Three incredibly moist date-laden cake layers drenched in toffee sauce and covered the smoothest whipped cracked black pepper buttercream. That, in all its glory, is this Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake and I’ve made it even easier for you to experience this confectionary cacophony of toffee delight by using a doctored cake mix. So grab them dates and let’s change your Sticky Toffee Pudding cake world!


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A white frosted sticky toffee pudding cake. There is someone pouring toffee sauce over the top of the cake.

What Is A Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake?

Sticky toffee pudding cake is based on the beloved English dessert made up of moist date sponge cake covered in toffee sauce. It is often served with vanilla custard or cream and is sometimes referred to as sticky date pudding. Taking the classic flavors from this dessert, I’ve turned it into a delicious and easy layer cake using a doctored cake mix paired with homemade toffee sauce.

A white frosted cake with black pepper speckles in the frosting. It is topped with toffee sauce and toffee bits.

Cake Mixes

Every baker should have a doctored cake mix ready up their sleeve. Because 1) they’re easy and 2) they’re delicious. I have a zero cake discrimination policy. Well…actually…strike that. I may side-eye a cake that touts being sugar-free, carb-free, fat-free, and therefore flavor-free.

But seriously, let’s give all cakes love. A few extra ingredients are all that is needed to take a yellow (sometimes called golden) cake mix from yum to holy haystacks delicious. Yogurt, egg whites, vanilla, and oil are added to this cake mix to produce a gloriously scrumptious and easy cake batter.

A white frosted cake with black pepper speckles in the frosting. It is topped with toffee sauce and toffee bits. There is a large slice taken out of the cake.

How To Doctor A Cake Mix

What I love about a cake mix is being able to toss it in the mixer and get going quickly. First, toss that box cake mix into the mixer and add the wet ingredients. You’re just about ready to bake that sucker. Second, gently fold in the cooked and mashed dates. Third, into the oven those cake layers go.

See what I mean you’re really can’t beat the ease of a mix. So get to baking and when you’re done, come back and tell me how easy it was and how life-changing this Sticky Toffee Pudding cake is!

A slice of sticky toffee pudding layer cake sitting on a plate. It has white frosting between each cake layer.

Cracked Black Pepper Buttercream

I know this sounds a tad bit unusual but this cracked black pepper buttercream was a fabulous flavor twist to this classic sticky toffee pudding cake. The cake itself is on the sweet side and so I wanted to balance that with a little bit of spice. It’s not an overwhelming black pepper taste, just a hint. That said, if you are not feeling adventurous you can simply omit the black pepper and go with a traditional vanilla buttercream frosting.

A sticky toffee pudding cake covered in white frosting topped with toffee sauce. There are two slice taken out of the cake showing you the inside cake layers.

Easy Doctored Cake Mix Recipes

If using a cake mix is your baking jam I bet you would love to try these cakes on for size:

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A close up of a sticky toffee pudding cake covered in white frosting. There is a large slice taken out allowing you to see the inside cake layers.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake


  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose

Description

An easy and delicious recipe for a sticky toffee pudding cake using a doctored cake mix and homemade toffee sauce.


Ingredients

Scale

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

  • 10 oz. pitted dates

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 box (461 grams) yellow/golden cake mix

  • ⅔ cup dairy-free milk, room temperature

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature

  • ⅓ cup dairy-free yogurt, room temperature

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

  • ⅓ cup fancy molasses

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toffee Sauce

  • 1 cup dairy-free salted butter

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • ⅔ cup dairy-free milk

  • 3 tablespoons fancy molasses

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Black Pepper Buttercream

  • 1 cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup all-vegetable shortening

  • 6 ¼ cups icing sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper *

  • 1 tablsepoon vanilla extract

  • optional: toffee bits for decor


Instructions

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

  1. In a medium pot combine the pitted dates and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil for 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda over the date mixture and with a potato masher or fork mash the dates. Set aside and make the cake batter.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the yellow cake mix and give it a quick whisk to break up any clumps.
  5. Add in all the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  6. With a spatula gently fold in the mashed dates into the cake batter until just combined.
  7. Divide batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Toffee Sauce

  1. In a medium pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the toffee sauce begins to thicken. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
  4. If you make this the day before store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The toffee sauce may separate when chilled. If this happens simply warm it back up slightly while whisking together.

Black Pepper Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and all-vegetable shortening on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the icing sugar, salt, black pepper, and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each cake layer and with a skewer poke holes in each layer. Spread approximately ¼ cup of toffee sauce over each layer allowing it to soak in.
  2. Place one leveled layer of sticky toffee pudding cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approximately 1 ½ cup of buttercream.
  3. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and roughly smooth the sides with an offset spatula.
  5. Decorate the cake as you please. I left the top edge raw and unfinished for a rustic aesthetic. I poured toffee sauce over the top and sprinkled a few toffee bits around one edge. Enjoy!

Notes

* If black pepper buttercream doesn’t sound appealing, omit the pepper and it will be a vanilla buttercream.

  • Prep Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Slice
  • Calories: 1091
  • Sugar: 123 Grams
  • Sodium: 1322 Miligrams
  • Fat: 65 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 34 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 26 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 4 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 129 Grams
  • Fiber: 1 Gram
  • Protein: 2 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 97 Miligrams

Keywords: sticky toffee pudding cake, sticky toffee pudding cake recipe, dairy-free sticky toffee pudding cake, dairy-free sticky toffee pudding cake recipe