Kid-friendly Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

Recipe: Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Brent Hofacker/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
2 minutes
1-2 servings

Fun Food Story

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Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

Gingerbread is one of those classic flavors that really gets us in the mood for the holidays. By now, kids (and families!) are probably so ready for a holiday (and homework) break. Let’s give them something sweet and traditional with a super fun SFC twist: Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Cake! We’ve made Sticky Toffee Date Cakes in our after-school classes before, and they were a hit! We’re adding gingerbread flavor for the holidays to be extra festive. Kids may wonder why they’re putting ground black pepper in their cakes. Tell them it’s to mimic the warm spiciness of classic gingerbread flavor! Spices are warming to the body and are extra welcomed during the cold months of winter. Have fun (and stay warm!) with these recipes!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • mash :

    to reduce food, like potatoes or bananas, to a soft, pulpy state by beating or pressure.

  • melt :

    to heat a solid food so it becomes liquid, like butter or chocolate.

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • peel :

    to remove the skin or rind from something using your hands or a metal tool.

Equipment Checklist

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe mug
  • Potholder
  • Measuring spoons
  • Metal spoon
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife (a butter knife works great)
  • Wide mixing bowl
  • Potato masher or fork
  • Paper towel
  • Small jar or plastic container with matching lid
  • Soap for cleaning hands


Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

  • Cake:
  • 1 T butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance, or a nut-free oil, like olive or vegetable oil)**
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 3 T whole milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 3 T all-purpose or whole wheat flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Cream:
  • 3 T heavy whipping cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub full-fat coconut cream)**
  • 2 pinches pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 small squeeze honey, to taste

Food Allergen Substitutions

Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

  • Gluten/Wheat: Sub gluten-free/nut-free flour blend with xanthan gum (must be a blend—pure garbanzo or rice flour will not work).
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance, or a nut-free oil, like olive or vegetable. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk. Substitute full-fat coconut cream for heavy whipping cream.


Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake + Jolly Gingerbread Cream

cake: add + microwave + melt

Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon honey to your microwavable mug and microwave for 20 seconds. Use a potholder to carefully remove the mug from the microwave and stir to melt the butter fully.

measure + mix

Measure and mix into the mug 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, and 3 tablespoons milk.

peel + chop + mash

Peel and chop 1/2 ripe banana. Chop 5 pitted dates. Add the chopped banana and dates to a wide mixing bowl and mash until they’ve formed a chunky paste!

measure + mix + microwave

Measure and mix in 3 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Mix until lumps are mostly gone! Mix in mashed banana and dates. Cover mug with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Let rest for 30 seconds. Microwave for a final 40 seconds and let stand for 1 minute before using a potholder to carefully remove from the microwave and taste! (The mug cake will be sticky inside, but if it is still too wet in the middle, cover again with a damp paper towel and microwave for another 30 seconds.)

cream: measure + add + shake

Measure and add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream to a small glass or plastic jar. Secure the lid and shake until cream thickens, about 30 seconds. The cream should still be pourable, but thick.

add + stir + top

Add 2 pinches of pumpkin pie spice and 1 pinch of ground ginger. Add 1 small squeeze of honey and stir! Top your Sticky Toffee Gingerbread Pudding Mug Cake with a spoonful of Jolly Gingerbread Cream! Yum!

Surprise Ingredient: Dates!

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Photo by Rahou Maachou

Hi! I'm a Date!

"You wouldn't know from looking at me, but I'm a deliciously sweet fruit! We dates don't have much water in us, so we are naturally dehydrated, and we have lots of fructose—that's a sugar found in fruit. We're better than candy because we're a tasty and healthy source of fiber and energy!"

History & Etymology

  • Dates are the fruit of the date palm, a flowering plant in the palm family. 
  • It is uncertain where dates originated, but they may have initially started growing in the Middle East or the Persian Gulf. They are considered one of the oldest crops and have been grown in areas of North Africa and the Middle East for around 5,000 years.  
  • Fossil records indicate that the date palm has been around for possibly 50 million years. Archaeological evidence for dates goes back to about 7000 BCE in the Middle East.
  • Because the date palm tree and its fruit have so many uses—from food to building materials—the date palm is known as the "tree of life" in the Middle East, and it is the national tree of Saudi Arabia. It is also an important symbol in Jewish and Muslim religions.
  • Spaniards had introduced date palm trees to the United States by 1769, where they grew at the Franciscan Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego, California.
  • The trees are used for shade in the desert; their leaves are used to make baskets, carpets, and trays; the trunks are used as a frame for tents and for making furniture; and the fiber is suitable for ropes, fish traps, brushes, and filling mattresses and pillows.
  • The word "date" comes from the Greek word "daktylos," meaning "finger," due to its shape.


  • Date palm trees can grow up to 100 feet tall. They grow slowly and can reach 100 years of age. Their fronds or leaves are 13 to 20 feet long, and they have spines along their stalks.
  • Dates, the fruit of the date palm, grow in clumps near the top of the tree, just below the fronds. The fruit can be oval or cylindrical in shape, one inch in diameter, and one to three inches long. Depending on the variety of dates, their color may be yellow, amber, red, or dark brown.

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Choose dates that are plump, shiny, and not too wrinkled or hard. They should have a delicate fragrance rather than a pungent smell.
  • When dates are dried, they become very sweet. The low water and high sugar content give dates a long shelf life of many months to years! People have taken them for long boat trips, crossing deserts, and even living in fortresses as survival food throughout history.
  • You can eat dates whole or chop them up and add them to cakes, muffins, smoothies, shakes, cereals, or salads. For an appetizer, you can stuff dates with soft cheese, honey, and chopped nuts, wrap them with a thin slice of bacon or prosciutto, and then bake them for about 15 minutes. 


  • Dates are full of potassium and fiber. One cup of dates has 27 percent of the recommended daily potassium requirement and 48 percent of the daily fiber. 
  • Dates also contain vitamin A and several B vitamins. In addition, their high fructose content makes them a great natural source of energy.

History of Gingerbread and Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Photo by Peter Austin/


  • Gingerbread was brought to France in 992 CE by an Armenian monk from a Roman province in western Greece. It eventually spread throughout Europe. It was a popular treat at medieval European fairs. 
  • In England and Sweden, gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties, helping with digestion and stomach ache. This makes sense since ginger is often used today to help resolve nausea and other stomach issues. 
  • Gingerbread can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or molasses, although molasses is often used to give gingerbread more flavor and color. 
  • Gingerbread can be a moist cake or a cookie-like pastry used to make gingerbread people and houses. 
  • In 2013, a club in Texas was awarded the Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest gingerbread house. It was 60 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 10 feet tall!

Sticky Toffee Pudding!

  • Date cake or sticky toffee pudding is a British dessert made with a moist sponge cake and finely chopped dates, covered in toffee sauce and vanilla custard or ice cream. 
  • The genesis of sticky toffee pudding is disputed. Still, some people attest to one early recipe created by Francis Coulson and Robert Lee at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in Cumbria, England, in the 1970s. However, there are stories that two other people shared the recipe with them, so we may never know the dessert's true origins.

Let's Learn About the United Kingdom!

Photo by Irina Wilhauk/
  • The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a country in western Europe. Its constituent countries* include England, Scotland, and Wales on the island of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the northeastern part of the island of Ireland. (*A constituent country is part of a larger country.)
  • The total area of the United Kingdom is 93,628 square miles with over 67 million people. That is almost the size of the state of Oregon; however Oregon's population is only six percent of the UK's population.
  • The UK government is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The official and national language is English, and several regional languages are recognized, too, such as Scots, Cornish, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic.

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a heroic fruit of the round table? 

Date Knight.

The Yolk's On You

What do vegetables like to drink? 

Ginger ale!

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the fig take the raisin out to the movies? 

She couldn’t find a date!

Lettuce Joke Around

What fruit can't see? 

A blind date!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call an old, stale date? 

An expiration date!

Lettuce Joke Around

Where do Sticky Fingers Cooking chefs live? 

In gingerbread houses, of course!

THYME for a Laugh

What is the noisiest spice? 

Ginger Snap!

That's Berry Funny

A skeleton walks into a restaurant and says…  

"Waiter, I'll have a ginger ale and a mop."

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