Cakes/ Christmas/ Desserts

Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding

This coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding is dark, sticky and rich. With notes of cardamom and coffee, topped with an espresso caramel.

Growing up in London, we were surrounded my an abundance of British desserts. From school dinners, to restaurants, to the holidays, you were always surrounded by the classics

Whether it be scones as part of an English tea or a jam roly poly at school. You just knew you were in for a treat. To this day a good scone with clotted cream and jam alongside a cup of tea is still a hugely delicious comfort.

Another one of these classic British desserts was a sticky toffee pudding. I think this was one of the most popular desserts growing up and it’s a huge favourite amongst my friends.

I love sticky toffee pudding largely because I love any dessert that has deep treacle/caramel notes. If you’ve never had a sticky toffee pudding before then you’re in for a real treat with this one.

This is also a perfect recipe to grace your table for Christmas. It’s a show stopper if I say so myself (I know I’m biased).

I’ll be making two trays of this coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding for our Christmas this year. It’s a family favourite and the perfect finish to a Christmas dinner.

Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

A sticky toffee pudding, to anyone unfamiliar with it, is a very moist sponge cake that’s made with either finely chopped or pureed dates. It’s then covered in a toffee/caramel serve and often served with ice cream.

It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s sticky and it’s outrageously delicious. Just thinking about and writing about it feels exciting.

It is indeed a rich pudding but I guess in some way it’s just one of those things that’s just synonymous with growing up in Britain.

When it comes to a classic sticky toffee pudding, it’s one that’s usually left alone. It doesn’t tend to change much or vary in flavour. Largely because it’s perfect as it is, it doesn’t need playing around with.

At the most some may opt to add in warming spices to the sponge. Such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or ginger for example. These spices work beautifully alongside the dates and the treacle.

I’ve taken it a slight step away from the traditional flavours in order to incorporate two flavours that I absolutely love. Coffee and cardamom.

But don’t get me wrong, this coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding still retains all the classic flavour notes. It just adds two more flavours which work so well.

The coffee adds a ton of depth to the pudding whilst the cardamom brings something completely new. Coffee and cardamom is a very common pairing in many Middle Eastern countries.

It works and it tastes divine. As a coffee lover and a cardamom lover, this made perfect sense. And that’s how this Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding came to be.

coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding- What’s the hype?

It’s an outrageously moist sponge that’s infused with dates and black treacle. Black treacle is a very British ingredient and it’s essentially a thick, dark, sugar syrup that’s made from molasses.

It adds richness and moisture to the pudding whilst imparting an almost smoky bitterness as well. This paired with the dates creates something elegant, beautiful, and moreish.

I believe black treacle is available in the US as molasses.

The sticky toffee pudding doesn’t stop with just the sponge. A warm, rich, and velvety toffee/caramel sauce is poured all over the sponge. This can be done in two ways.

The sauce is either poured over when serving or straight after the sponge has been baked. The latter allows the caramel to soak into the sponge, making it even more rich, fudgy and decadent.

Personally I prefer pouring the caramel when serving, but both ways work well.

When you then finish the warm pudding with a scoop of ice cream, you know you’re on to a winner. The combination of hot and cold in desserts is one that I am a huge fan of.

If you’re a fan of moist sponges and rich caramels then this dessert will be perfect for you. That’s the hype.

Cardamom coffee is life changing

If this is a combination that you haven’t tried yet, please immediately go make yourself some cardamom coffee.

*Providing* you’re a coffee fan and a cardamom fan. They work very well together and it’s a popular Arabic coffee that’s served all over the Middle East as well as other countries.

The deep richness of coffee is one that complements many spices, one of which being cardamom. Cardamom has an almost herbal warmth with notes of mint and citrus.

It’s one of my most favourite ingredients and spices and something I use almost on a daily basis. It’s one of the most prominent flavours in my homemade chai mix (something I shall have to share one day).

When you pair coffee and cardamom, something within both enhances the flavour of the other. It’s just the most comforting flavour profile.

Hence, I can’t stress enough just how wonderfully these flavours unite with this classic sticky toffee pudding.

coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding

This Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding is

  • Delicious
  • Perfect for a Christmas dinner
  • Perfect to enjoy with a mug of coffee
  • Eggless
  • Easy to make vegan with super simple swaps
  • A dessert that will make you feel good

Espresso caramel

Espresso caramel is literally my heart and my soul. I love anything to do with caramel beyond belief.

Also as someone who owns a French press, a moka pot, and a coffee pod machine, plus grinds his own beans (I know, I’m cool). I’d say I get a level of enjoyment from coffee that may be slightly above average. Honestly I love coffee.

The combination of coffee/espresso and caramel is incredible. You get the traditional caramel notes and a velvety smooth sauce.

But you also now get a ton of depth added in from the espresso. It’s such a rich sauce with quite an intense complexity. And hence I don’t think I can ever have a normal caramel again.

But I don’t want you guys to panic about this being a difficult sauce to make. I’ve simplified the caramel process and in turn made it very easy to make this sauce.

I know making a caramel is often a daunting process for many, so don’t worry here. It’s honestly a ‘throw in a pot and whisk’ situation.

What you’ll need to make this Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is not the full recipe – the full recipe can be found at the end of the blogpost

You’ll require:

  • Butter
  • White granulated sugar
  • Black treacle – often sold as ‘Molasses’ in the US
  • Vanilla paste – or extract
  • Ground cardamom – from the green cardamom variety, not the black
  • Espresso – or instant coffee
  • Milk
  • Pitted dates – I shall explain this in more detail in the next section as it’s worth reading to ensure you purchase the correct variety
  • Self raising flour
  • Baking powder
  • Double cream
  • Salt

Type of dates

There are a few different types of dates available and this will likely vary dependent on location. The two most common varieties are Deglet Noor and Medjool dates.

To clarify, both or any type of dried dates will work fine here. I’ll cover the main differences between Medjool and Deglet Noor as that may impact your decision between the two.

dried pitted dates

Medjool dates tend to be sweeter with a much more caramel-like flavour in comparison to Deglet Noor or other varieties.

Having said this they are usually considerably more expensive. Using Medjool dates in this coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding or any bakes can add a substantial cost. Deglet Noor is still a sweet date but it has more nutty and honey notes.

Personally I’ve used Deglet Noor dates for this pudding and that’s what I’d recommend. It’s far cheaper and I’m not convinced that spending more money to use Medjool dates is really going to make a vast difference to the final flavour.

If I remember correctly, I purchased quite a large bag of dried pitted dates from my local Indian supermarket which were really inexpensive. However even if your dates do not specify that they are Deglet Noor, they will still work fine.

If you struggle to find pitted dates, I’ll link a suitable one below. Bare in mind this isn’t the exact product I’ve used myself as I bought mine in shop. But these will work perfectly.

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. By using this affiliate link, I receive a small commission which is at no expense to yourself. But this helps to support this blog for its day to day running. Many thanks.

How to make this Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

Let’s start with sponge portion of the coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding:

1) First start by boiling the pitted dates until it resembles 2)
2) At this stage almost all the water will have evaporated, there will just be a very small amount remaining at the base

3) Next transfer the boiled dates to a food processor and blitz till it resembles 4)
4) It should form a thick date paste that’s not completely smooth

5) Meanwhile prepare your espresso shots/or instant coffee if using
6) Dilute the espresso/coffee with milk until it reaches 275ml

7) Place the melted butter, sugar, black treacle, vanilla and cardamom into a mixing bowl
8) Whisk until it forms a smooth dark mixture

9) Now add the coffee mix and the date paste to the bowl
10) Whisk once again to incorporate. This will be our wet mixture

11) Sieve in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then whisk once more just until incorporated
12) Finally fold the mixture with a spatula a few times to ensure the dry mix has been fully incorporated

13) Pour the mixture into a greased and lined tray. I line my trays with baking paper/parchment paper. Use a spatula, palette knife, or the back of a spoon to even out the batter. I recommend using a 31x20x7 tray (which is what I’ve used). The tray will be linked below
14) Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow this to cool for 10 minutes in the tray before turning out on to a wired rack to cool completely. If serving at the same time, it does not need to cool completely and can be sliced warm

Next let’s make our espresso/coffee caramel:

1) Place the sugar, butter, treacle, vanilla, salt, double cream, and espresso/coffee into a saucepan and place over a medium-low heat
2) Continue to whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. At this stage place it on a medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil. It will bubble and rise up so make sure you choose a deep saucepan. The sauce will darken in colour and thicken in consistency. Keep whisking throughout and occasionally mix with a spatula to ensure nothing is catching at the base of the saucepan

3) Once the sauce has thickened, take it off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly and then it’s ready to serve. If you make this in advance, all you need to do is reheat the caramel prior to serving
4) To serve, cut a square slice of the sticky toffee pudding, drizzle over the warm caramel sauce. And then finally top with some ice cream. I’ve used coffee ice cream (I’m coffee obsessed), but vanilla ice cream would also be perfect

The perfect tray for this Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you can find a tray in a bakeware/homeware shop that’s a similar size, or as close to this size as possible. That will also work fine. The dimensions for this tray are 31x20x7cm.

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. By using this affiliate link, I receive a small commission which is at no expense to yourself. This helps to support this blog for its day to day running. Many thanks

Frequently asked questions

Can this be made vegan?

Yes, it absolutely can. And it’s very easy to do too. In order to make this pudding vegan, all you need to do is substitute the butter for vegan butter, the milk for a plant based milk, and the cream for a plant based cream.

But in terms of the plant based ranges that exist, I personally find that oat cream is superior for caramels. Coconut cream also works but it does impart a slight coconut flavour. With regards to the milk, either oat milk or soy milk work the best in my opinion.

Can the Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding be made in advance?

It can indeed. And it’s very easy to do too. Bake the sponge and allow it to cool completely. Wrap tightly in cling film, or place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The caramel can also be made in advance and refrigerated.

On the day of serving, allow the sponge to come to room temperature. The caramel will have firmed up in the fridge, but don’t worry. Simply reheat the caramel on the stove until hot and it will be perfect for pouring.

If you enjoyed this recipe

Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.

You can also tag me on Instagram at @dish_by_rish. Or follow me on FacebookPinterestYoutube, and TikTok to keep up with all my cooking and baking creations.

Until then, happy baking!

coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding

Coffee and Cardamom Sticky Toffee Pudding

This coffee and cardamom sticky toffee pudding is dark, sticky and rich. With notes of cardamom and coffee, topped with an espresso caramel.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine british, Middle Eastern
Servings 10 people


  • 31x20x7cm rectangle tray see blogpost for link


For the sponge:

  • 200 g pitted dates see blogpost for more information
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g white granulated sugar
  • 70 g black treacle sold as molasses in the US
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 3 tsp cardamom
  • 275 ml coffee made with 3 shots of espresso and the remainder milk (see notes for instant coffee)
  • 300 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder not bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the caramel:

  • 100 g white granulated sugar
  • 70 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 2 shots espresso or 2tsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For serving:

  • Ice cream either vanilla or coffee will work well


For the sponge:

  • Preheat the oven to 140’C fan/160’C conventional. Prepare your tray by greasing with butter and lining with baking paper/parchment paper
  • Start by placing the pitted dates and boiling water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until almost all the water has evaporated
  • Allow the mixture to cool before placing it into a food processor. Blitz until it forms a thick date paste, it shouldn’t be completely smooth
  • At the same time, prepare the shots of espresso or instant coffee and top it up with milk to produce 275ml of coffee
  • Place the melted butter, sugar, black treacle, vanilla, and cardamom into a mixing bowl. Whisk till it forms a smooth dark mixture. This will be the wet mix
  • Then add the coffee and the date paste and whisk once more till incorporated
  • Place the self raising flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and briefly mix
  • Sieve this into the wet mix, then whisk once more until incorporated. Finish by folding with a spatula to ensure no dry flour remains
  • Pour the sponge batter into the tray and use a spatula, palette knife, or the back of a spoon to spread it out into an even layer
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow the sponge to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely. However if serving at the same time, it does not need to cool completely and can be sliced warm

For the caramel:

  • Simply place all the ingredients into a deep saucepan over a medium-low heat. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. It will form a light brown mixture
  • Turn the heat up to medium and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Whisk continuously throughout. The mixture will bubble up and rise so it’s worth doing this in a deeper saucepan. Whisk for around 7-10 minutes or until a dark brown caramel has formed and the consistency has thickened
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving, it should be served whilst warm

To serve:

  • Place a slice of the sponge, pour over the warm caramel, and top with a scoop of coffee/vanilla ice cream


  1. To use instant coffee for the sponge, dissolve 6tsp of instant coffee in 150ml of water, then top with another 125ml milk to make the 275ml of coffee
  2. For vegan substitutes, see blogpost
  3. For information on the type of dates used, see blogpost
  4. For information regarding the baking tray, see blogpost
Keyword christmas, christmas desserts, coffee, coffee and cardamom, sticky toffee, sticky toffee pudding, traditional british desserts

If you enjoyed this and want to try another classic dessert. Try my Dark Chocolate Tart. It’s incredibly decadent and not one to miss!

Dark chocolate tart

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