Sticky Date Cake With Salted Caramel Sauce


I need not say too much here because everyone knows and loves sticky date cake. My version is topped with salted caramel to take it to a new level of sweet, sweet comfort. Serve warmed up with a dash of liquid cream if you know what’s good.

For the cake

300g dried dates

400ml boiling water

1 ½ tsp baking soda

100g butter, melted

150g brown sugar

2 free range eggs

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

50g ground almonds

150g plain white all-purpose flour

For the salted caramel

225g caster sugar

85g butter, softened but not melted

1/2 cup cream, warmed

1 tsp flaky sea salt

For topping

10-12 pecan halves, lightly toasted

  1. First, roughly chop the dates and place in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over them. Stir in the baking soda and then cover the bowl and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius on fan bake. Grease a 20cm bundt tin very well.
  3. Once the date-water mixture is cooled, blend in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Now make the cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the salt, baking powder, ground almonds and flour, being careful not to overmix. Finally, fold through the date puree.
  5. Bake for around 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch.
  6. Allow to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make the caramel. Pour the sugar into a large pot. Ensure your pot is perfectly clean and bone dry, or else the caramel will seize.
  8. Place over medium high heat and melt the sugar while stirring occasionally with a heat proof spatula. Keep an eye on the mixture the whole time as it is very easy to burn.
  9. As soon as the mixture turns a dark amber colour, whisk in the softened butter. Once incorporated, take the pot off the heat and whisk in the cream. Finally mix in the sea salt.
  10. If your mixture has any lumps, you can pass it through a heat proof sieve.
  11. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  12. Place the cake on a serving plate. Pour the cooled caramel over it, using as much as you like!
  13. To decorate, evenly place the pecan halves on top.
  14. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  15. Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.