Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding

It’s about time I posted my favourite comfort-food dessert recipe, known affectionately in our family as S.T.P.: Sticky Toffee Pudding. I make this, however, with an added grated apple, giving it a twist to the classic. Here’s a Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding – adding a little extra fruit to the decadent luscious toffee scrumptiousness!

UPDATE – read on below, as I’ve added another ingredient to this gorgeous sticky sauce to make it rather special date at home!

sticky toffee apple pudding dessert

Why haven’t I posted this before? It goes against my Frenchie-style eating habits: I love dessert but shy away from over-sugared filling puddings.  This is the one exception – and the version below is my final answer to this most delicious dilemma called Sticky Toffee Pudding Syndrome.

Another reason? I already have a version of it in my first cookbook. For some fun, I converted the Sticky Toffee Pudding into a macaron for Mad About Macarons – making it an entirely gluten-free version.  I also made them into a giant macaron dessert for the book’s macaron dessert chapter, a kind of Xtra Large S.T.P. macaron!

Funnily enough, some American critics initially thought that S.T.P. was a “bit too British” for a macaron book – but little did they know that the recipe for sticky toffee pudding may well have originated in Canada, just like my Scottish Granny’s Matrimonial Cake (oaty date squares).

Sticky toffee pudding #macarons #glutenfree

As a youngter, my parents would often drive my wee brother and I down to the Lake District. It didn’t take us long to discover THE highlight of any of our trips there: we’d make a mandatory stop at the legendary Cartmel Village Shop for a S.T.P. dose from their “Home of Sticky Toffee”.
I distinctly remember the difference over many other sticky toffee puddings we tried in Scotland: it was distinctly dark and lush, covered in the darkest ever toffee sauce.

Living in France has meant the necessity of making this at home, as it’s not something we can just run out to our local pâtisserie or boulangerie and find – so this Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding was created along the way. It’s often requested by my beau-père, Jean-Pierre, who’s accent is adorable: can we have more of that steeecky toa-fee pood-eeeng?

Well, here it is, beau-papa.

Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding

sticky toffee apple pudding #dessertlove #puddings

There are two ways of making this recipe:

Normally it’s made as a flat cake, batter sitting (nearly floating) on top of a pool of toffee sauce in a buttered ovenproof pie or gratin dish and serve spooned into pudding bowls or – in this case – teacups, inspired by Carina Contini’s family recipe for Sticky Ginger & Date Pudding in her Kitchen Garden Cookbook.

I adapted the recipe, cutting down slightly on the butter and sugar and added apple, since my Granny always mixed dates with apple – it’s a deliciously nostalgic thing I can’t help continuing.

Update October 2020: I made this again to cheer ourselves up of the darkening nights and added 2 tablespoons of dark rum to the sticky toffee pudding sauce. My goodness! It’s fabulous this way too.

You could call this version a Tipsy Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding!

sticky toffee apple pudding #puddings #dessertrecipes #stickytoffee

Sticky Toffee Pudding Syndrome

If you’ve been smitten with this pudding, you’ll totally understand. The cake version has one HUGE problem: we normally have at least second portions and it can get out of control. It’s what we call the Sticky Toffee Pudding Syndrome. So, to avoid such sticky toffee impulses, my preferred method is to pour the batter into individual silicone moulds. It’s just enough. Full. Stop.

Moreover, they’re so easy to freeze when removed from their silicone moulds and reheat when needed – making them so handy to serve stress-free for a dinner party later!

sticky toffee apple pudding

We eat half and freeze the rest before anyone can ask for more.

No second portions – unless you want a sticky toffee pudding macaron?

Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding Recipe

sticky toffee apple pudding sauce recipe

Firstly, make the sticky toffee sauce: you’ll need this not just for pouring when it’s served, but also for pouring underneath the batter to make the cakes beautifully sticky.

In order to get the best, dark sauce, use soft dark muscovado sugar. If you can’t find this in speciality épiceries in France, then use Vergeoise Brun.

sticky toffee apple pudding method

Prepare the date paste adding water, bicarbonate of soda and grate in a peeled apple. Make the batter and fold in the date and apple mixture.

sticky toffee apple pudding recipe method

Pour in the toffee sauce to about 1/4 of the way then top with the batter, leaving 1/3 space at the top for the cake batter to rise. Bake for about 30 minutes and serve with the toffee sauce. That’s it!

sticky toffee apple pudding #dessertrecipes #bestofbritish #classicpuddings

Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Cooling Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

An apple addition to the lush Sticky Toffee Pudding classic recipe, served individually in a pool of the darkest toffee sauce. The puddings and sauce also freeze extremely well. Just reheat them separately and serve when you need a dose of Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding! I use briochette or muffin silicone moulds, but traditional buttered dariole moulds are also good.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British, Canadian
Keyword: date pudding, sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 450 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Sticky Toffee Sauce:
  • 175 g (6oz) butter, unsalted
  • pinch salt fleur de sel
  • 250 g (9oz) dark Muscovado sugar Vergeoise Brun or soft dark brown sugar
  • 225 g (8oz) whipping cream (30% fat)
  • 2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
Pudding Batter:
  • 175 g (6oz) pitted dates roughly chopped
  • 175 ml (6fl oz) water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 apple (e.g. Granny Smith) peeled & grated
  • 75 g (3oz) butter, unsalted
  • 110 g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar (Muscovado)
  • 2 eggs organic
  • 150 g (5.5oz) plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (no need if use self-raising flour above)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger optional
Sticky Toffee Sauce:
  1. Melt the butter, sugar, cream and rum (if using) in a large saucepan over medium heat, then once dissolved, turn down the heat to low and stir occasionally until the sauce becomes smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.

Pudding Batter:
  1. In a saucepan, cover the dates with the water and bring to the boil. Add the baking soda then mash until a smooth paste. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then stir in the grated apple until well combined.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4.

    Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or in a large stand-mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, flour and ginger (if using). Fold in the date and apple mixture until mixed together.

  3. Pour 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of each silicone mould (or into a buttered gratin dish if you prefer the cake-like version). Top with the batter until 1/3 from the top, giving enough room for the batter to rise. Bake for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from the moulds after 5 minutes cooling and place directly on serving dishes. Reheat the toffee sauce and pour over each pudding. 

Recipe Notes

The puddings and sauce freeze well. Once the puddings are cooled, chill then transfer to a zip-lock bag or containers - likewise for the sauce.  Just defrost and reheat before serving.

Jill Colonna

sticky toffee apple #pudding #desserttable #bestofbritish #stickytoffeepudding

15 replies
  1. Bea
    Bea says:

    5 stars
    Oh Jill I’m a true lover of STP. I cannot wait to add the apples! Well done…my pudding is already very moist so hopefully it won’t be too much ..thank you my dear friend. I can always depend on you to take from delicious to absolutely addictive.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      You’re so sweet – thanks, Bea. One word, though. If adding apples and your recipe is already moist, then I suggest using this recipe, as I’ve tweeked the quantities to compensate for still a moist pudding but keeping the balance right. You’re right – this STP heaven is rather addictive. Guess you have the syndrome too!

  2. Christina Conte
    Christina Conte says:

    5 stars
    You know I have STP syndrome, but this looks like STP on steroids! WOWEE! I’ve never baked individual cakes, and I’ve also never put some sauce in before the batter! YUM! I seriously need to make this, but then again, it could be quite dangerous! UGH!

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Dangerous is the word with this one – that’s why I freeze the other half pretty much straight away before temptation kicks in for a second one! STP on steroids … love it!

  3. Linda
    Linda says:

    Always on the lookout for ways to use apples, since we’re still wading through the autumn’s crop, stored in the loft.
    The Contini cookery books are good, aren’t they! My daughter was at school with one of the daughters of Mary Contini, and we have photos of the hands-on fresh pasta making session she did with the class of 5 year olds. I love the idea of the individual moulds – very elegant and a good antidote to the eye-being-bigger-then-the-belly (to put it inelegantly) STP syndrome.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Isn’t that funny, Linda? I taught music for a year in the same school as Mary’s daughters. Small world. Glad you like the individual moulds and the apple – hope you make this.

  4. sherry
    sherry says:

    i’m not a huge fan of dates so i tend to keep away from these puddings but yours does look delicious. they are so very sweet, aren’t they? not that i have anything against that … cheers sherry

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hi Sherry, yes they’re normally very sweet but I love this particular recipe, as I’m not a fan of over sweet. The tart apple helps keep this moist, too. As for the dates, you don’t taste the dates – and without them it wouldn’t be this delicious texture, IMHO.

  5. Liz
    Liz says:

    5 stars
    I finally made a sticky toffee pudding last winter while our kitchen was under renovations—it was not a thing of beauty though rich and delicious. I love, love the idea of adding apple. I’d have to freeze half, too. This sweet tooth enjoys this dessert way too much! Will need to try it again!

  6. Thomasina
    Thomasina says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe Jill. I love STP and I think adding apple is the answer to many a dry sponge I have had in various restaurants. Not many restaurants even add dates. Now, I am going to make my own and I definitely won’t be disappointed. Also the tip for freezing this is very welcome as sometimes a little goes a long way.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Really – no dates? Even without the apple, this recipe’s cake is very moist but a dry cake in a restaurant? That’s ridiculous. All the more reason in that case for us to make it at home! Thanks for popping in, Thomasina.



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