Sticky toffee pudding is a beloved English sweet. Traditionally, it’s baked in a pudding mold and served with a sauce or whipped cream. This updated version features dates and walnuts in a cupcake form, frosted with salted caramel buttercream.

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Cooking time: 45 to 50 minutes including baking and frosting cupcakes
Shelf life: best in 2 days

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1⁄₃ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 ounces cream sherry mixed with 3 ounces hot water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 11⁄₃ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the frosting:

  • 2¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup premium caramel sauce or dulce de leche
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Fill a 12-cupcake baking tin with paper liners. Heat the oven to 350 F. Fit a pastry bag with a decorative star tip.
  2. In a small bowl, pour the sherry-water mix over the dates and walnuts, add the vanilla and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, then the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Scrape in the date-walnut mixture and blend well.
  4. Spoon the batter into the liners and bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  5. While the cupcakes cool, using a handheld mixer, beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in the caramel sauce, vanilla and salt. Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.

NUTRITIONAL DATA (per serving): 330; Cholesterol: 45 mg; Sodium: 120 mg; Fat: 21 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g