Sticky Toffee Date Cake


A number of months ago I wrote about the builders getting through mounds of cake while fixing my snag list and my foolproof 175 cake. recipe which can be adapted for a range of ingredients and had received many compliments

What I didn’t say was that one of the greatest compliments came for a cake I had not even baked. A super sticky date cake made by Nicks mum. I seem to be surrounded by talented multitasking women, not only can my mum throw together a spread to feed a 30 piece South African girls choir – before participating in a choir workshop and performance with them.

Nick’s mums specialty is desserts, rum and raisin ice cream so alcoholic it could take down Keith Richards , triple layer chocolate torte & bakewell pudding. So I should have known the cake was good, but the roofers declared it the Best Cake they had ever eaten and it really is
super sticky from the outset it’s hard to believe that the little toffee bites are actually relatively healthy dates. I am not promising this can count as your five a day but it is pretty virtuous working

Combining recipes from  The English Kitchen and my 175 recipe I have come up with this no-fail recipe for a cake that is  great cold but can also be heated through a served with cold cream for sticky toffee-pudding. It will be the cake I take into hospital for the Midwives on the delivery ward


Sticky Date Cake

200g of dried dates
275ml of boilng water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g soft light brown sugar
150g  butter, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
175g ounces self raising flour

  1. Pour the boiling water over three-quarters of the dates
  2. Leave to soak for 30 minutes
  3. Preheat the oven to 175degC
  4. Blending together the butter , sugar and the soaked dates ( incliding the soaking water)
  5. Add the eggs and finally stir in the self raising flour and bicarbonate of soda
  6. Finally stir in the remaining unsoaked dates
  7. Pour into a 30cm square lined cake tin
  8. Bake for 40 minutes until firm to the touch
  9. Allow to cool , cut into squares and serve

photophotoP1050117 by you.


  1. I have a kilo of dried dates to use up so I’ll be giving this a go. Thanks. But is your version as good as Nick’s mum’s? And if it isn’t, can we have her recipe, too? ;o)

    And a 30cm square cake tin seems huge for the amount of ingredients you’ve listed. That’s the equivalent of a 35cm round tin! Yikes!!

      1. Do you think I can change the flour with gluten free flour do ya think it will work please Stephanie

  2. This turned out amazing, I just added a syrup to it to make it extra moist after it had cooked. Delicious thank you

  3. Just taken this out of the oven, and it’s absolutely great. Has absorbed almost a quarter of the kilo box of dates I was randomly given last night. And you’re right – the pieces of dates taste like toffee, but with more interesting depth. Thanks!

    1. Please post in ounces so that I can understand it because it sounds very good and I sure want to try the recipe.

    1. I used the Doves gluten free self raising flour with xanthum gum and it worked wonders. I also used chopped walnuts and coffee for extra flavour and my family loved it.

  4. Where do the dry dates cone from I was gonna soak all 200g of dates and when you say blend do you mean food processor pls answer many thanks

  5. Beautiful & amazing recipe. It has bewitched anyone who tried it! I love how firm it becomes the day after baking. I have my sisters in law’s boss order one specially made for him! How ever I tried it, it became split batter. I personally found the steps a little different from my other common recipes, and I’m trying different steps, and it turns out fine, but it splits. Any advice?

    1. Hi, either add extra flour to bind the cake or your oven may be too hot. Have you tried it since your post? If so, what did you change? Thanks!

  6. Hi, thanks for recipe. It’s in the oven right now and will be a nice surprise for my hubby when he gets home from work. I love anything with dates in. When you said blend for the water, butter and sugar I used a hand blender. I then gently stirred all of the other ingredients in. I hope this will work okay! My largest square tin is 26cm so I’ve just had to use that, there was plenty room left after pouring in mixture so fingers crossed this will be fine. 😀

    1. Update: tastes great thanks but I’m going to double the recipe next time to make a thicker cake as the tin I used was 26cm and made a nice but thin tray bake. I wonder if the 30cm square tin is accurate?

      1. My cake also didn’t turn out as rich a brown colour as yours and is very pale in comparison. I followed everything step by step and I don’t understand why?

  7. The first time I made this it was nicely risen. However I’ve made it twice since and although the flavour is good it didn’t rise at all. I can’t understand why?

  8. Hi
    My cake turned out beautifully moist a nice colour and tasted great, but it was a little oily on the bottom, Any suggestions, can I add the soaked dates without the water as I noticed the mixture splits when blending soaked dates, water and dates,

  9. I made this yesterday. Very yummy and moist. I put the soaked dates, butter and sugar in the blender for several seconds. It never fully blended. Mixture was split. Then transferred to bowl, added eggs and flour and bicarbonate and it came together well. There is no way the above recipe needs a 30cm square pan. Just use normal size. I doubled the mixture and it fit perfectly in my 34x23cm cake pan. Just added an extra couple of tablespoons of flour bc the mixture looked a little wet.

  10. This is an absolute winner and everyone loves it, and its super simple to whip up in no time!! We love it warm with a good scoop of hokey pokey ice cream – delicious!!

  11. I ended up blending the dates soaked in liquid when I mixed them with the sugar and butter, as the mixture had split and just looked like brown water with greasy lumps! The cake hasn’t risen but smells nice. I’ll definitely give it anaother go, but next time I will use a smaller tin, chop all the dates and add the date mixture after I have mixed all the other ingredients as you would in a conventional sponge recipe.

  12. Most of the people who are going to use these recipes are not especially fond of using the metric system to bake by ,would it be possible to also include the American measurement system ? I know it would be used more.

  13. I agree about the metric system…..however, you can find a conversion table easily on the net. Why make her work even more than she has already by entering this delicious recipe?

  14. Thanks for the recipe, could I add walnuts and would do you think they would go with flavour of the cake?

  15. How did you work out what a square tin is in proportion to a round one? I haven’t made this cake yet but the reason I’m asking is because I haven’t a clue how this works

  16. I don’t usually leave comments, but this recipe deserves one, I’ve made it at least 10 times since I spotted the recipe 18 months ago, it’s fantastic, thanks Becky…….the tin size is wrong though, unless you want it thin, I use a 24 cm x 20 cm tin which is just right imo.

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