A twist on the classic, this Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding is made with no dates. Instead his one uses apples and apple cider for a lovely Fall and Winter dessert!
Sticky Toffee Pudding has always been one of my favourite desserts and especially once the weather gets cooler. For the uninitiated, it's not a pudding in the "put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon" way. It's a pudding in the British style - a cake. Classic Sticky Toffee Pudding uses dates and while I'm a fan of the date version, I don't always have dates on hand. And besides, it's Fall and apples are a great way to bring a twist to this classic.
This sticky toffee pudding is a spin on the classic pudding, using apples instead of dates. It also features some chopped pecans for flavour and a bit of light crunch. The result is every bit as comforting as the original with a nice change in flavours and of course, made easily anytime with just a few apples..
Of course, one of the best parts of Sticky Toffee Pudding is the toffee sauce, so there's plenty of it with this apple version as well.
Cook's Notes for Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding
If you don't have apple cider on hand, you can substitute apple juice, though unsweetened would be best. Unsweetened applesauce would work as well. I would maybe thin it slightly with a splash of hot water, then let stand until cooled before using. If using sweetened apple juice or applesauce, you may wish to reduce the sugar in the cake slightly. In a pinch, I think you could even just steep some cut up apples in a cup of boiling water, then remove apples and use that liquid.
You can also make these in individual ramekins, for single servings. The size of ramekin doesn't really matter, just bear in mind not to fill any more than 2/3 full (as they rise!), bake on a baking sheet (in case they spill over a bit) and test often as they bake, as baking time will be less.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream is nice on top to serve.
Make it "for two" sized! For a nice dessert for 2 (or 3), simply halve the recipe and bake it up in a 6-inch skillet or similar sized baking dish. (Shown here is mine, baked in a 6.5-inch lodge cast iron skillet).
Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding
For the pudding:
- 1 cup apple cider (*see notes for substitution suggestions)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3 Tbsp butter (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups apples (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
- 3/4 cup whole pecans (roughly chopped)
For the Toffee Sauce:
- 9 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (preferably dark)
- 1/2 cup heavy (35%) whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the apple cider over medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the baking soda. *Mixture will bubble up considerably so don't skimp on the saucepan size. Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the batter. *You can also do in the microwave in a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray with cooking spray a 9x9 baking dish or a 10-inch top diameter cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and spices.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix to combine. Add half the cider and stir in. Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the cider, stirring after each addition. Add the diced apples and chopped pecans and stir to combine.
- Pour into prepared pan and place in preheated oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it tests doneness with a toothpick in the center. It should come out clean and the top should be browned.
- Using a skewer, poke some holes all over the cake, then pour 1/2 of the toffee sauce over cake. Allow to stand a few minutes (to allow it to soak in), then pour the remaining toffee sauce over-top.
- For the Toffee Sauce (prepare when the puddings are baking): Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour in the cream (will bubble up!) and reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. (Can be made ahead and re-warmed in the microwave before serving)