Julia's Sumptuous Sticky Date Pudding With Butterscotch Sauce!

If there’s one dessert that never fails to delight, it’s sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce — it’s salty, sweet and creamy (if you serve it with ice cream, which we highly recommend).

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s version hits those rich caramel notes with dark brown sugar, dark muscovado sugar and Medjool dates.

Make it for your family, make it for friends, make it for yourself — it’s just that good!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

Julia’s mouth-watering sticky date pudding, soaked in butterscotch sauce.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or pure cream.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

20th of May 2024

Also known as sticky toffee pudding, sticky date pudding is fairly universally loved, and you can see (or taste) why.

It is indulgent, incredibly simple and a real treat during the cooler months. Served with vanilla ice cream or runny cream, the sweet, salty and creamy combination cannot be beaten.

My version uses dark brown sugar and dark muscovado sugar to really give the pudding a nice deep treacle flavour. I like to use Medjool dates as they are not too sweet but rather have a well-rounded caramel profile which ensures the pudding doesn’t become cloying. Top it all off with some flaky sea salt and it will become your go-to dessert sure to impress.

This dessert is best eaten warm, but not hot. Let it sit for about 20 minutes before serving for perfect eating!

Once the pudding is cooked, poke small holes in the top and pour half a cup of sauce over the cake.

Medjool dates offer a sweet — but not too sweet — well-rounded caramel profile.

Allow to sit (and soak) for 20 minutes before serving.

Sticky Date Pudding With Butterscotch Sauce

(Serves 8-10)

200g pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp baking soda
250ml (1 cup) boiling water
100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
60g dark brown sugar
60g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
Pinch of sea salt

Butterscotch sauce

125g unsalted butter, cubed
150g dark brown sugar
150ml pure cream

Flaky sea salt, to serve
Vanilla ice cream or pure cream, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 C (200 C conventional). Grease a baking dish with butter. I used a 27x29x7cm square baking dish. One slightly smaller will work well too.

In a bowl, place the dates and baking soda and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes then roughly mash with a fork. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add in the mashed dates and continue to mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared dish and smooth out the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. To check, lightly press the top of the pudding and it should spring back.

Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Poke small holes into the pudding with a skewer and pour ½ a cup of the sauce over the pudding. Allow it to stand for 20 minutes.

Serve with the remaining sauce, ice cream or cream and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

What else I’m eating: Radicchio in all the pinky hues from Ramarro Farm!

What else I’m cooking: Soup season has arrived and I’m loving making a simple chicken broth a few times a week. Currently making stracciatella with it, a Roman egg drop soup with lots of parmesan and a little nutmeg.

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