Sticky Toffee Loaf Cake with Fudge Icing

1 hour 30 minutes - 1 hour 50 minutes
to cook

It’s the dates (as in the famous pudding) that give this dark, sticky cake its toffee flavour, which is complemented beautifully by the fudge-flavoured icing.

The Delia Online Cookery School: Watch how to make more loaf cakes including Very Fruity Irish Tea Cake and Marmalade Cake win our Loaf Cakes lesson. Just click the recipe image to play.

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This recipe is from Delia's Cakes. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see questions Lindsey has answered on this recipe

  • method
  • Ingredients


First place the tin of black treacle (without a lid) in a saucepan of barely simmering water to warm it and make it easier to measure (see Traditional Oatmeal Parkin recipe).

Next prepare the dates and pecans. The nuts should be chopped fairly small and the dates should be chopped into equally small pieces. Now to make the cake mixture: place the butter, black treacle and syrup in a large saucepan and melt them together over a gentle heat. Remove the mixture from the heat, let it cool for a few minutes, then mix in the milk.

Now beat the eggs and add those to the syrup mixture as well. Next sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and gradually whisk the syrup mixture into the dry ingredients, bit by bit, until you have a smooth batter. Then lightly stir in the pecans and about two thirds of the dates, and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Now lightly drop the rest of the dates on the top, pushing them gently in with a skewer. I find adding this amount of dates last of all gives a better distribution of fruit as the mixture is a fairly slack one. Place the cake on a lower shelf so that the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven and bake it for 1½ hours to 1 hour 50 minutes by which time it will have a very rounded, slightly cracked top.

Cool it in the tin for about half an hour before turning it out.

To make the icing: in a small saucepan melt together the evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter, then simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. After that tip it into a bowl and leave it to cool. Then sift in the golden icing sugar and whisk everything together till smooth. Finally, using a palette knife, spread the icing all over the top of the cooled cake.

Keep the cake in a tin in its liner – and it does seem to improve if kept for a couple of days before eating.


1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g pecan nuts
50g black treacle
For the icing:


Pre-heat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2

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You will need a Delia Online 1lb Loaf Tin (or a standard 2lb loaf tin), lined with a 1lb Bake-0-Glide loaf tin liner. The different sizes mentioned are correct - click here for more details.

The Delia Online bakeware range is now available online, and you can buy our Delia Online Loaf Tin direct from Silverwood.

Click here for the tin

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