To make the date pudding
Preheat your oven to 170˚C (160˚C fan)/330˚F (320˚F fan)/gas mark 3 (gas mark 2 fan).
Grease a 1 litre pudding basin with a little plant-based butter.
Cut the dates into 1 cm pieces, removing any seeds, then put them in a saucepan with the plant milk and bring to a simmer. Add the butter, vanilla and brown sugar and simmer until the dates break up (about 5 minutes). You can help them break up with the back of a wooden spoon.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the date mixture from the saucepan and mix it thoroughly to form a batter.
Put the pudding batter into the greased pudding basin and cover with foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
To make the toffee sauce
While the pudding is baking, make the toffee sauce. Add the coconut cream to a small saucepan. (If you can’t find coconut cream, use a tin of coconut milk, but pop this in the fridge for an hour beforehand, then open up and use the solids from the top.)
Melt the coconut cream in with the sugar until the sugar dissolves then add the butter and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Serve warm.
For a festive effect, add a sprig of holly, then pour the sauce over the sticky toffee pudding at the table.
If you like, you can make individual puddings – just portion out the pudding mixture into 6 individual greased pudding basins and bake for 25 minutes.