Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake for my mom’s birthday! This is made with sticky toffee pudding cake layers, that’s studded with dates that have been softened prior to baking. After the warm cake is out of the oven, poke holes in the cake layers and soak in extra toffee sauce. The cake is then frosted with a gorgeous toffee Swiss meringue buttercream. 
The colour & design was inspired by my mom’s ceramics artwork. To create the floral buttercream, try out this palate buttercream technique. I had lots of fun and see a lot of potential with this technique – check out tutorials from these websites (Dahlia Cake and Wildflower Cake)!
We really loved the sweet-salty flavors, the warmth from the spices and the texture of this one. Feel free to experiement with coarse vs fine sea salt. My family liked the coarse sea salt as it has more texture while being less salty – although if you prefer a more even flavor, go for the fine salt. Have fun and hope you enjoy this recipe!
Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
Makes 1 7-inch 3 layer cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
adapted from Style Sweet 

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 to 9 ounces dates (weigh with pits), diced to 1/4-inch pieces
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar (reduced from 1/2)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toffee Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Toffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

3 large (100 grams) egg whites
1 cups (200 grams) granulated sugar
170 grams unsalted butter, softened but firm
1/4 cup toffee sauce

To Make Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) . Prepare three 7-inch cake pans and set aside.

Place the chopped dates in a heat-safe bowl. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water and pour over the chopped dates. Stir to loosen and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars for about 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add in vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture. Carefully stream in most of the water left with the dates. Add in the remaining flour and mix until just combined and the last streaks of dry ingredients disappear. Gently stir in the dates and any remaining water.

Distribute the batter between the pans and bake for about 26 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

To make Toffee Sauce:

Place the sugar, cream, and butter in s small saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Let cool until desired consistency is reached.

To make Toffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

In a large saucepan, place mixing bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Add egg whites and cups sugar and whisk together until frothy. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches 160˚F (takes about 3 min). Sugar should be fully dissolved (no granules when rubbing mixture between finger tips). Mixture will feel hot to the touch (or like the temperature of warm milk).

Once bowl is at room temperature, switch to paddle attachment, and whip together until soft peaks form. Add butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Once all butter is in, scrape down the bowl and continue beating until it reaches a thick whipped consistency. It may look lumpy – it’s a good sign, keep beating until it changes consistency to become smooth, thick and whipped. Set aside some white buttercream for the decorations. Add toffee sauce on the rest and mix on med-high until incorporated and silky. 

To Assemble and Decorate:

Trim off excess of the cake layer. Place first first layer on cake board, making sure to frost between each layer and . Crumb coat with white buttercream, and freeze for 5 minutes. Use a cake turntable to smooth the brown toffee frosting over entire cake.

To place on the flowers, use a palate knife and paint on buttercream flowers directly. Use a clean plate to mix the food colouring directly using your palate knife, and play around with techniques such as here and here

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