Gluten and dairy free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is not, I know, the first thought for a summer pudding, but these wonderful gluten-free versions of the traditional classic have all the benefits of the original without any of the negatives – gorgeously gooey and indulgent, but not heavy or cloying. And just like the original they depend on dates for that unique sticky toffee taste.

As the summer is the season for dates, they are now plentiful and cheap. So, if you don’t feel like an immediate sticky toffee hit, why not take advantage of the good prices and make up a batch of puddings now to freeze and enjoy later?

The really good news is there’s nothing bad here at all, assuming a bit of moderation! The only sweetener used is pure dates and unlike refined sugar, dates deliver multiple benefits in addition to sweetness including a whole raft of important essential minerals such as selenium, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and zinc. They also contain key vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. All of which contribute to healthy bones, nerves and muscles and also to a healthy gut.

So here we go, for a flourless (gluten free) Sticky Toffee Pudding that will blow your mind! (For the die-hards there is also an outstanding recipe for traditional STP at the bottom of this post).

Flourless Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients for the pudding
  • 250g Medjool dates with stones removed
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 100g softened butter (or coconut oil if you are dairy free)
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 20g coconut flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
Ingredients for the Sauce
  • 100g dates
  • 75g butter
  • 300-400ml boiling water


Butter 6 ramekins or dariole moulds (best to use the ones with straight sides, or I just use a muffin tin).

Heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Put the stoned dates into a bowl and steep in the boiling water for ten minutes or so.  When soft, put into a food processor with the butter and ground almonds.  Whizz until smoothish.

Add the eggs, coconut flour and baking powder.  Continue to whizz until creamy.  Pour what will be a fairly loose batter into the ramekins/darioles/muffin tray and bake for 40 mins.  But check after 30mins or so as you may need to put some parchment paper on the top to prevent burning.  The puddings are cooked when  they are slightly springy to the touch and a knife comes out clean.  They will deflate a bit when you take them out of the oven.

For the sauce

Soak the dates as before and then blend with the butter.  Pour the mixture (which will emulsify surprisingly easily) into a saucepan and boil hard until it turns a deep brown and has a thick pouring consistency.  Simple as!  To get a more traditional sauce you could substitute 50g of the butter with 50g of cream, which you would add at the end, once the sauce has boiled down.

This recipe is slightly adapted from the one you can find on the Hemsley & Hemsley blog which is an amazing source of good recipes and ideas.

And for those of you who like ‘the real thing’, here is a recipe for the original Sticky Toffee Pudding in all it’s floury and sugary glory.  And I warn you, there is a LOT of sugar involved here and these puddings are guaranteed to stick to your ribs!

Traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients for the pudding
  • 250g Medjool dates with the stones removed
  • 175g boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 85g softened butter
  • 140g demerera or soft brown/muscovado sugar
  • 2 tblsp black treacle (or golden syrup will do but the pudding won’t be so dark)
  • 100ml milk
For the Sauce
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g butter cut into cubes
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp black treacle (see above)


Chop the dates and steep in the boiling water, leaving them until cool, then stir in the vanilla extract.

Meanwhile butter one loaf tin and heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix together the flour and baking powder.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then add the eggs a little at a time, processing between each addition.  Add the treacle/syrup.

Fold in half the flour and half the milk, being careful not to overwork the mixture, and then add the remaining flour and milk.

Finally adding the soaked dates which by now should have absorbed all the soaking water.

Spoon into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins.

While the puddings are baking, make the sauce.  Put the sugar and butter in a medium pan with half the cream. Bring to the boil gently and once the sugar has completely dissolved, stir in the treacle/syrup.  Turn up the heat and let the sauce bubble away until it becomes rich and dark.  With the pan off the heat, beat in the rest of the cream.

Once the pudding is cooked you can serve immediately with the sauce and some extra cream if wanted, or you can pour the sauce over the pudding and leave for a day or two. In this case, just cover the tin and warm the pudding before serving.

Do let me know how you get on!

There Are 3 Comments

Author's gravatar

I’m planning to make the gluten free pudding, but was wondering if you have to drain the dates before adding them to the blender and the same for the sauce, hope you can help, thanks!

Author's gravatar

Hi there! I drain the dates for the pudding, but not for the sauce. Hope that helps! Would love to know how it turns out! Fran

Author's gravatar

I am always looking for new recipes to try. I will have to get the ingredients I need to make some this week. I am sure it will be a big hit.

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