This recipe can be made as individual puddings, muffins, a loaf or cake. Just adjust the baking time to suit. It's a healthified version of your standard date pud as it's free of gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugar. Even the sauce is vegan. Thanks to Eight Forest Lane.

Makes 8 individual puddings

1 c dates

2 Tbsp maple or brown rice syrup, optional

1 tsp baking soda

boiling water

1/2 c coconut sugar

1/2 c vegetable or coconut oil, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 c flour (I used wholemeal gluten-free)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Caramel sauce:

3/4 c coconut sugar

1 x 400ml can coconut milk or cream

3 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180C and grease your tin or line with baking paper.

Chop dates and place in a small bowl with the syrup and baking soda and just cover with boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes then drain, reserving the water.

In a large bowl whisk the sugar, oil and vanilla until fully incorporated. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices and stir in enough of the date water to make a thick batter. Lastly mix in the dates.

Spoon batter into your tin/s and bake for 10 minutes for small cakes to 25-30 for a larger cake. Let cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the sauce, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir well. Bring to boiling then turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Transfer to a jug or bowl and let cool to thicken. It makes a lot of sauce so you'll have plenty left over for ice cream or other cakes. Store in the fridge.

You can serve the puddings and sauce warm or at room temperature.