We’re friends now, right?! Like I hope I’ve installed enough trust that when I tell you that this cake will change your world, that you fully totally believe me. Because it will. So much so that I contemplated calling it “Life-Changing Cake.” 😉 Okay, not really but it is that darn good.
Three incredible moist date-laden cake layers drenched in toffee sauce and covered the smoothest whipped cracked black pepper buttercream. 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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The C Word: Cake Mix
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 flavour-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.
First Toss. Then Mix.
What I love about a cake mix is being able to toss it in the mixer and get going quickly. So do that first. Toss that box cake mix into the mixer and add the wet ingredients. Wham! You’re just about ready to bake that sucker. Second, gently fold in the cooked and mashed dates, and 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 thirdly, when you’re done, come back and tell me 1) how easy it was and 2) how life-changing this Sticky Toffee Pudding cake is!
The best sticky toffee pudding cake from a doctored box mix with whipped dairy-free buttercream frosting.
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING CAKE:
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the yellow cake mix and salt and quick it a quick whisk to break up any clumps.
Add in all the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
With a spatula gently fold in the mashed dates into the cake batter until just combined.
Divide batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.
In a medium pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the toffee sauce begins to thicken. Stir occasionally.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
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.
CRACKED BLACK PEPPER BUTTERCREAM:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and shortening on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 5 minutes.
Add the icing sugar, salt, cracked black pepper, vanilla extract, and milk and mix on low until combined.
Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
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.
Place one leveled layer of sticky toffee pudding cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approximately 1 ½ cup of buttercream.
Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and roughly smooth the sides with an offset spatula.
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!