My Gluten-Free Sticky Date Puddings are an easy dessert and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Also known as Sticky Toffee Pudding, this rich, luxurious dessert is pure comfort food at its best! We top sweet date sponges with salted toffee sauce and serve with vanilla ice cream. You will love the juxtaposition of hot against cold!
Why we love this recipe:
Our Gluten-Free Sticky Toffee Puddings are one of the most delicious, comforting desserts. This is a family recipe we have been enjoying for years.
We have made individual puddings, which make for easier serving and attractive presentation. These delicious pudding cakes are perfect for weeknight meals as they are so easy to make. However, they are also ideal for entertaining as this dessert is elegant, impressive, and always popular.
You will love this dessert because:
- All the ingredients are readily available.
- It is easy to make; all the ingredients are combined and blended in a food processor.
- The puddings can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.
- We have used some warm, gentle spices to complement the caramel flavour of the dates.
- If you prefer, you can make one large pudding.
- No matter the season, Sticky Date Pudding is always a good idea.
- Serve the puddings with confidence – nobody will know they are gluten-free.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Dates – pitted dried dates or fresh Medjool dates both work. The dates add a deliciously rich, caramelised sweetness.
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda – it performs two actions in this recipe. It helps to soften the dates and acts as a raising agent. It is not the same as baking powder.
Ground ginger and ground cinnamon – add a gentle spice note which complements the dates.
Water – helps to soften the dates.
Unsalted butter – adds richness and flavour. We use unsalted butter as we add salt to the Sticky Date Pudding and the Toffee Sauce.
Light brown sugar – for subtle caramel flavour.
Large eggs – my preference is free-range.
Vanilla extract – for the best flavour, use vanilla naturally extracted from the vanilla bean and not synthetically flavoured.
Gluten-free plain/all-purpose flour – our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes. If your flour blend already contains either of these gums, there is no need to add more. If you do not require the recipe to be gluten-free, you can use regular flour. If you prefer, you can use gluten-free plain/all-purpose flour. Just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder as the raising agent.
Coarse kitchen salt – we add a small amount to the pudding mixture to enhance the flavours. Do not use table salt, it is finer and stronger.
Whipping cream – also known as thickened cream or heavy cream, it has a milk fat content of at least 35%.
Sea salt flakes – add some to make a Salted Sticky Toffee Sauce.
Step by step instructions:
Start by preparing your muffin tin and preheat your oven.
- Add chopped dates, bicarb/baking soda, and ground spices to a small saucepan, add water, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor and whiz to combine. Add the date mixture and remaining pudding ingredients and blend until they are combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, evenly distribute the Sticky Date Pudding mixture between the 12 muffin cups. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside for the puddings to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove them from the tin.
- Add the ingredients for the sauce to a saucepan.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove the puddings from their wrappers and place the puddings upside down on a serving plate. Pour over some Sticky Toffee Sauce and serve with our No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
This recipe makes 12 puddings and that may be more than you need at one time. Just below, we have tips for storing the puddings and sauce in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. I love to keep some in the freezer; they are great for nights when you feel the need for comfort food or when unexpected friends drop by.
You certainly can. Turn the mixture into a greased and lined 22 cm (8 ½ inch) springform tin and bake at 180 degrees C (355 F) for 35-40 minutes.
You can make the puddings and the sauce a day ahead. Cover them both with cling wrap and store in the fridge.
To reheat, line the base of an ovenproof dish with baking paper, place the puddings in the dish and cover with aluminium foil. Reheat in a 180 degrees C (355 F) oven for about 8 minutes. Or, heat the puddings in the microwave until warm. The length of time will depend on the strength of your microwave and the number of puddings. Heat the sauce on the stovetop over low heat and stir well to combine.
Store the puddings and sauce in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat as above.
Yes, just wrap them well in cling wrap, then place in an airtight, freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to three months. Reheat the puddings as described above.
Yes, store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to three months. Defrost, then heat it on the stove, stirring well to combine. Alternatively, you can heat it in a microwave in 20-second increments, stirring between each one, until warm, being careful to not burn the sauce.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Here are some more of our favourite, comforting dessert recipes for you to try:
When you serve this Gluten-Free Sticky Date Pudding to your family or friends, be prepared, it is almost certain they will ask you for seconds. A soft, date sponge pudding, a salted caramel sauce and melting ice cream – a guaranteed success.
Gluten-Free Sticky Date Puddings
For the Puddings:
- 250 g (9oz) pitted dried dates roughly chopped See Note 1
- 1 teaspoon bicarb/baking soda See Note 2
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger See Note 3
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250 ml (1 cup) filtered water
- 60 g (¼ cup) unsalted butter See Note 4
- 155 g (¾ cup) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract See Note 5
- 170 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) gluten-free self-raising flour See Notes 6 and 7
- ⅛ teaspoon coarse kitchen salt
For the Sauce:
- 200 g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 100 ml (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp) heavy/whipping cream See Note 8
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes (optional)
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
For the Puddings:
- Prepare a 12-hole (⅓ cup) muffin tin by lining it with cupcake/muffin paper liners.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (355 F).
- Add the chopped dates, bicarb/baking soda, ground ginger and cinnamon to a small saucepan, add water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the mixture in a bowl and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor and whiz to combine well. Add the date mixture and remaining pudding ingredients to the bowl of the processor and whiz until they are just combined. Whilst combining the ingredients, scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, evenly distribute the pudding mixture between the 12 muffin cups. Fill them about ⅔ full – See Note 9.
- Place into the preheated oven and bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove the tray from the oven and set it aside for the puddings to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove the puddings.
- Remove their wrappers and place the puddings upside down on a serving plate. Pour over some sauce and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream. Serve any remaining sauce separately.
For the Sauce:
- Add the brown sugar, cream, vanilla extract and butter to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Be careful when stirring the hot sauce. Add salt flakes if using, or sprinkle some on as you are serving.
- The Toffee Sauce will thicken as it cools. If making in advance, reheat for serving.
- Both pitted dried dates or Medjool dates can be used in this recipe.
- Bicarbonate/baking soda is a leavening agent. It is not the same as baking powder.
- For the best flavour, ensure that your ground ginger and cinnamon are fresh as the flavour of ground spices becomes dull over time.
- I use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt. If you have salted butter, just omit the additional salt in the pudding recipe.
- Use vanilla which is naturally extracted from the bean and avoid those which are artificially flavoured.
- Our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes. If your flour blend already contains either of these gums, there is no need to add more. If you do not require the recipe to be gluten-free, you can use regular flour.
- In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurement if necessary.
- Whipping cream – Also known as thickened cream or heavy cream, it has a milk fat content of at least 35%.
- I used a medium-size ice cream scoop, 45 ml or 1.5 ounces.
- The puddings and the sauce can be stored in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 4 days. If you wish to keep them longer, wrap the puddings in cling wrap, then place in an airtight, freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to three months. Store the sauce in an airtight container and freeze for the same length of time. Be sure to label and date the containers as frozen foods can be difficult to identify.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Hi what could I use instead of butter one of my daughters can’t eat butter yet tolerates cream
I haven’t tested anything other than butter, so I can’t say for certain. Margarine might work. I have tested some of our gluten-free recipes using Nuttelex.
If you give it a try, let me know how you get on! Thanks, Alex
I’m so glad I doubled the recipe because my kids already ate half of these as they were so good! I’m planning to serve them warm as individual Christmas desserts with a scoop of ice cream on top. I just did a trial run by warming them up in the microwave and it reheated perfectly! It took me about 20 seconds. Great recipe!
Hi Minjin, thank you for your lovely comments on the GF Sticky Date Puddings. I am delighted that you all enjoyed them and that you planned to serve them on Christmas Day. I appreciate that you took the time to let me know. 🙂
Sticky Date pudding is ones of ou my husband and my absolute favourite desserts – we had it for our wedding dessert at our reception we love it so much. We have recently both got GF, along with a couple of our children so will definitely try this. A few of us or also DF, so will be making it DF. Just wondering what I could sub the cream for in the sauce ingredients. I don’t want to buy an expensive DF version of cream, so was wondering if just subbing milk and using cornflour to thicken it would work.
It is such a delicious dessert 🙂
I haven’t tried a dairy-free version of the sauce, so I cannot confirm if that would work.
Maybe coconut cream would be a good substitute?
Let me know if you give it a try!
I’ve made this twice already and can’t get enough! I’ve made this with both Medjool dates and Deglet Noor and it comes out delicious every time. The reheat really well so this last time I doubled the recipe so I can have these on hand. Highly recommend!
Hi Jamie, thank you for your strong recommendation for the GF Sticky Date Puddings. They certainly are always popular. 🙂
This was so easy to make and delicious. About 4 years I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease (I’m asystematic so that makes it challenging). I feel like everything I tried to cook since then I either destroyed or it was horrendous. I am really loving your recipes Alex. Thanks!!!
Hi Leigh, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the GF Sticky Date Puddings and that our gluten-free recipes are helpful to you. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. 🙂
The perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day – a wonderful recipe that pleased the GF and non GF crowd.
Hi Andrea, thank you so much for your lovely comments about the GF Sticky Date Puddings. I do appreciate them. 🙂
this is so good, love all the flavors especially the cinnamon my sister is gf and this is so perfect
So happy to hear you liked the Sticky Date Puddings. I love the spice from the cinnamon too!
Can’t wait to try this recipe as they look so delicious. Can you tell me what food processor you use.
I use a Breville food processor, and this recipe has also been tested in a Ninja and Phillips.
Hope that helps! Thanks, Alex
I made this for our anniversary dessert and it was amazing! My wife requested I make this again next year but I’ll be surprising her with this on Valentine’s day. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out great.
Hi Conner, I am so pleased to hear that your wife enjoyed the special dessert you made for your anniversary and that you will be making the Sticky Date Puddings again for Valentine’s Day. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. 🙂