This keto friendly Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe features a tender, moist almond flour cake smothered in a rich sugar free toffee sauce. A heavenly low carb dessert with less than 7g total carbs per serving. And you can bake it right in your Instant Pot!
Oh looky, what do we have here? Would you believe me if I told you it’s a keto version of Sticky Toffee Pudding? For those of you familiar with your classic British desserts, prepare to have your minds blown by this deliciousness!
My own mind was blown. This sticky toffee pudding recipe may have just shot to the top of my favorite holiday desserts list. An incredibly moist, tender cake with a thick rich toffee sauce. And I cooked it in my Instant Pot! But don’t worry, I am including instructions for the oven as well.
Never heard of sticky toffee pudding? I don’t care where you are from or what your traditions were growing up, you need to make this recipe now. I don’t mean in a few minutes, I mean RIGHT NOW!
What is Sticky Toffee Pudding?
It’s not pudding of the sort that most Americans would recognize. True to the delightful way the Brits use language, pudding can refer to dessert in general. It can also refer to a custard or a steamed cake. And sticky toffee pudding falls into the later category, although it can be baked or steamed.
Like many people, I’ve always assumed it was of British origin. But according to a couple of sources, its origins may actually be Canadian. Whoop whoop, another amazing dessert from my homeland! However, it was made famous by a hotel in the Lake District in the 1970s.
I don’t remember when I first heard of this delectable English treat but I do know that I wandered around London on my honeymoon, desperate to find some. I figured it would be sold in every restaurant and cafe but it was surprisingly hard to find. I did finally manage to get my fix at a little pub and it was just as good as it sounds.
The conventional Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe takes dates to help sweeten it. A lot of dates.
Dates are shockingly carby, did you know that? A single Medjool date has 20g of carbs. A cup of them has about 110g. GAH! That’s a shocking amount of carbohydrates for something that is not much bigger than a walnut.
I just got a toothache writing that.
How To Make Keto Sticky Toffee Pudding
Date-Free: Obviously the dates had to go. I considered chopping up a single date to put into the mix but that would add over 2g of carbs per serving. So to get that same deep flavor, I used a little Yacon syrup, which only has about 12g per tablespoon. You don’t need to use this if you prefer not to.
I also added a little cocoa powder to deepen the color of the cake, but not so much that you can taste any chocolate flavor.
Steamed or Baked? When I was researching Sticky Toffee Pudding recipes, I found that most of them are baked. But it occurred to me that using an Instant Pot would give it that fantastically moist steamed texture.
If you don’t have an instant pot, you can also bake it in a water bath (instructions included in the recipe notes).
Two different sweeteners: I know you want me to tell you that the toffee sauce can be made with whatever you have on hand. But it can’t. You need a sweetener like allulose or Bocha Sweet (or possibly xylitol) to make the sauce gooey. Swerve works perfectly in the cake itself but would recrystallize too much to be used alone in the sauce.
So the sauce takes both Swerve and allulose or Bocha Sweet. This combination of sweeteners is ideal for gooey rich sauces like caramel. I usually use Bocha Sweet in my sugar-free caramel sauce but this time I used allulose and it worked beautifully.
To deepen the color and make it more of a toffee sauce rather than caramel, I boiled it longer until it was a deep amber. It was truly a thing of beauty!
To serve the Sticky Toffee Pudding: This is an incredibly moist cake and it’s not easy to remove from the pan in one piece. You can cut it into wedges in the pan, but if you want to take it out intact, you must line the bottom with parchment paper. That way, you can flip it out onto a serving platter (the bottom will become the top of the cake).
Let the cake cool completely before trying to serve, so it holds together a little better. The toffee sauce is best served warm, and you can warm the individual slices of cake gently before serving.
Ready to try my keto version of this classic dessert? You won’t regret it!
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Keto Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 2 teaspoon Yacon syrup (or molasses, optional)
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon butter , softened
- ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 6 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup Swerve Brown
- ¼ cup Bocha Sweet or allulose sweetener
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease a 7-inch ceramic souffle dish. If you want to take the pudding out of dish whole, line with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and grease the paper as well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Yacon syrup, hot water, and vanilla. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sweetener until lightened and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs until well combined, then beat in the almond flour mixture.
- Add the Yacon/hot water mixture and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread to the edges. Smooth the top and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Set the trivet into the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water to the bottom. Carefully lower the baking pan onto the trivet and seal the lid. Make sure the vent is also sealed. Set to the cake setting (or Manual) for 45 minutes. (For Oven Baking Instructions, please see the Recipe Notes).
- Let the pressure release naturally from the Instant Pot before removing the cake. Let the cake cool completely to firm up, then flip out onto a serving platter (the bottom will now be the top) or cut into pieces in the pan.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the two sweeteners. Stir together as they melt and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook about 5 minutes, until it's a deep amber. Keep your eye on it, as it can boil over or burn easily.
- Add the cream and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble vigorously; this is normal. Whisk until smooth and boil another 2 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm before serving over the cake.
Can I make the sauce a day ahead of time and just reheat it.
Yes but re-heat it very gently.
Could I make this pudding ahead of time and freeze it?
Since this “pudding” is really more of a cake, yes, you should be able to.
Hi! This recipe sounds so good but where I am I can’t get Bocha sweetener but I can get erythritol granules, would that work?
No, it won’t. Erythritol will re-crystallize and your sauce won’t pour properly. You can only sub with xylitol or allulose.
Carol V says
Sticky toffee pudding?? I officially love you! This is my absolute favourite dessert, and was so sad I couldn’t have it anymore. Thank you. I bought an instant pot for myself last Christmas, and haven’t used it yet. I am too scared. Would this recipe be good for my first recipe?
Karen Campbell says
My husband and I had the real deal in Scotland a couple years ago and loved it. Tried this tonight. My instant pot was acting up so I had to finish it in the oven. It was divine. So rich and gooey! I love your recipes.
So happy you liked it!
Christine Petkau says
We just came home from Christmas in London and my daughter and I tried sticky toffee pudding in a pub the first night we were there. We loved it so much we went back to the same pub on our last night just to have it again. I’m definitely going to be ordering the special ingredients to make this keto version. Thanks Carolyn!
This looks wonderful! Possible to do it in a slow cooker? Any ideas?
You probably could (I have other keto slow cooker cakes) but you’d need to make a bigger one depending on the size of your slow cooker.
Helen McMullen says
What is the weight in grams equivalent to a cup of almond flour?
I made this last night. It was excellent. I didn’t have the right size souffle dish so I made it in a 7 1/2 inch spring form pan that I wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil. I cooked in a water bath in a conventional oven. It took about 1 1/4 hours. It’s really worth getting the special ingredients for this recipe. Thank you!
Wow, it’s good to know how long it would take. Did you do it at 350F?
Jackie Martin says
I’ve just plated it after cooking 1/2 recipe in a 4 1/2″ casserole in conventional oven. It took 65 mins and tastes delicious! I haven’t made the sauce yet, but the pudding itself is so moist it would be good on it’s own or with a dollop of home made ice cream. Thank you!!
So glad it turned out! Enjoy your holiday.
What brand of allulose? Does it come in powder or granular? Can’t get Bocha Sweet or Brown Swerve on Canadian Amazon yet ☹
This is the one I used. https://amzn.to/2S2iQXa
Perfection! Brought it to a party this weekend! Loved it!
Yay, so happy to hear it!
I don’t know how you do it, but you certainly have a knack for turning out the best keto desserts! ????
Yes!! I love that you can make this in the instant pot to free up an already overloaded oven this holiday season.
Natasha Kravchuk says
That sauce is just the cherry on top! So moist and wonderful!
Mallory Lanz says
I love the sauce on this cake! Thanks for a great recipe!
I just made this today and it is incredible! I used a DIY version of xylitol-free THM Gentle Sweet in place of the Bochasweet and the cake is delicious! I will definitely make this again. Thank you!
Can I substitute blackstrap molasses for the yacon syrup?
Bertha Sanchez says
what can you use instead of yacon syrup?
You can skip it, as I said in the blog post. Or you can try a bit of molasses
I was wondering if I could use a 7″ spring form pan?
This is what I’m planning to use. I will let you know how it works.
Looking forward to hearing about it
It worked amazingly! You have to make this!
You can but be sure to wrap the bottom VERY tightly in foil to keep the moisture from getting in.
This sounds and looks divine! Sticky Toffee Pudding is such a wonderful memory for me – one that I thought would remain merely that , a memory, for the rest of my life until I read your recipe. However, my pantry is bursting at the seams from all of the “special” ingredients that I have added since cutting carbs from my diet! Just when I had made room for the Xylitol, Swerve, Swerve Powdered, Swerve Brown, Stevia Powder, Stevia Liquid, Monk fruit, Gentle Sweet and Super Sweet, this recipe now requires Bocha Sweet or allulose sweetener. Argh! This is making me crazy! Do you know if Monk Fruit sweetner (the newest on my shelf and the one with which I have least experience) would also crystallize like the Swerve or would it work more like the Bocha Sweet or allulose sweetener? Because of the five dogs in the family, I try to limit the Xylitol usage.
Hi Kelly. I understand your frustration but the reality is that no single sweetener behaves exactly like sugar so we need to use their various properties in different ways. No, monk fruit will not work. Only xylitol, allulose or Bocha Sweet. I highly recommend Bocha Sweet. Because I only ever use it for the recipes that need a gooey texture, it lasts quite a while.
Nashwa Rizkallah says
can I use the yacon syrup instead of the Xylitol ?? I am making this as we speak so please answer asap. thanks
There is no xylitol in this recipe.
Monk fruit is a super concentrated swetener like stevia, available as a powder or liquid used in tiny quantities. If you have “monk fruit” that looks like granulated sugar then it’s a tiny amount of monkfruit mixed into a base of something else, probably erythritol, in which case it will crystallize like swerve. The base could also be maltodextrin or dextrose (Monkfruit in the Raw uses dextrose it appears) in which case you should throw it out because it’s not low carb.
If you want to control the size of your pantry I suggest paying close attention to ingredient lists on the products. The Gentle Sweet and Super Sweet are mixtures of xylitol, erythritol and stevia. Along with swerve this means you have 3 different erythritol based sweeteners. I personally use plain erythritol and add some monkfruit if desired. We like the lakanto monkfruit better than stevia, so I’m elminating stevia from my pantry and switching over. Bochasweet and allulose, on the other hand, are completely different than the other products on the list.
One thing I wonder about, but have never seen discussed, is whether caramelizing something like allulose or bochasweet transforms the molecules into something that is digested differently and might adversely affect blood sugar. Caramelizing sugar chemically transforms sugar into a bunch of other molecules.
Thank you, Carolyn and Adrian. I will go ahead and order some of the Bocha Sweet because this recipe has been calling to me all day! I have a couple of family members who find the Erythritol to have a cooling effect so I have been trying different brands and combinations to come up with something that I can use consistently. The Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener (both the classic and the golden) and Swerve or a combination of the two have worked pretty well. In my experience, Stevia frequently taste too harsh – I cant seem to get a handle on how much to add so I just try to avoid it. Carolyn, thank you for all of your guidance and for taking the walk ahead of me so that I dont stumble as frequently as I would if I were trudging through this alone. Have a blessed holiday!
I would say that if you’re using Lakanto Monkfruit classic you might want to try their liquid monkfruit. Also since it’s mainly erythritol you can use it in place of swerve and probably the Gentle Sweet and Super Sweet blends. That might give you room on the shelf for Bochasweet and Allulose.
Erica B says
I and my husband prefer Lakanto over Swerve, which has a heavy cooling effect for us. However, I find that Lakanto tends to recrystallize more than Swerve in certain applications. Because of that, I tend to use more powdered Lakanto than granular, and I always use Swerve for caramel-based recipes. I tried caramel sauce with Lakanto and it turned into wet sand as it cooled. I think both have their place. We do like Swerve brown quite a bit. Our most used sweeteners are Lakanto powdered and granular, confectioners Swerve, Swerve Brown, and Truvia packets. I want to try Bocha Sweet as soon as possible, and probably keep that on hand too.