How to Make Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake and Cupcakes
(Banana, Zucchini, Peach, or Mango)
Julie experimented with sticky toffee cakes this week in our test kitchen. They’re really good. Tomorrow, we’re going to serve them in our store. We’ll make four to five hundred sticky toffee cupcakes.
We chose to make banana sticky toffee pudding and so Merri Ann and I went to the store to buy a ton of bananas. We made a deal with the produce manager for some over-ripe bananas he had in the back. We paid $24 for three cases, maybe a hundred pounds. They’ll make great cakes. We’ll make these dense little cupcakes topped with sticky toffee and butterscotch whipped cream.
The Key to Sticky Toffee Pudding is the Sauce
When I first found a recipe, I was intrigued with sticky toffee pudding. I pictured a moist pudding-like bread pudding. It wasn’t. It’s more like a dense cake. But the sticky toffee on top of the dense cake was amazing.
The first time I made it, it didn’t turn out. The topping was too wet, more of thick sauce, and it soaked into the pudding-cake. Not that it wasn’t good—it was like a warm caramel sauce over cake or maybe a poke cake. To be authentic, the topping needs to be thick like frosting. Then when the pudding is put back in the oven, the topping melts and bubbles and becomes sticky toffee. It’s like candy on a cake.
To make the authentic toffee topping, you’ll need to cook it to 230 degrees with a candy thermometer. The high heat thickens it. (If it is too thick, you can thin it to the desired consistency by stirring in a couple tablespoons of cream. If it is too thin, refrigerate it.)
Try these sticky toffee and flavored whipped cream recipes:
Use these recipes as guides and substitute other fruits for the ones called for keeping moisture levels similar. Use the plum recipe for dried fruits. Pick a flavored whipped cream to top your desserts.
See how to make flavored whipped cream. Our recipe for Caramel Nut Whipped Cream is excellent. The crunch of the nuts contrasts wonderfully with the smooth whipped cream.
This is the recipe we're serving in the store:
Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the pudding cake:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 cubes) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2/3 cup butterscotch chips
2 teaspoons banana flavor
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease a cupcake pan (we prefer not to use paper liners with this recipe, as they're difficult to remove)..
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand-type mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and then the bananas and flavor.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until just well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the chips.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake. Let cool on a rack in the pan.
For the toffee sauce:
This is not complicated to make. You will need a candy thermometer. Just cook it until you reach the desired temperature.
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon butterscotch flavor (optional)
- In a large heavy saucepan, add the cream, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a gentle boil stirring often. Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 230 or soft ball stage. You will need to stir constantly as it approaches the targeted temperature. Set aside.
- Once the sauce has started to cool, stir in the flavor. Let the sauce cool completely.
- It the sauce is too thick to spread, thin with a little additional whipping cream.
To assemble the pudding:
If you're making cupcakes, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a cookie sheet. Spread the sauce on the cooled cake cupcakes. Place the topped cake in the oven set at 350 degrees for six minutes or until the sauce is bubbling thickly. Remove from the oven. Gasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift the cake to cutting board for cutting and serving. Serve with sliced bananas and whipped cream or ice cream.
How to Make the Topping without a Thermometer
Julie experimented with different recipes for the caramel/toffee topping. The easiest was with Instant Clearjel where the sauce was mixed and simply heated in the microwave. She also made a great sauce with corn starch cooked on the stovetop using lots of starch to make it thick. They are great sauces but we prefer the cooked toffee sauce listed above. The difference is that you need to use a candy thermometer and cook it to the proper temperature. It’s not hard but if you prefer to not use a thermometer, try these recipe.
Butterscotch Sauce with Clearjel
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons instant Clearjel
1 teaspoon butter rum flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup warm water
1. Stir together dry ingredients, making sure to distribute the Clearjel throughout the mix (this will prevent clumping).
2. Add the next 4 ingredients and stir until smooth.
1/4 cup corn starch
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine cornstarch, milk, salt, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and is thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat.
2. Add brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Thin if necessary with more milk.
Baker’s Notes & Serving Suggestions
We served the banana sticky toffee pudding topped with banana slices and butterscotch whipped cream. Butterscotch whipped cream is absolutely luscious and matched up perfectly with this recipe. We have included the recipe for this whipped cream at the end of this article.
The zucchini sticky toffee pudding was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Since we had a little extra caramel sauce, we heated it in a microwave until it was warm and runny and poured it over the ice cream forming a puddle for the pudding to sit in. The extra warm caramel was a wonderful touch.
To make the peach/mango sticky toffee pudding, we used the zucchini recipe judging that the water content of the peaches or mango was more like zucchini than bananas. We substituted peaches for the zucchini and added a little nutmeg. It worked perfectly.
We served the peach/mango pudding with freshly sliced fruit and brown sugar whipped cream. Brown sugar whipped cream is made the same as butterscotch whipped cream except that brown sugar flavor is substituted for butterscotch flavor. Butterscotch whipped cram would have been excellent too.
We made a batch of plum sticky toffee pudding simply for pictures and therefore used our Candy Apple Springform Pan to make a picture perfect dessert. (The area in a nine-inch springform pan is the same as an 8 x 8-inch square pan so you can make the substitution without making adjustments in the recipe. A nine-inch springform pan works perfectly for all three of the recipes in this article.) Again we served it with butterscotch whipped cream.
Flavored Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. flavor
Whip all ingredients in a stand-type mixer with the whip attachment, or with a hand mixer until it becomes stiff.
In this recipe: