• For the sponge:
  • 150g medjool dates, stones removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml hot water
  • 60g soft dark brown sugar
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g self raising flour
  • For the toffee sauce:
  • 150g butter
  • 300g soft dark brown sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • To serve:
  • Ice cream, double cream, custard or creme fraiche
  • Specialist equipment:
  • 20cm oven proof dish
  • Electric beaters


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. In a small bowl mix together the dates, bicarbonate of soda and the water and leave to soak for ten minutes (dates give the pudding an extra toffee taste, and the bicarbonate of soda helps to soften them).
  3. In another bowl whisk the butter and sugar together using electric beaters until light and fluffy (this will ensure the sponge is light and fluffy). Add the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition. Add the flour and beat again, then the date mixture and give a final mix. Pour into a cake tin or ovenproof dish and bake for 35 minutes.
  4. To make the sauce add the butter, sugar and cream to a thick bottomed pan over a medium heat (a thick bottomed pan is important so the heat is distributed evenly and the sugar doesn’t burn). Leave to melt together then simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the sponge from the oven and set aside for a couple of minutes. Use a skewer to poke lots of little holes all over the sponge before pouring over ½ of the sauce (this allows the sauce to sink into the sponge, making it extra sticky and moist). Set aside for another couple of minutes so as much sauce is absorbed as possible, then serve up with the extra sauce on the side.
  6. Serve with ice cream, double cream, custard or creme fraiche.