Sticky Toffee Pudding – a recipe from Ireland

The story about this recipe from Ireland.

There is a story behind this recipe, and here it is.  In December 2014, I was invited to a brunch in the home of my maternal cousin Ruth Beitzel in western Maryland. She told me I could bring five guests with me.  I invited my sisters Rachel and Alice. Alice brought her daughter Christi and I brought my girls, Sarah Beth and Rebekah.  At the end of our brunch, Ruth served this pudding and sauce. We begged her for the recipe!

Chopped dates, real butter, and self-rising flour along with seasonings and spices make this a delicious dessert. And the sauce?  Real butter, sugar, and heavy cream stirred together over low heat leaves one with a scrumptious sauce topping.

toffee pudding

Ever the gracious hostess, Ruth gave the recipe to us. She also shared the story of how she got this recipe.

Too good not to share!

A few years back, she traveled in Ireland (the birthplace of her paternal ancestors). She was served this pudding/sauce at a restaurant and, to her delight, was given the recipe.  (She is savvy that way, and I am not at all surprised that she got them to give her the recipe.)

I asked Ruth if I could post the recipe on this blog, and she said, “It’s too good not to share!”

toffee pudding

My cousin Ruth Beitzel, my daughters Sarah Beth and Rebekah, and my niece Christi Orendorf in Ruth’s home

In late January of 2015, the same sisters came to Virginia to help celebrate my 60th birthday (now you know how old I am.) They helped prepare this cake (sticky toffee pudding) and sauce; we served it to some fifty guests that evening.

To our surprise and delight, even the men kept coming back for seconds. One of my girlfriends said, “This is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.”

Try it. I won’t be surprised if you, too, will think it’s the best (or one of the best things) you’ve put in your mouth.

I am including the original recipe and our conversions.

toffee pudding


Sticky Toffee Pudding - a recipe from Ireland
Recipe type: Sticky Toffee Pudding - from Ireland
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
This is the original recipe as it came to me from my cousin, who got it while visiting in Ireland. I am including the original recipe and our conversions. When you make the sauce, be aware that it will take you 30 minutes. Stir it constantly and add the cream a little bit at a time. It is worth every minute you spend stirring the sauce!
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 10 fl oz. water - [1¼ cups wter]
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 oz butter - [1/4 cup butter]
  • 8 oz caster sugar - 1 cup sugar (put sugar in blender and blend until fine but not powdered to equal one cup)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 8 oz self-rising flour - 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • SAUCE ingredients: 3 oz. Butter, 3 oz. Soft Brown Sugar, 20 fl oz. Double Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C (320˚F)
  2. In a saucepan, simmer dates and water until the dates are soft (approx. 5 minutes), then add baking powder
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl cream together the sugar and butter until soft and nearly white
  4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture slowly
  5. Add the vanilla essence to the butter mixture
  6. Fold the flour into the butter mixture until just combined
  7. Add the date mixture and stir until just combined
  8. Put into a greased baking tray and bake for approx. 35 minutes or until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean
  9. SAUCE directions - melt butter, add brown sugar, then add double cream a little at a time, stirring constantly until it thickens*


toffee pudding

Simmering the sauce forever and ever!

**Confession:  the day of my birthday party, the sauce didn’t want to thicken. We had never made this before and didn’t know what we were doing. My sister added 1 teaspoon cornstarch (dissolved in a little of the sauce and then added to the rest of the sauce).  It thickened quickly.  We don’t know if it was the cornstarch or the timing!


toffee pudding




Sour Cream Twists

sour cream twists

The Tradition

Every family has its special food that is served at gatherings. Sometimes the food is a long-held tradition, and sometimes a new one is started.

I’ve made these sour cream twists myself, but not nearly as often as my sister Alice has made them. She and her husband stopped in to visit us en route north from the south one Saturday afternoon, and soon she was mixing up these twists. She became a hit with our foster boys that day.

At our biennial family reunion, these twists are on the table for Sunday morning. Nobody, but nobody makes them like Alice does. She’s been making them for nearly forty years.

A few years ago when all twelve of her grandchildren were living in other states, she made a big batch and posted the twists on Facebook.  She invited anybody to come by and get some at her house.

The Recipe

You’ll need sour cream, sugar, eggs, and the usual things like soda, salt, flour, and water. These rolls take yeast so you need to have time to let the dough rise. Kids love to help shape and twist these. They’ll like even better being able to sink their teeth into these sweet things.

sour cream twists

The counter in Alice’s kitchen

Here are the directions that you can print out for easy use. Have fun, and enjoy!

Sour Cream Twists
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
A dough with sour cream and a filling with cinnamon sugar gives a combination of a yogurt cinnamon roll. A little more effort but well worth the time.
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. soda
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 6 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup warm water
  • FILLING: 4 Tbsp. melted margarine; ⅔ cup flour; 1⅓ brown sugar; 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup heavy milk or cream
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 # confectioner's sugar
  1. Heat sour cream to boiling (3 minutes in microwave)
  2. Add salt and margarine
  3. Cool
  4. Dissolve yeast in water
  5. Beat eggs in mixer; add sugar.
  6. Add cooled mixture to eggs/water/sugar and add soda.
  7. Mix in 2 cups flour
  8. Add yeast mixture.
  9. Let sit for a few minutes, then add remaining flour.
  10. knead
  11. Place on floured surface; let rise for 5 minutes.
  12. Roll dough into a rectangle. spread filling on the long HALF of the rectangle.
  13. Fold the empty side over the filling and seal edges.
  14. Cut into 1½ inch strips.
  15. TWIST and place on cookie sheets.
  16. Let rise.
  17. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, interchanging top and bottom sheets at 8 minutes.
  18. When baked, turn upside down on the counter.
  19. Frost after eight minutes
  20. FROSTING: Mix flour and sugar in a saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  21. Bring to a boil.
  22. Cool slightly then add powdered sugar. (The longer you simmer the frosting, the thicker it will get and the less powdered sugar you will need to add).

sour cream twists

Energy Bites

energy bites

Energy bites. 

A quick pick-me-up when you need a nutritious and easy snack. Mix the basic ingredients and then add your own variations.

Oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey are the core ingredients. Add chocolate chips, raisins, almonds, flax seed, and anything else you’d like.

Roll into balls and put onto a tray in the refrigerator or freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them in zip-lock bags or a storage container, and they’re ready for use.

Store the energy bites in the freezer and get them out just a few minutes before you’re ready to serve. Adults and kids alike enjoy these!

energy bites

I found this recipe in the latest issue of Daughter of Promise, a magazine open for all readers and geared for Anabaptist women. For more information about the magazine, click here.

Energy Bites
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
Bite-sized packs of protein for a quick and easy energy pick-me-up, snack, or healthy dessert.
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ¾ cup ground flax seed
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup honey (I use less)
  • 1¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Combine dry oatmeal, flaxseed and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  2. Add the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla
  3. Stir until the mixture comes together.
  4. Optional: add almonds, raisins, craisins, etc. as desired
  5. Form into 1 inch balls and chill until firm.


energy bites

Oatmeal Cookies


oatmeal cookies

I pulled out this recipe a few weeks ago and made it (with the help of some foster kids living with us). I forgot how good these cookies are. It looks like I’ll be making these more often, for Dave comes in and grabs a half dozen every time he heads out the door.

It’s pretty simple. Beat your butter (or margarine) and sugars together, then add the eggs, one at a time. While all that is happening, put the dry ingredients into a large measuring bowl and then add the mixture. Finally, add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, and/or coconut if you’d like.  I’m sure butterscotch chips or some other addition would work well also.

One of the things to consider is the type of oatmeal you use. The instant or one-minute oatmeal might use less flour in the recipe. As it is, you can test a cookie or two to see if you should add more flour. It’s better to take your time and get them right to start with than to wish you had added more flour in the beginning.

This recipe was clipped from a magazine over twenty years ago, and the credit goes to Renee Hawkley who has more kids than I do. She was one of my favorite writers in the Welcome Home! magazine that is no longer being printed.

oatmeal cookies


Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 dozen
These oatmeal cookies with raisins are fun to make and to eat! A simple recipe that can be put together in just a few minutes and enjoyed for hours.
  • 2 cups shortening (I use butter)
  • 2 cups brown sugar (yes, you can decrease it)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (I use 1½-2)
  • 5-6 cups flour, divided
  • 6 cups oats
  • Add Optional: raisins, chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, and/or coconut
  1. Cream shortening and sugars together until light in color
  2. Add 4 eggs, one at a time. Mix well
  3. Add vanilla
  4. Mix together soda, salt, cinnamon, 3 cups flour, and oats
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  6. Add raisins, chips, etc. as you desire
  7. Add more flour until the texture is right.
  8. (Bake 1-2 cookies to check texture and to eat one while you're waiting)
  9. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet
  10. Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes

pinterest oatmeal cookies