Gingerbread sticky toffee pudding is the perfect ‘special occasion dessert’ – recipe

Traditional sticky toffee pudding consists of a delicious moist sponge cake, chopped dates and toffee sauce.

There are many different sticky toffee pudding variations from Gordon Ramsay’s 10-minute version to Nigella Lawson’s decadent recipe.

Aber Falls Whisky Distillery based in North Wales has shared a decadent and delicious recipe with that’s the perfect treat to enjoy after a Sunday roast.

The distillery described their pear and gingerbread liqueur sticky toffee pudding recipe as “impactful” and a “special occasion dessert”.

The recipe, which easily serves six people, includes boozy gingerbread liqueur, mixed spice and orange peel for a wintery twist.

The dessert includes Aber Falls’ Gingerbread Gin Liqueur but if you can’t get your hands on it, there are other variations available including Gin Bothy gingerbread infused liqueur and Pickering’s gingerbread gin.

Here’s the full recipe:

Table of Contents


For the pears

  • 6 peeled pears
  • 200ml Aber Falls Gingerbread Gin Liqueur (or similiar)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pared peel of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Pared peel of 1 unwaxed orange
  • 4 cardamom pods

For the sponge pudding

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g stoned dates, roughly chopped
  • Half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Half a tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml Aber Falls Gingerbread Gin Liqueur
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 50g walnuts toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Salt

For the toffee sauce

  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 225ml double cream


1. Remove the pips from the pears by passing a small, sharp knife through the base of each fruit with a melon baller.

2. Place the pears in a saucepan and drizzle with the sugar and Gingerbread Gin Liqueur. Pour 400ml of water on top, then immerse the cardamom and citrus peels in the liquid.

3. Trim a piece of parchment paper to the right size so it fits over the pears and tuck it inside the saucepan’s lip. After bringing the mixture to a boil, simmer it very slowly for 10 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved.

4. Allow the pears to cool completely in the liquid. These can be poached up to three days in advance before the rest of the dessert but need to be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

5. Next, use some of the butter to grease a deep rectangular baking tin (roughly 30 x 20cm) and line it with baking paper.

6. Put the dates into a heatproof bowl with bicarbonate of soda and vanilla, pour over the liqueur and 200ml of boiled water. Allow the dates to soak for half an hour. While these soak, preheat the oven to 180C.

7. Once the dates have soaked for 30 minutes, tip them into a food processor with the soaking liquid and pulse them a few times to chop the dates up before scooping half of them into a bowl.

8. Leave the remaining mixture in the food processor and blitz it until it forms a smooth puree. Pour it into the bowl with the chopped dates and stir to combine them.

9. Next, beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Then, beat in the eggs one at a time and whisk until each is fully incorporated.

10. Fold the flour, walnuts, bicarbonate of soda, spices, date mixture and a pinch of salt into the mixture until fully combined then pour it into the prepared tin.

11. Carefully remove the pears from their liquid and lower them into the batter so they’re evenly spaced. Ensure the stalks are pointing up and level the surface of the batter using a spatula being careful not to topple the pears over.

12. Bake the pears and gingerbread batter for 30 minutes or until it’s just set and a skewer comes out clean.

13. Make the sauce while the pudding bakes in the oven. Start by adding the sugar, butter and treacle to a small saucepan and warm it over medium heat, making sure to stir it until the butter is completely melted.

14. Allow the mixture to bubble for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then, pour the cream into the mixture and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until it’s dark and thick.

15. When the sponge only has eight minutes left in the oven, remove it and pour over half of the toffee sauce before returning it to the oven for eight minutes so it can bubble and soak into the sponge in the oven.

16. Once the sponge is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool for five minutes before serving it with your cream or ice cream of choice and the remaining toffee sauce.

If there’s any poaching liquid left over, it can be used to poach other fruits for another occasion.


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