A classic sticky toffee pudding recipe, this one by Cook’s Country has the dense, moist crumb you love and a toffee sauce to give it its name, but features sweet plump California Figs. Make it for your next party.
Either type of Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice Figs will work in this recipe. Mission Figs will contribute a deep, jammy flavor. Golden Figs are delicately sweet, a little nutty, and tangy.
Figs get used in three interesting ways in the sticky toffee pudding recipe: half of them rehydrate in hot water and then the soaking liquid that rehydrated them and now is infused with figgy flavor, gets used too. The other half are pulsed in a food processor with brown sugar that helps break them down.
Sticky Baking, Made Easy
Because the cake batter is so sticky, it is essential to line the ramekins with parchment paper to prevent sticking. The best way to do this is to trace around the ramekin onto the parchment and then cut out the circle to use as your fail-safe for easy transfer of your pudding after baking.
Next, you’ll be baking the ramekins in a large roasting pan to be used as a water bath. To ensure they don’t slide around, line the pan with a clean linen kitchen towel and then place the ramekins on top. For the water bath, bring a kettle of water to boil as you prep the cake batter.
The dry ingredients for the cake will first be whisked in a bowl as a way to aerate the flour and fully incorporate the leavener.
For the wet ingredients, the reserved figs and brown sugar get pulsed in a food processor until just combined. Then, you’ll add in the soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla and process until smooth. Melted butter gets streamed in next with the food processor running. You’ll transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the rehydrated figs.
Gently stir in the flour mixture until just combined—this helps ensure a tender crumb of the cake. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins.
You’re going to pour boiling water into the roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. Often boiling water used in baking is done with bread and as a way to usher in steam for crusty loaves. But, in making pot de creme, custards, puddings, or this pudding cake, hot water baths contribute to a luscious soft texture.
Make the sauce while the pudding bakes.
While sticky toffee pudding is traditionally served with Crème Anglaise, vanilla ice cream also makes a nice accompaniment.
Fig Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and sliced 1/4" thick
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 7 ounces brown sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp rum
FOR THE PUDDING CAKES:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour eight 6-ounce ramekins, then line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Place a kitchen towel on the bottom of a large roasting pan and arrange the ramekins on the towel. Bring a kettle of water to boil.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and the salt together in a medium bowl. Combine ¾ cup figs with the warm water and baking soda in a glass-measuring cup (the figs should be completely submerged) and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain the softened figs and reserve the soaking liquid.
- Pulse the remaining ½ cup figs and brown sugar in food processor until just combined, about five pulses. Add the reserved figs, soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla and process until smooth, about 5 seconds. With the food processor running, pour melted butter through feed tube in steady stream. Transfer this mixture to a medium bowl and stir in softened figs. Gently stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Divided the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, crimping the edges to seal. Bake the cakes until puffed and small holes appear on their surface, 35 to 40 minutes.
FOR THE TOFFEE SAUCE:
- Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture looks puffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and rum, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until frothy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
- Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath using tongs and a sturdy spatula and let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 10 minutes. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes all over the tops of the cakes, then pour 1 tablespoon of the toffee sauce over each cake. Run a small knife around the edges of the ramekins to loosen the cakes, and then flip out onto individual plates or bowls. Peel off the parchment paper and pour the remaining toffee sauce over the top before serving.