In this new recipe series, we bring you recipes by Julia Toon, culinary motivator and author of the book ‘Good Eating: A Taste of Qatar’. New recipes every week, Jules Of The Kitchen_CROPPED 2straight from Jules of the Kitchen.

Hot sticky date cake with oodles of sweet toffee sauce. Who doesn’t love a dessert like this? If the toffee sauce is too sweet drop the sugar to 500 grams, and if dairy cream is a no no, use an alternative such as soya or coconut but of course if you do this, you may end up with a coconut-toffee sauce! Definitely ladle the top of the cake with a few tablespoons of the hot toffee sauce and pop back in the oven. This really raises the cake to a delicious new level.

Enjoy but remember it is a very sweet experience, so I recommend only small amounts, but then sometimes who cares and why not just go for it!

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30–35 mins cake + 5 mins for sauce
Oven temperature: 180º C


Sticky Date Cake
250g dates – pitted and chopped
1 tsp baking soda
150ml boiling water
1 tbsp coffee – with splash water added to make liquid
125g butter – softened
150g sugar – white or brown
2 eggs – whole
125g self raising flour – sieved

Hot Toffee Sauce makes 500ml
500g soft brown sugar
75g butter
600ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
Whipped cream dollop for serving (optional)


Prepare cake tin:

Grease and lightly flour a deep 21 cm cake tin. Set aside, or if using a non stick tin, line with a strip of non stick paper which covers the base of the tin and up over both sides. I do this as it really helps when I wish to ‘lift’ the cake out of the tin after baking, and especially useful after you have covered the top of the cake with the sticky toffee sauce.

Make date cake:

In a bowl sprinkle the dates with the soda, then pour the boiling water over them. Stir until soda is dissolved and allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time beating until light and fluffy. Stir in the sieved flour, the soaked dates, liquid coffee and water mixture.

Pour into a deep, well-greased and floured 21cm cake tin. You will find that the mixture resembles a thick batter. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out.

Make toffee sauce:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour hot over cake or store until required.


For a wonderful sticky topping to your cake, why not pour a little of the toffee sauce (approx 5 tbsp) over the top, put it back in the oven to allow the sauce to soak in, and leave until the surface starts to bubble. Tastes great! Watch out though, this cake is very rich so don’t serve huge slices and remember it tastes even better if served warm with the hot sauce and lashings of whipped cream.

Contributed by: Julia Toon, Jules of the Kitchen