Delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake Recipe

by Phil Bolger
Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake on a plate

We are huge fans of the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding, a beloved dessert that can be found on menus across Scotland. There are even rumours that it was invented in here, though it’s not the only one to claim the origins of the recipe. 

 We wanted to figure out a way to enjoy all of its sticky date goodness without having to make a whole pudding and wait for dessert time. So first we made a sticky toffee mug cake recipe, and now we’ve made a sticky toffee pudding traybake. Because who doesn’t want multiple ways to enjoy a sticky toffee pudding?!

This more portable sticky toffee traybake can easily be taken to a friends house and enjoyed with a cup of tea, or even packed into a picnic basket for a day out.

It’s sort of like a sticky toffee brownie that can be enjoyed at any time of day, not just as an after-dinner delight. 

Our sticky toffee traybake is simple to make but super delicious. It’s sweet, sticky, and even includes a toffee caramel sauce ribbon running through it that makes it taste just like a sticky toffee pudding should do! 

We’ve laid out the ingredients and step-by-step method with photos below, but you can also find it all together in the recipe card at the end of the post.

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What is Sticky Toffee Pudding? 

If you have no idea what a sticky toffee pudding is then you probably don’t know it’s a dessert that’s primarily made from dates. Which is actually a little surprising to most people who try it and don’t realise. The dates are soaked in boiling water and baking soda to help them break down in the cake, and give it a rich caramel sort of flavour, with a bit of gooeyness. Hence, sticky toffee pudding!

It’s usually served as a warm dessert with a smothering of toffee sauce and a side of ice cream, cream, or even custard. It can be made individually or as a larger cake that’s cut into pieces, which is where the inspiration for this traybake comes from. 

We figured if you can make a sticky toffee cake and incorporate the toffee sauce within it then you can have it cold and at any time. So we switched the running toffee sauce for a thicker caramel sauce and baked it through the cake, which can be eaten easily as a slice.

Sticky Toffee Traybake in a pan with caramel sauce

What is a traybake?

If you’re reading this in North America you might be wondering exactly what a traybake is. It’s basically a type of cake or slice that’s baked in a square or, most often, rectangular tin. They’re popular for bake sales and birthdays, and in cafes instead of having a proper cake. 

Sometimes a traybake is literally just a version of a cake baked in a traybake style rectangle tin. But it’s usually a bit firmer and shorter than a full round cake would be. Our Millionaire’s Shortbread recipe with its layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate is another delicious example of a traybake.

Sticky Toffee Brownie decorated in caramel sauce on an oven rack

Is it a sticky toffee brownie then?

This sticky toffee traybake is sort of a mix between a cake and a sticky toffee brownie. It’s lighter than a brownie thanks to the use of dates rather than chocolate as the main ingredient, but it also has caramel running through it and swirled on the top like a salted caramel brownie often does.  

If you want to have a slightly chewier/denser texture to the traybake, like a brownie, then cook for a further 5 minutes in the oven and melt the butter instead of creaming it with the sugar.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake on a plate

Things you’ll need to make this Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake

  • Traybake tin – we used a 38 x 27 x 7 cm tin like this one (15 x 10.5 x 3in). This is a little larger than other traybake tins so if you use a smaller size the cake will just be taller.
  • Baking paper – it’s easier to line the tin with baking paper but you can just grease with butter if you prefer

Ingredients for Sticky Toffee Traybake

The sticky toffee traybake is made in two parts. First, you need to make the caramel sauce, and then the cake part, before putting them together.

Caramel Sauce

  • 100g butter (7 tbsp or approx 1/2 cup)
  • 85g light brown sugar (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 2x 397g tins of sweetened condensed milk

Cake

  • 250g chopped dates (approx 2 cups) – You can buy chopped dates or chop them yourself. If you plan to chop them yourself then get pitted dates!
  • 125ml boiling water (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200g brown sugar (1 cup + 2tbsp)
  • 125g butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g plain all-purpose flour (1 cup)
Sticky Toffee Traybake top down decorate in caramel sauce

How to make Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake – Step by step method

Making the sauce

Using a large pot on the stove, melt the butter and the sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the tins of condensed milk and stir continuously until it turns a darker colour. This should take around 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the cake.

Making the cake

Line your tin with baking paper or grease with butter. 

Turn the oven to 180 degrees Celcius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the chopped dates in a bowl and add the boiling water to just cover them. Add in the teaspoon of baking soda, stir through and set aside. 

Cream the butter and sugar together. This makes the cake a little lighter and fluffier than a brownie. Add the eggs and beat them in one by one. Add the vanilla essence. 

Fold in the dates and the flour. 

Put half of the mixture in the bottom of the lined/greased traybake tin. 

Next, you need to spread over the caramel. If the caramel has started to set too much then you can heat it slightly on the stovetop again. You don’t need to fully spread the caramel over the cake, instead, you can do it in thick criss-cross lines. Keep some aside for decorating the top of the cake (see photos below for what I mean). You’ll want to use around half now, then a quarter on top of the cake before it’s baked and a quarter on top once it’s out of the oven.

Pour over the other half of the cake mixture. 

Drizzle more caramel over the top of the traybake and then use a knife/fork to swirl the caramel over the top. You don’t need to make a pattern it can be as messy as you like! 

Bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Test with a clean toothpick or knife in the middle to ensure it’s cooked through. 

Take out of the oven and allow to cool, you can at this stage reheat your sauce and drizzle it over the top, just to add a little extra caramel flavour as well as making your traybake look great. 

The slices are delicious and are everything that’s fantastic about a sticky toffee pudding!

Sticky Toffee Traybake on a plate with fork
Yield: 16

Delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding Traybake

Sticky Toffee traybake

This delicious sticky toffee pudding traybake is just like the real thing except there's no need to wait for dessert time! Making a sticky toffee traybake means you can take it to eat with friends, or out on a picnic, or whatever you like!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 100g butter (7tbsp or approx 1/2 cup)
  • 85g light brown sugar (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 2 x 397g tins sweetened condensed milk

Cake

  • 250g chopped dates (approx 2 cups)
  • 125ml boiling water (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200g dark brown sugar (1 cup + 2Tbsp)
  • 125g butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g plain all purpose flour (1 cup)

Instructions

Making the Sauce

  1. Using a large pot on the stove, melt the butter and the sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  2. Add the tins of condensed milk and stir continuously until it turns a darker colour and thickens. This should take around 15 minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool while you make the cake.

Making the Cake

  1. Line your tin with baking paper or grease with butter.
  2. Turn the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Put the chopped dates in a bowl and add the boiling water to just cover them. Add in the teaspoon of baking soda, stir through and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  5. Add the eggs and beat them in one by one.
  6. Add the vanilla essence.
  7. Fold in the dates and the flour.
  8. Put half of the mixture in the bottom of the lined/greased traybake tin.
  9. Spread over half of the caramel. You can do this by making thick lines criss-crossing the caramel across the cake.
  10. Pour over the other half of the cake mixture.
  11. Drizzle about half of the remaining caramel over the cake and use a fork/knife to swirl it around on top of the cake. You don’t need to make a pattern it can be as messy as you like.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Test with a toothpick or knife in the middle to ensure it’s cooked through.
  13. Take out the oven and allow to cool.
  14. Reheat the remaining caramel and drizzle over the top.

Notes

If you want to achieve a slightly denser texture, more like a sticky toffee brownie, then you can melt the butter instead of creaming it with the sugar.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 54gProtein: 6g

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1 comment

Cor Hermsen July 2, 2020 - 9:22 pm

Top 🤩😍

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