Malva Pudding Recipe

Malva Pudding with custard Left Image 1

A truly traditional South African dish, Malva Pudding is the type of dessert you would want to tantalise your taste buds non-stop. This caramelised pudding can be seen as a dish that brings families together around a table with hearty conversations about memories shared. Overall, Malva Pudding goes hand-in-hand with a scene straight from a South African country house. As it is offered in most restaurants across the country, you don’t have to wait for Sunday afternoon cooking in order to enjoy this delicacy.

Malva Pudding with custard Right Image 2
When you order a generous serving of Malva Pudding at any South African restaurant, even the waiter will smile and think back to the time spent at home watching his or her mother preparing this scrumptious dish. Yes, anyone who knows what this pudding tastes like will get a distant look on their face while remembering the “good old days” – carefree in true SA style with nothing left to do but spend time with loved ones, enjoying some good laughs and munching on this sugary sweetness.

Malva Pudding with sauce close up image 3
What makes the Malva Pudding so special? True to its name, “Malva” is the Afrikaans word for Apricot and that is one of the main ingredients used while making the dish. Since the pudding is generally served hot with its caramelised sauce, many prefer to either enjoy it with ice cream or custard. With all this said, it is easy to prepare and delicious to enjoy any time of the year!

Malva Pudding dry ingredients Image 4

Malva Pudding Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine South African
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


Ingredients for the pudding batter

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of full cream milk
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Ingredients for the caramelised syrup

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of full cream milk
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • ¼ cup of butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Method to make batter

  1. Before starting to prepare the batter, you need to preheat the oven to 160ºC.

  2. Mix the vinegar and bicarb of soda together. Make sure that all the bicarb of soda has dissolved before continuing to the next step.

  3. After setting the bicarb mixture aside, mix the remaining ingredients in a different bowl.

  4. To finish off the batter mixture, add the milk and bicarb mixture to the remaining dry mixture. Using an electric mixer, make sure to combine all ingredients well! Ensuring there are no lumps in the batter will give a smoother texture. 

  5. Finally, pour the batter into a dish that is at least 5 cm deep as the batter will rise when in the oven. Bake the pudding batter for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Method to make the caramelised sauce

  1. To make the caramelised sauce, add all the ingredients together in a saucepan and boil on the stovetop until all the ingredients have melted. For optimum flavour, let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes before removing from the heat.

  2. As soon as the pudding is ready to be removed from the oven, poke holes into the pudding. Lastly, pour the caramelised sauce over the hot pudding to make it seep through entirely. Wait for all the sauce to disappear within the dessert before setting it aside for you to enjoy!

Step One – Mix the ingredients together

Step 1 Mixing Ingredients

When mixing the ingredients, it is a good idea to first combine all the dry ingredients and lastly add the liquids as this will eliminate any lumps from forming when using a mixer. Also, remember to stir the vinegar and bicarb well before adding it to the other ingredients. The bicarb granules need to be completely dissolved in order to work effectively.

Step Two – Pour the batter

Step 2 Batter

Make sure the dish you are using to pour the batter in isn’t shallow as the batter will rise when baking. You also need to leave enough room for the sauce to do its magic! After all, you wouldn’t want to have to clean up your stove right after your pudding is ready to enjoy.

Step Three – Make the caramelised sauce

Step 3 Caramelised sauce

Making the sauce is very easy since you only need to add all the ingredients together and boil it on the stovetop. To add more flavour, wait until the sauce is ready to be removed from the heat before adding the vanilla essence.

Step Four – Ensuring batter texture is perfect

Step 4 Malva Pudding Close up

Depending on the wattage of your oven, you need to keep an eye on your batter while it’s in the oven. As soon as the top of the batter is golden brown, you need to remove it from the oven. Keeping it below the heat for too long will cause it to burn and the taste of the pudding will be impacted.

Step Five – Pouring the sauce over the pudding

Step 5 Malva Pudding Complete

Poke holes in the pudding and gently add the sauce. It needs to cover the entire pudding and should soak right through to the bottom of the dish. Wait until all the sauce has soaked into the pudding before slicing it; otherwise, the sauce will gather at the bottom of the dish.

The beauty of this Malva Pudding is the fact that you can enjoy it both hot and cold! Serving it hot with a dollop of custard or ice cream is the perfect combination for wintery days. However, for a mouthful of summery sweetness, a slice of this pudding with ice cream and a cherry on top is the perfect way to complete any meal! Another fascinating fact about this pudding is that you don’t even have to add any additional sauces such as ice cream or custard. Since the dessert has its own sauce, it stays moist and fresh – something to look forward to, no matter what your taste buds like!