork is too sweet. I like how this can be make-ahead. Great for dinner parties or even a pot luck.

    • Thank you!! Yes, I liked how you could make ahead too – took the urgency out of making them just prior to dinner. And yes, the gold forks were a great find – about 1 NZ dollar each in a second hand store. I LOVE giving old service-ware new life!

  2. This looks amazing. I love sticky date recipes!
    Here is a recipe for Sticky Date and Banana Loaves you might like.
    Thanks for Sharing 🙂


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