Sticky Chocolate Pudding Cake with Ice Cream

Marc Swierkowski

Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant, Wareham, MA

Gooey chocolate pudding cake is topped with creamy sweet potato ice cream and a decadent salted toffee sauce. Feel free to swap the homemade sweet potato ice cream with any high-quality store-bought vanilla ice cream.


Sweet Potato Ice Cream:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt 

Sticky Chocolate Pudding Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for jars
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, plus more for jars
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toffee Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt


Make the sweet potato ice cream: in a large saucepan, heat all of the ingredients except for the egg yolks over low heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Using a food processor, purée the mixture and add the egg yolks. Return the ice cream base to the saucepan and stir continuously over low heat until just thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Strain through a sieve and let chill in an ice bath. Place the base in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

Make the sticky chocolate pudding cake: preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour the insides of 8 mason jars and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Put the dates, 1 cup boiling water, and brown sugar into a saucepan set over low heat and gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the dates are soft, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, create a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Fill a saucepan with hot tap water and bring to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over the saucepan, add the chocolate, and heat for 4 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Let cool slightly.

In a food processor, purée the cooled date mixture. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and purée again. Place the mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the melted chocolate. Working in 2 batches, fold in the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Divide the cake batter between 8 mason jars, making sure to fill the jars half way. Place the mason jars in a baking pan with high sides and fill the pan with hot water until the sides of the jars are covered halfway with water. Bake for 45 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are slightly firm.

Make the toffee sauce: add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring up to a gentle simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter is completely melted, about 6 minutes, whisking to fully incorporate ingredients. Let cool. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt right before serving.

To serve, remove the sticky chocolate pudding cake from the jars, top with a scoop of the sweet potato ice cream (or store-bought), and drizzle with the toffee sauce.


8 servings