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Stout Sticky Toffee Pudding with Whiskey Toffee Sauce

Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

I am third generation on our family farm in county Wicklow, Ireland, and my mother opened our bed & breakfast in our 19th century farmhouse, over 50 years ago. This was one of her signature desserts and I learned to make it from her. It is still much-loved by all the visitors to our home and to our cooking school all these years later. It's a quintessential Irish dish, with our beautiful grass-fed butter, Guinness and Irish whiskey in it — what's not to love?

It is the ultimate comfort dessert for me. It's a very flavorsome cake (served warm) that literally "goes for a swim" in the whiskey toffee sauce. You'll also see this dish on menus in pubs in Ireland. My twist is the addition of the whiskey to the sauce. I hope you agree that I made a good choice there!

Technique tip: The dates must be well broken down to a paste. Cream the butter and sugar well until pale and fluffy to ensure a lightness to this cake. And fold in the flour, apricots and vanilla plus dates lightly to retain the lightness.

Swap option: Dried apricots can be swopped for dried cranberries, and Irish cream liqueur instead of the whiskey.


  • ounces pitted dates
  • 3⅓ fluid ounces water
  • 3⅓ fluid ounces Irish stout
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • ounces Irish butter
  • ounces sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ounces self-rising flour
  • 2 ounces apricots, diced and soaked in 4 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 3⅓ fluid ounces cream
  • ounces Irish butter
  • ounces soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1 orange, zested
Orange Cream
  • 5 fluid ounces whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and 1/2 juiced
  • dried orange slices and mint, to decorate
  • powdered sugar, to finish


For the pudding:


Cook the dates with the water, stout and baking soda over a gentle heat, until they soften and break down to a loose paste, about 15 minutes. Leave on one side to cool.


Preheat the oven to 360 F. Line a 6- by 7-inch baking pan with baking parchment.


Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy and gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour, apricots, vanilla and the dates and transfer the mixture to the baking tin.


Bake for about 40 minutes, until firm to the touch.

For the sauce:

Place the cream into a pot with the butter, sugar, orange zest and whiskey, heat over a high heat, stirring all the time and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time until it thickens a little. Allow to cool a little.

For the orange cream:

Whisk together the cream, icing sugar and orange until light and fluffy.

To serve:

Using a cutter, shape 8 circles. Place the sticky toffee pudding portions onto each plate, arrange an orange slice and mint sprig on top, generously spoon sauce on plate and some over the top. Place a dollop of cream on the side and dust with powdered sugar.