Years ago, I tried sticky toffee pudding at a restaurant, for the first time. It was amazing, so of course, I decided that I wanted to try making it at home. But then I forgot about it, until recently, when I went to a demonstration put on by Canadian Chef extraordinaire, Lynn Crawford. As part of her demonstration, she made a maple sticky toffee pudding, which reminded me, and lead me to come up with this vegan sticky toffee pudding recipe (that also happens to be gluten free!).
If you’re looking for traditional sticky toffee pudding, let me say right now: this isn’t it. This recipe is far from the traditional British sticky toffee pudding, it’s more of an adaptation of the North American’ized version. An adaptation of an adaptation!
Chef Lynn handed out her recipes at the end of her demonstration, and I used her recipe as a guide. Her recipe is not vegan, not gluten free, it contained butter, eggs, maple syrup, no spices, and it was made as one big cake. So this is a heavily adapted version of hers.
My version of sticky toffee pudding contains most of the usual sticky toffee pudding elements, like dates, a sauce, and lots of sweetness, but this recipe is different because it’s vegan, it’s gluten-free, it contains a couple spices, it uses a maple caramel sauce, instead of a regular caramel sauce, and the cakes are made individual sized, thanks to being baked in a muffin pan.
Vegan sticky toffee pudding is a dessert to serve on special occasions because it’s rich, decadent, and it’s also super sweet, so if you love very sweet desserts, then this gluten free sticky toffee pudding is for you!
Most of the sweetness comes from the dates in the cakes, and the rest of it comes from the sticky maple caramel sauce that’s drizzled over the tops…twice!
After the cakes come out of the oven, you let them cool for a few minutes, in the muffin pan, and then you poke holes into the cakes with a wood skewer and drizzle the sauce over each one so the caramel soaks in and starts to earn the “sticky” part of its name. You need to use something that will make holes larger than what a fork or toothpick would give you or the caramel sauce will not soak in well.
Once you drizzle the sauce on top, you leave it to soak in for a little while (all of it won’t soak in, there will be some that remains on top). After letting it sit, you leave your gluten free sticky toffee puddings until you’re ready to serve and when you serve (ideally, you want to serve them warm), they get another drizzle of the warm maple caramel sauce. See, told you it was a special occasion treat! It’s perfect for the holidays and special occasions.
The cake part, before it gets soaked in caramel, is cakey, but at the same time, dense. If that makes sense. The denseness comes from the dates, which are heavy, so the cakes don’t rise and become very big and fluffy, which is perfectly fine. The cake is also sweet, and again, that’s courtesy of the dates.
Because of the richness of this dessert, it’s perfectly fine to serve without any topping at all, they can stand on their own, just the cakes and the maple caramel sauce, but to make it a little prettier, toppings are nice!
If you do go the topping route, you can serve it with a small scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream, or like I’ve done here, with a little drop of coconut whipped cream.
If you’re going to have leftovers, set the extras aside and don’t poke holes into them or add any maple caramel sauce. Let them cool and then store them in an airtight container (they will keep for about 2 days) and when you’re ready to serve them, wrap them, and place them in a warm oven for a few minutes until they have heated through. Once they have been reheated, go through the poking, caramel drizzle x 2, and serve!
If you like this vegan sticky toffee pudding recipe, you may also like these:
- Maple Caramel Sauce
- Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan + GF)
- Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Doughnuts
- Chewy Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 25 Vegan Food Gifts to Make and Give This Holiday
And be sure to click this link for more vegan, gluten free holiday recipes!
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How to Make Gluten Free Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding
This Gluten Free Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding, dripping with rich maple caramel sauce, is a delicious twist on a sweet, classic holiday dessert.
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup Medjool dates chopped and pitted (about 12 dates)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill, see note below)
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 recipe Maple Caramel Sauce (be sure that your maple caramel sauce is warm!)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease 8 of the cups in your muffin pan. If using a good, reliable non-stick pan, skip this step.
Place chopped, pitted Medjool dates and baking soda into a small bowl. Cover with hot water and stir to dissolve the baking soda. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to soften.
Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
After the 10-15 minutes have passed, transfer the dates and the liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until a paste has been formed. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg until combined.
In a large bowl, add date paste, flax eggs, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil and mix together.
Add dry ingredient mixture to wet mixture and stir until combined.
Divide batter into the 8 muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the largest cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
If you are not serving all 8 cakes at the same time, remove the cakes you will not be using and set them aside. See note below for further instructions.
Using a wooden skewer or something similar, poke several holes through each cake. (see note below about this step)
Spoon about a 1 1/2 tablespoons of the warm maple caramel sauce over the top of each cake. Let sit for another 10 minutes.
Remove each cake and place on its serving plate. Spoon another 1/2 tablespoon of maple caramel sauce over each cake. Add toppings, if using.
- It's important to know that all gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results will always vary when you use different blends. I have never used any other brand of flour to make these muffins (other than Bob's Red Mill), so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with a different gluten-free flour. Coconut flour will NOT work with this recipe.
- You need to use something that will make holes larger than what a fork or toothpick would give you or the caramel sauce will not soak in well.
- If you will not be serving all 8 cakes at once, stop at step 10. Set the extras aside and don't poke holes into them or add any maple caramel sauce. Let them cool and then store them in an airtight container (they will keep for about 2 days). When you're ready to serve them, wrap them in foil, and place them in a warm oven for a few minutes until they have heated through. Once they have been reheated, go through the poking, caramel drizzle x 2, and serve!
- Calorie count is for 1 cake and maple caramel sauce, no extra toppings.