This Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding is a rich and comforting dessert: A steamed orange and date cake, topped with toffee sauce! For an extra hit of flavour, use some whisky or rum in the sauce. SO good!
Sticky toffee pudding is a traditional British dessert, but a completely underutilized dessert option in North America - particularly in the USA
My own husband had never heard of it when I met him, and was surprised to see what it actually was when I made it for him the first time.
Like other British uses of the word “pudding” - like Yorkshire puddings, or Christmas pudding/ figgy pudding - the format of traditional sticky toffee pudding might surprise those in North America who aren’t aquainted with it.
Rather than a common idea of a pudding in North America - a soft, custardy concoction - sticky toffee pudding is more of a gooey cake, steamed in a water bath.
The moist date cake is served with a generous portion of rich toffee sauce poured over top.
It’s one of those comforting desserts that is as appropriate for eating at home in your Pjs on a cold winter night, as it is being served for special occasions.
Gluten-free Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
This gluten free version of my original, classic sticky date pudding recipe is the real deal!
The properly moist cake, the silky caramel sauce - no one would know that this sticky toffee pudding recipe is the gluten-free option!
... and it’s relatively easy to make, also!
Let’s get to it...
Gluten Free Flour Blend
Like all of my dessert recipes, I use specific gluten free flours, individually, rather than a premixed all purpose flour mix.
Each of the flours, starches, and supporting dry ingredients are chosen for their flavours and properties, and mixed in proportions specific to whatever recipe I’m designing.
I find that this gives you the best result - and produce the properties closest to wheat flour - for not much extra work.
The flours and supporting ingredients I use for this recipe are:
Note: Unlike most of my baked recipes, this one doesn’t require Xanthan Gum. The dates and sugars hold everything together nicely, without the need for xanthan.
I developed this recipe when I was living in Minnesota, and had NOWHERE NEAR the variety of dates available as I do now, living in the Greater Toronto Area.
I think I used Medjool dates when making this recipe to be photographed for the book, but most varieties of dates should work - dried, not fresh!
Also, you’ll want to buy whole dates and chop them yourself, as the pre chopped dates don’t work as well.
I think they may have additives that you don’t find in whole dates.
Anyway, if your dates are not already pitted, take the pits out before chopping them.
The Other Date Pudding Ingredients
Aside from the flours, you will need:
Dark Brown sugar
Baking soda / Bicarbonate of soda
Warm Toffee Sauce
Finally, you’ll need a few ingredients for the gluten free toffee sauce:
Heavy cream / Double cream
Light Brown sugar
Rum, brandy, or whiskey*
* About the Alcohol
Traditionally, these puddings tend to be prepared without the addition of booze in the toffee sauce.
However, I AM the "Spirited Baker", and I do enjoy the added complexity that a little bit of a well-chosen spirit adds to the sauce.
Rum, brandy, or whiskey tend to work the best for this, but be aware: whiskey is a spirit that is distilled from fermented wheat.
While it doesn't cause a reaction in MOST people with gluten sensitivities - and the leading Celiac associations have
deemed it gluten-free as of publication of this book - a few experts disagree.
If you have noticed a reaction, or just want to play it extra safe, it could be a good idea forgo the whiskey in favour of rum or brandy.
Alternatively, you can leave the alcohol out altogether, or use 2 teaspoon rum extract in its place.
Aside from mixing bowls, saucepans, and measuring implements, there are a couple pieces of equipment you’ll need for this recipe:
6 oz Ramekins
You’ll want 8 x 6 oz Ramekins.
I prefer the deeper style, rather than the more shallow type that I tend to use for making my Easy Creme Brulee.
A Baking Dish
I’ll generally use something like a 9 x 13" cake pan, or a larger roaster pan.
Basically, you want something at least 2" tall on the sides, that’s big enough to hold the ramekins while leaving a bit of space between each.
You can use either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer to make this.
You CAN mix it by hand, if you want... but it’s so much easier with a bit of electricity to do the work!
The full recipe for my gluten-free sticky toffee pudding cake is in the recipe card at the end of the post, this is the overview with some additional tips and information added.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Generously grease 8 6 oz ramekins, arrange in a 2"+ deep baking dish.
Carefully pour water into the baking pan, until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
In a small saucepan, combine chopped dates, water, orange zest, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Allow to boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl - using an electric whisk / electric mixer / hand mixer - or in stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachement, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and eggs, continue beating on low speed just until smooth.
Add dry ingredients mixture to these wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
Gently fold in date mixture.
Divide batter among prepared ramekins.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until knife inserted in center of the cakes comes out clean.
While waiting, make the toffee sauce:
The Toffee Sauce
Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
Add heavy cream and brown sugar, whisking until smooth.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes - stirring constantly - then remove from heat.
Stir in booze of choice*, and vanilla, whisk until well combined and smooth. Keep warm over low heat until puddings are finished baking.
* You can skip this ingredient, if you'd like.
To serve, invert a warm pudding on a dessert plate. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over each pudding, serve immediately.
These are particularly nice with a small amount of vanilla ice cream on top!
If you’re serving less than the 8 puddings immediately:
It’s best to remove leftovers from the ramekins, allow to cool to room temperature, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
To serve, reheat the puddings - covered - in the microwave, and the sauce either in the microwave or stove top. Once both components are heated - separately - serve as described above.
More Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes!
Looking for even more fantastic gluten free recipes for desserts that *everyone* will love? Look no further, here are a few of my favorite recipes!
Gluten-Free Brandied Apple Crisp
Gluten Free Butter Tart Bars
Gluten-Free Doughnut Holes
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Pie
Gluten-free Lemon Bars
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar Brownies
Gluten-Free Puffed Rice Bars
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Raspberry Bars
Gluten-Free Schmoo Torte
Also, be sure to check out our collection of Gluten Free Cookie Recipes!
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Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 8 6 oz Ramekins
- ¼ cup Butter
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 ¼ cups Brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon Rum brandy, or whiskey*
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Generously grease 8 6 oz ramekins, arrange in a 2"+ deep baking pan.
- Carefully pour water into the baking pan, until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- In a small saucepan, combine chopped dates, water, orange zest, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Allow to boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flours and salt, set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, continue beating just until smooth.
- Add flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
- Gently fold in date mixture.
- Divide batter among prepared ramekins.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until knife inserted in center of the cakes comes out clean. While waiting, make the toffee sauce:
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add heavy cream and brown sugar, whisking until smooth.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes - stirring constantly - then remove from heat.
- Stir in booze of choice, and vanilla.
- Serve warm, over sticky toffee puddings.