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Sugar-free Sticky Date Pudding

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Adjust Servings:
14 Medjool Dates pitted
12 Red Dates small, pitted
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
175g All Purpose Flour SIfted
1 tsp Baking Powder
120g Hot Water Boiling
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Vanilla Paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract
55g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled
2 Eggs 55g
Sticky Date Sauce
180ml Heavy Cream 35% fat
45g Unsalted Butter
6 Medjool Dates pitted
8 Red Dates small, pitted
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
80g Hot Water Boiling
Toppings (optional)
Splash Rum
1 scoop Ice Cream per pax, vanilla or rum and raisin
as you like Walnut crushed

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Sugar-free Sticky Date Pudding

You won't believe there is no sugar in here!!!

  • 65m
  • Serves 8
  • Easy


  • Pudding

  • Sticky Date Sauce

  • Toppings (optional)



First fell in love with sticky date pudding when we tried it at PS Cafe. My bestie, who was visiting from Germany, loved it so much that she insisted that we bake it next day. So luckily I found a recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding in one of my books, “Baking with Less Sugar” by Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe.

We tried it and did some modifications. We did not have maple syrup, so we used gula melaka for a local twist. We also reduced the sugar (although it was already not a lot) and we baked in ramekins instead of a whole cake tin.

For the sauce, we decided to use the one for bake for happy kids, but reduced the sugar. We were happy with the results but compared to PS Cafe’s, I felt that it lacked some depth. I thought i tasted some red dates in their sticky date pudding. We had 8 ramekins and we ate 4 that night and kept the rest in the fridge. When I made the sauce again, I decided to add in some pureed red dates to test and it did give a slight depth to the pudding, though still not enough.

So I made a note that next time, we bake this, we will add more red dates into the pudding itself. Fast forward to 6 months later, I finally got my act together and decided to bake the pudding for my family for Christmas.

My bestie had baked it couple of weeks before and she reported that she cut all sugar and it tasted great. But she did not use any red dates. So I decided to cut the sugar too and up the dates with Red Dates.

So this is my adjusted recipe. I am pretty happy with it. For the sauce, you can choose to use coconut cream over dairy cream. It will go very well with the dates too.

The first thing to do is to soak the medjool and red dates (pitless) in baking soda and hot water. What the baking soda does is to soften the skin. Then puree them together with the soaking liquid till it is a fine paste, using a food processor. Actually  I did the whole cake with a food processor to save the trouble of washing another mixer. Works pretty well. I used a magimix, but I am sure any good food processor will do. Just that compared to my previous food processor, Magimix is a super quiet so it makes the whole process very pleasant.

While the dates were soaking, I will prep the remaining ingredients and dust the pan or ramekins. If you use ramekins, I will recommend a water bath. Temperature and cooking time actually remains the same as when using a cake pan.

For cake pans, I used a springform pan like those used for cheesecakes. I find removal pretty easy with that once you do your butter and flour dusting well. Same with ramekins. Flour well and the puddings just slide off easily.

The beauty of this recipe is being able to store the batter for baking while you are having dinner, so that dessert will be piping hot when served and as mentioned earlier, we could make many ramekins worth of it and freeze or chill it and have them as an when we want!

We enjoyed the sticky date pudding served with the warm sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream or rum and raisin ice cream. Or if you want to go totally sugar-free, just serve with the sauce. A splash of rum before serving will also give this pudding a new dimension to the flavours. I also find topping it with some crushed walnuts adds some texture to the gooey softness of the cake.

We hope you enjoyed the recipe as much as we did. Hubby loved it because it was yummy yet not so sinful.

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Pre-heat oven

Place a rack in centre of oven and preheat oven to 175C (350F). Butter and flour an 8 inch (20cm) round tin cake pan or 8 small ramekins. If using ramekins, prepare a water bath filled halfway with water.


Soak the Dates

Place the dates into the food processing bowl and add baking soda and hot water. Let it rest for 10-15min.


Blend of puree the dates

Using a food processor, blend the dates with the water till a smooth paste is formed.


Mix batter

Combine flour, dates, baking powder, salt and vanilla paste evenly using a mixer or food processor with the dough paddle. Add butter, eggs and process till well mixed.



Pour batter into cake tin or ramekins and bake for 35-45 minutes or until stick comes clean after poking into the cake.


Prepare Sauce

Soak dates in baking soda and hot water as per those used in pudding and puree it till fine with a food processor.
Pour cream and butter into a saucepan and allow it to simmer under low heat. Add the date paste to cream and bring to boil. Turn off heat.


Serve warm

Slice cake or remove from ramekin and serve with warm sauce and vanilla ice cream (optional). We found that it also goes well with a drizzle of rum or served with rum and raisin ice cream.


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