Oh boy. As my little Munchie said when I caught her sneaking bites of this cake (after she already had one not-so-small slice), “I’m just falling in love with this cake!”
It’s true. We both fell in love with this cake. I first had sticky toffee cake years ago in a British restaurant. It was love at first bite. But I rarely find it on menus and I don’t know why I didn’t make it sooner. Probably a good thing (says my belly).
The original sticky toffee cake (or pudding i.e. dessert) is a British winter dessert. Pshaw! Too darn good to wait all year for, I say! Plus, in my warped mind it’s winter all day, every day! So you can see how this is right up my crazy California alley.
I found delicious whole dates at the market earlier this week and couldn’t wait to mess around in the kitchen to create my take on this cake. Thank heavens it was a success and I’m eager to make it when we visit family this summer. This is not necessarily a “date cake” and you can absolutely enjoy this toffee delight even if you’re not obsessed with dates like I am.
♥ My heartfelt thanks to our friends across the pond for this delicious cake. ♥ Perfect on a cold winter’s night after a big bowl of stew…or in the middle of the day with a cup of tea and a 4-year old by your side asking for “just ONE more bite, please!”
Sticky Toffee Cake
For the cake:
- 1.5 cups whole, pitted dates, chopped
- 2/3 cup water
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup whole milk
For the toffee sauce:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-in round spring form pan with Baker’s Joy (or grease and flour the pan). Set aside. Place the chopped dates and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil about a minute. Take off heat. Cool a bit, but you will want it warm when you add it to the cake mix.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), whip the butter and granulated sugar until it becomes a bit fluffy. This will take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time making sure the first egg is incorporated fully before adding the second. Add the vanilla to the butter mixture. Next, add the following in order on low speed (make sure each is incorporated before adding the next): half the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then the milk, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center has a bit of crumb stuck to it. You don’t want it the toothpick to come out completely clean or the cake may overcook and be dry. Place on a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, make the toffee sauce: Add the cream and sugar to a small saucepan and mix with a whisk or spoon. Bring to a boil. Mix again until smooth. Add the butter and vanilla and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times. It will thicken just slightly, but it will also thicken as it cools so don’t worry if it’s not thick when you pour it. Using the smaller end of a chopstick, poke holes all over the warm cake. Pour/spread about half the sauce over the cake. If you can wait, let cake sit for about an hour to let sauce soak in. Serve cake slices warm with another serving of warm toffee sauce on top.