After all the decking the halls, trimming the tree, wrapping the presents and general holiday madness there is still time to make this last minute easy to make ahead delicious festive dessert! I am sharing my very, very, very favorite, Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe, just in the St. Nick of Time!

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup pitted Medjool dates, chopped,
plus 8 whole dates for garnish
3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, halved
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon baking powder, salt, and chopped dates. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Drain and reserve dates.

3. Butter and flour a 9-inch square cake pan. Cream butter and brown sugar in bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed about 21⁄2 minutes. Add vanilla (scrape the bean, if using) and egg.

4. Sift flour and the remaining 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder together and add to the bowl; Add the reserved dates and reduce mixing speed to low and mix until smooth. Pour batter into the cake pan and bake until the top is springy and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

5. Place cake in pan on a cooling rack. Poke holes at 1-inch intervals all over the cake using a chopstick. Pour half of Sticky Toffee Sauce over the cake and let it rest about 20 minutes. The cake can be stored up to 1 day in a sealed container in the refrigerator and reheated just before serving in a 350°F oven about 20 minutes, adding more sauce if it seems too dry.

6. To serve, slice the cake into squares, heat the remaining sauce, and heavily drizzle it over each slice, topping with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and garnishing with a whole date.

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Sticky Toffee Sauce
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Whisk to incorporate. Reduce heat to low, continuing to whisk until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes.

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Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Combine all ingredients in a chilled metal bowl and beat (with a standing mixer, hand-held mixer, or by hand) until thickened but not stiff. Do not over-whip.

2. Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

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