Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes

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Sticky toffee pudding is a moist British cake – not what we think of as a pudding on this side of the pond. It’s made with dates, but no one seems to know that; they’re chopped so finely that you don’t notice them in the final product. However, they make the cake sticky and give the cake its distinctive flavor – well, the dates and the sauce. This dessert is really all about the sauce – a caramel sauce made with dark brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream.

Sticky Toffee Pudding CupcakesI first discovered sticky toffee pudding many moons ago on a questionable date (the kind where you can’t tell if you’re on a date or not). My “date” insisted that I try the sticky toffee pudding at The Schlafly Tap Room, claiming that it was the very best dessert in St. Louis. The “date” ended up being a great friend, but the sticky toffee pudding became a lifelong love. At The Schlafly Tap Room, the menu description simply states that it’s a “very moist dense cake.” When sticky toffee pudding is served at The Schlafly Tap Room, it’s in a lake of the saucy goodness. It takes all possible self-control to save any for others at the table.

For my sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, I used Schlafly’s recipe and adapted it to cupcake form. I cut a hole in each cupcake and filled it with the caramel sauce, then topped each cupcake with whipped cream and more caramel.

This dessert is perfect for a Downton Abbey viewing party! If you are hosting a Downton Abbey viewing party and are looking for other things to make, check out this unofficial recipe book [paid link].

Also, check out my other British desserts like:

If you have missed the whole Downton Abbey [paid link] craze, start now!

It may seem like a silly little gadget, but I use my cupcake corer [paid link] every time that I make filled cupcakes.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes
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Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes

Sticky toffee pudding is a moist cake - not what we think of as a pudding on this side of the pond. This dessert is really all about the sauce.  
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 36 cupcakes
Calories 348kcal
Author Stefani


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 pound pitted dates chopped finely in a food processor
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt

Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 pound unsalted butter four sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Topping Ingredients

  • Whipped cream to taste


Cupcake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine chopped dates and hot water and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add baking soda.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Mix in vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix in dates and their liquid.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sauce Instructions

  • In a medium-sized saucepan on low heat, stir together brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until the brown sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream.

Assembly Instructions

  • Remove cupcakes from liners.
  • Using a cupcake corer or a small knife, cut a hole into the top of each cupcake.
  • Fill each hole to the top with the sauce.
  • Replace the cores. Let the sauce spill over onto the tops of the cupcakes when you press each core back into its hole.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • When ready to serve, heat in an oven on low heat or in the microwave and top with whipped cream and more sauce.


When I made this recipe, I halved the sauce ingredients thinking that a pound of butter seemed extreme. Don't make this mistake. You will want all of that sauce. If you choose not to eat it all with your sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, you'll have extra to put over ice cream.


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
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Special Thanks

Special thanks to Peggy of Peggy’s Sweet Creations for giving me the idea for this post. We’ve been chatting on email and she shared some of her Downton Abbey premiere ideas with me:

  • English Garden – Carrot cake filled with custard and topped with an orange cream cream cheese frosting
  • Syllabub Crumpets and Jam  – Pound cake filled with raspberry mousse and topped with a little dab of raspberry jam and an Italian meringue buttercream
  • Lady Lemon tart – White chocolate cake topped with a circle of buttercream and filled with lemon curd
  • Afternoon tea – Black tea cupcakes with honey buttercream and lemon zest garnish

Don’t they sound lovely?

Thanks to Schlafly for their outstanding recipe.  In case you were wondering, they did not pay me to write this post; I just love their sticky toffee pudding (and their beer).  If you find that you love the sticky toffee pudding, you may want to become a fan of it.  In writing this post, I discovered that Schlafly’s sticky toffee pudding actually has its own Facebook fan page.

Thanks to my friend Rebecca for loaning me her heirloom silver tea set to create the Downton Abbey look and thanks to Jonathan who worked like the downstairs at Downton Abbey to polish the silver and iron the tablecloth for the shoot.