Cape Malay Malva Pudding

Cape Malay Malva Pudding

A veritable heart-attack on a plate, Malva Pudding is quite literally the definition of a dessert to die for!

The very first South African dessert I learnt to make upon arrival upon these shores, it may as well have been my last. Arguably the nation’s most loved traditional dessert (and certainly my partners favourite), Malva Pudding’s enduring appeal is understandable given it embodies everything my adopted country love in their desserts. Sweet, comforting and unpretentious, this classic pudding has it all! As they say here in South Africa, “who doesn’t love a good malva?”. Indeed.

On the face of it Malva Pudding is little more than your basic sponge, but is transformed when soaked in an achingly sweet cream and butter sauce. The addition of apricot jam and a magical combination of boiled milk and vinegar, turns this humble pud into the moist desserts, the such dreams are made of.

Always served warm, Malva Pudding is the prefect dessert to get you through those dark winter nights. Traditionally it is served with either cold custard (never hot), whipped cream or even vanilla ice-cream. Malva Pudding also reheats very well, a few seconds in the microwave is all it takes to revive its gooey glory!

For more South African recipes from the Muddled Pantry, please click HERE

Malva Pudding: Serves 8

For the sponge:

  • 1 cup of castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
  • 185g cake flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 full cream milk

For the soaking sauce:

  • 1 cup single cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the castor sugar and eggs until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in the apricot jam
  4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the milk and vinegar. Boil briefly until the milk curds (it will look awful, but don’t worry its meant to!)
  6. Alternating between the flour and milk, fold small quantities into the egg mixture. Always start with the flour and end with the milk
  7. Pour into a well greased baking tray (I use a glass loaf tray)
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick/bamboo skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the sponge
  9. Whilst the pudding is baking, prepare the soaking sauce by combining all four ingredients into a saucepan
  10. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely
  11. Pour some of the warm sauce over the hot cooked pudding
  12. Liberally pierce the pudding with a bamboo skewer – you want the sauce to penetrate every part if the sponge. Using a thin knife or spatula, gently pries the sides of the pudding away from the edge of the baking tray and pour some of the sauce between them.
  13. Keep pouring the sauce until it has all been adsorbed
  14. Serve straight away whilst it is still warm

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