Sticky Date Pudding (with Ginger) and Butterscotch Sauce

Warm Ginger Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, garnished with chopped pistachios

Warm and luscious butterscotch-sauce soaked sticky date pudding; the only consolation for the misery I’ve been feeling (and still do) for the past 2 days. Something I did must have triggered an old neck injury. I can neither look up or down without wincing and turning my head to the left is well, an absolute PAIN IN THE NECK! I’m just resting up now but any more of this pain and it’s a definite trip to the physio.

Neck pain aside, this is a simple but very delicious rendition of Sticky Date Pudding from the pages of ‘COOK’ by Australian Women’s Weekly. However, I did modify the method i.e. creaming the butter and sugar then eggs prior to folding in the date mixture as opposed to the all-in-mixing method of the recipe. I also added a few personal touches like a spoonful of grated ginger to give it a spicy kick, added vanilla extract and a bit more sweetness to the butterscotch sauce and baked it in a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan over a water bath so it’s got that steam-bake action in the oven (for added moistness). The recipe actually mentions baking it in a  20 cm round cake pan; you can do that and cut the cake into slices before drizzling on the butterscotch sauce or you could use dariole moulds for individual puddings (which was what I was aiming for except I don’t own dariole moulds, hence the giant muffin pan). A pinch of salt enhances the butterscotch sauce. This decadent hot dessert is best enjoyed with generous lashings of caramel sauce oozing down and through the recesses of the warm pudding. Simply gorgeous!

Sticky date pudding drizzled with cold (thickened) butterscotch sauce, which eventually soaks through the hot pudding

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
(recipe adapted from ‘Cook’: Australian Women’s Weekly. Grated ginger, salt and vanilla extract were personal touches to the recipe and method modified from all-in-mixing to creaming method)

1 1/4 cups (275 g) seeded dried dates
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50 g butter, chopped and softened
1/2 cup (110 g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour

2 cm piece ginger, finely grated

Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup (165 g) firmly packed brown sugar (See Note)
300 ml cream (I used thickened cream)
80 g butter
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to moderate (180oC/160oC fan-forced). Grease a deep 20 cm-round cake pan; line base with baking paper OR if using, grease a 6 cup jumbo-sized muffin pan.
  2. Combine dates and the boiling water  in a food processor. Stir in bicarbonate of soda; cover with lid, stand 5 minutes; roughly process the date mixture.
  3. With electric beaters, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add in the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Fold in the date mixture, grated ginger and flour until well combined.
  4. If using the 20 cm round cake pan, pour in the batter then set the cake pan into a larger pan or roasting tray; fill with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the 20 cm cake pan and bake uncovered in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. If using the 6 cup jumbo muffin pan, divide the batter into each well-greased muffin cup; place into a larger pan or roasting tray; fill with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the muffin pan. Grease a sheet of aluminium foil and cover the muffin pan loosely (greased-side against the puddings). Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Make the butterscotch sauce; stir the brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat until sauce is smooth and thickened slightly. Add in the pinch of salt (or to taste)
  7. To serve, stand the 20 cm cake for 10 minutes; turn onto serving plate. Serve warm with butterscotch sauce.
  8. If using the jumbo sized muffin pan, let the puddings cool for about 30 minutes before unmoulding (as hot puddings are fragile and will fall apart if you unmould it immediately). To unmould, run a small knife around the muffin cups then overturn them gently onto a baking tray. To serve, place an individual pudding onto a microwave-safe plate; drizzle on a generous amount of butterscotch sauce and microwave on high for about 20 seconds.


  • I added 80 g more brown sugar for a richer, sweeter sauce bringing the total sugar amount in the sauce to 245 g. Adjust sweetness to your liking. 

devoured with pleasure

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