Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

20161120_172236I was on the lookout for something different to make this week and found these gems! I’ve never actually made a sticky toffee pudding before although I really should give it a try. This recipe needed me to make my own caramel too (or you use dulce de leche) for a salted caramel buttercream topping which I’ve never done before so I was a little nervous about this bit! I found the recipe on the Good to Know website.


  • 180g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs


  • 160g salted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • nylon piping bag (optional)
  • medium or large star nozzle (optional)


  • 125g white caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 80ml double cream
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Dulce de leche

  • 3–4 tbsp dulce de leche
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / fan 170ºC / 350ºF / Gas 4. Put paper cases into a cupcake tin – the recipe called for 12 but I used some smaller cases so ended up with 12 small and 8 slightly larger cupcakes. In a heatproof bowl, pour 180ml boiling water over the chopped dates and leave them to soak for 20 minutes. After this, use a fork to break them up and add the vanilla. I was a bit confused whether I should drain them of the excess water but I didn’t and it seemed to work ok so must have been right!

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and put to one side while you cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy – around 5 minutes. Add the eggs a bit at a time, adding a little of the flour if you need to as you go along.  Finally, fold in the remaining flour and then the date mixture.

Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes – mine only took 15 minutes so make sure you keep an eye on them as you don’t want to overdo them. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

The next job is to make the icing.

To make the caramel, dissolve the sugar and 60ml water in a small, solid-based pan over a low heat, then increase it to a boil. Wait a few minutes, mine took 5 or 6, making sure you refrain from stirring it but keep a very close eye on it! As soon as it changes to a caramel colour – the recipe says like strong tea – and is thicker, remove from the heat and add the cream. At this point it might sizzle so be careful in case it splatters. Keep stirring and persevere with it, adding the salt and the vanilla then leave it to cool completely.

If using dulce de leche, simply mix it with the salt and vanilla.

For the buttercream, cream the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer (or use a handheld mixer) for a few minutes and add the caramel or dulce de leche.


Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe it on to the cakes, or spread it on with a palette knife. I did one just spreading it on but didn’t think it looked very good so all the others were piped. I must admit that this isn’t really my strong point but I do like to give it a try every now and again although I think I’m a little out of practice!

The cakes were lovely and moist (sorry I do hate that word but they were!) and the icing went really well with it although it wasn’t overly salty so maybe I would add a little more next time. I’m glad I took the time to make my own caramel particularly as it wasn’t a disaster!


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