| |

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake (Dairy-Free)

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 dairy-free 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!

Note: This post contains affiliate links to which I earn a small commission, but don’t worry there’s no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting CAKED by Katie.

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:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

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


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



Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

  • 10 oz. pitted dates

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 box (461 grams) yellow/golden cake mix *can substitute with a gluten-free 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

  • 2 cups dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

  • 6 cups icing sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper *

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • optional: toffee bits for decor


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 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 cups 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!


* 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


  • 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


Similar Posts


    1. Yes, it absolutely will. The buttercream might need a smidge more milk/cream depending on what you use.

        1. Hi Nelena, in theory, yes. I have tried a few different doctored cake mix recipes with gluten-free cake mixes with great success. But with that said, I haven’t tried this exact recipe. If you give it a shot, I would love to know!

  1. I made this for my sister’s birthday as she is a sticky toffee pudding fan. She couldn’t believe it when I told hr that it was made with a cake mix. Such a great and easy recipe.

    1. My sister is a huge stick toffee pudding fan too! I so excited she loved it! Thanks for sharing Tabitha.

    1. Yes, you can absolutely make it without the black pepper. You could leave it as-is for a vanilla buttercream or add a few tablespoons of the toffee sauce for a toffee buttercream.

  2. My family loved this cake. Everyone of them! That says a lot?. I used regular butter and milk. I also added a little crumbled candied bacon to the top.

  3. I made this recipe with all dairy ingredients. Not fond of black pepper for the icing but tried cardamom instead and it was yummy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star