Learn How To Make Donna Hay’s Sticky Date Winter Pudding

DH hero

Winter is the perfect season for pudding – it’s the ultimate answer to the cold! So max out your sugar levels and let out your belt buckle. We’re talking straight to your stomach.

We’re taking our lead from the crème de la crème of haute cuisine, starting off with that doyen of delicious – Donna Hay and her divine sticky date pudding recipe.

winter pudding zanui

From L to R: Molten Peanut Butter + Chocolate Fondant Cakes – buzzfeed.com, Best Chocolate Pudding – norecipes.com and Salted Caramel Pots de Creme – theviewfromgreatisland.com

I adore puddings. I know. This is not cool. Hipsters are skinny and get about on fixies, their facial hair flowing in the breeze. They sip cold-pressed microlots from Honduras and pen poetry on scraps of serviettes.

Winter is the worst time for me. There’s nothing like a touch of chill in the air to pique my desire for sugar surfeit. Breakfast dessert becomes a no-brainer – seductively sweet and soothing… It’s an ideal day starter.

Which is why I adore Donna Hay.

When asked about her favourite dessert, Donna said: “I’ll eat any type. Ice cream and me, we are as one. I’ll bake anything. If you want me to bake anything for you, I’m more than happy to, any time.”*

*Interview with Good Food July 4, 2012

winter pudding zanui

Donna Hay and her desserts. From L to R: Caramel Self-saucing Pudding – donnahay.com.au, the lady herself – pinterest.com, and Lemon Delicious Pudding – donnahay.com.au

Donna Hay – the Simple Gourmand

Donna Hay has been defining delicious since she was 8. She literally grew up in the kitchen working magic with a spatula… Her style? Pure and simple.

A natural high-achiever, DH was food editor of Marie Claire at 25, and launched her own magazine in 2001.

She’s published 22 (!) award-winning cookbooks and she’s a regular on the box. Not to mention her own range of vintage inspired bakeware and fine bone china dinnerware. Yuuuum.

We’re spotlighting her sticky date pudding! It’s melt-in-the-mouth divine.

winter pudding zanui

Donna Hay and her Sticky Date Pudding. Images sourced L to R: donnahay.com.au, ittybittypolkadot.blogspot.com.au and parramattasun.com.au

Sticky Date Pudding


1 ½ cup (210g) chopped pitted dates
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
100g butter, chopped
¾ cup (135g) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (150g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
Double (thick) cream
150g butter, chopped
1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
1 ½ cup (265g) brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (355ºF).
  2. Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter and sugar and mix in food processor until well combined.
  4. Add eggs and flour and process until just combined.
  5. Pour into a lightly greased 26cm x 16cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
  6. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then cut into squares.
winter pudding zanui

Donna’s decadent desserts. From L to R: Cocoa Panna Cotta, Chocolate + Oat S’mores, Salted Caramel Swirl Meringues and Rhubarb + Almond Hand Pies, images sourced donnahay.com.au

Toffee Sauce

  1. Place butter, cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter is melted.
  2. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  3. Spoon over puddings and top with cream.

Serves 6

So simple and yet so ethereal in taste. We heart you, Donna. You’re the sweetest!

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.