Have a Taste a South Africa With This Traditional Malva Pudding

The wonderful thing about food is that it has the ability to transport you to anywhere in the world — plane ticket unrequired.

South African cuisine relies heavily on Dutch influence, with one of its most traditional desserts, malva pudding, said to have been brought over by Dutch settlers in the 1600s.

The dessert’s texture is not unlike sticky toffee pudding, yet its typically South African.


For the pudding
• 1 cup full cream milk
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup flour
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 tsp bicarb of soda
• 1 large egg
• 1 Tbsp vinegar
• 2 Tbsp apricot jam

For the syrup
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup full cream milk
• ½ cup boiling water
• ¼ cup butter at room temperature
• 1 tsp vanilla essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 320F / 160C.
  2. Mix the cup of milk and the teaspoon of bicarb together.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the milk and bicarb mixture and mix the batter well.
  5. Pour the malva pudding batter into a dish at least 5cm deep. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. To make the syrup, boil all the sauce ingredients together.
  7. Poke holes into the pudding when it comes straight out of the oven and pour the sauce over from the middle to the edges.
  8. Serve warm with custard or ice cream.