In England, many desserts -- such as this date-flecked cake soaked with a buttery, gooey sauce -- are called puddings.

Everyday Food, December 2006


Recipe Summary

25 mins
1 hr 50 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside.

  • In a small bowl, combine dates and 1/2 cup boiling water; set aside to soften, at least 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt to combine; set aside.

  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add date mixture, flour mixture, and vanilla; mix just until moistened.

  • Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare toffee sauce.

  • Remove cake from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. To ensure it will come out easily later, carefully invert hot cake then return it, right side up, to pan. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over cake. Pour about 1 cup warm sauce over cake; let absorb at least 20 minutes.

Cook's Notes

Cake can be soaked up to 10 hours ahead; leave in pan and store at room temperature.


Reviews (4)

202 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 39
  • 4 star values: 53
  • 3 star values: 78
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 4 stars
DO NOT BAKE FOR 55-65 MINUTES! I think somebody did a typo there. Set timer for 40 minutes and check every 5 minutes from there on (individual ovens do vary). Despite it being obvious that a small 8" cake wouldn't take that long, I did try it at 55 mintues and it came out very dry and burnt around the edges. Can someone at Martha Stewart please correct the typo or retest the recipe. Two of us bakers have now confirmed that the bake time is incorrect.
Rating: Unrated
This is delicious! I have made it many times. I use a 10 oz package of chopped dates and a bit more hot water, and it comes out great! The sauce is a MUST!
Rating: Unrated
Sooo good!! I used brown sugar instead of white, and simmered the dates on low in 1c water. Came out great!!! I agree with other comment, don't reduce sauce as much at first, soaks into cake easier if it is thinner. Reduce more for additional topping before serving. Serve with whipped cream! Yumm!!! Super easy and fast!
Rating: Unrated
Very delicious! I'm useless at figuring out ounces, so I guessed with the dates based on another recipe and used about a cup of boiling water, and it turned out fantastic. The one thing I would do differently next time would be with the sauce. I would reduce it down about half as much and pour a cup over the cake then reduce the rest until thick for serving. Even with the holes poked in the cake the sauce just kinda sat on top, so thinner would work better I think!