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Irresistible Malva Pudding Recipe: A Comforting South African Delight

Malva Pudding

When it comes to desserts that wrap you in a warm, comforting hug, Malva Pudding is the epitome of indulgence. This quintessential South African treat is like a culinary embrace, combining a soft and spongy texture with a decadent caramelized sauce. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a kitchen novice, this Malva Pudding recipe is your ticket to creating a dessert that’ll have everyone asking for seconds.



Step into the past and let the aroma of nostalgia waft through the air as we delve into the intriguing history of Malva Pudding. This beloved South African dessert has a story as rich and delightful as its flavors, spanning cultures, continents, and generations.

The Early Origins

The tale of Malva Pudding begins in the heart of South Africa, where Dutch settlers brought their culinary traditions to the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Among these was a simple, comforting pudding known as “Malvapoeding.” The term “malva” translates to “mallow,” reflecting the dessert’s fluffy texture reminiscent of marshmallows.

Cultural Fusion

As time went on, the flavors of Malva Pudding began to evolve. Dutch influences mingled with those of the indigenous Khoikhoi people, leading to the incorporation of local ingredients. The Dutch contribution of pudding-making skills combined with the Khoikhoi’s expertise in using native ingredients like apricot jam, creating a fusion that would shape the dessert’s identity.

A Dash of British Influence

During the British colonial era, Malva Pudding underwent further transformation. British settlers added their own twists, influencing the dessert with their love for puddings and sauces. The result was a harmonious blend of Dutch, indigenous, and British culinary traditions, creating a dessert that was truly representative of South Africa’s diverse heritage.

The Journey Beyond Borders

As global connectivity expanded, so did the reach of Malva Pudding. The dessert’s delectable combination of sweet, sticky sauce and soft, sponge-like texture captured the hearts (and taste buds) of people beyond South Africa’s borders. Travelers and expatriates took the recipe with them to various corners of the world, spreading the joy of Malva Pudding to new lands.

A National Treasure

In modern times, Malva Pudding has solidified its status as a national treasure in South Africa. It’s not only a dessert; it’s a symbol of unity, bridging cultural divides and fostering a sense of togetherness. This sweet treat has become a staple at family gatherings, celebrations, and holiday feasts, cementing its place as a beloved part of South African cuisine.

Global Recognition

Beyond its homeland, Malva Pudding has garnered attention on the international stage. Renowned chefs and food enthusiasts have embraced the dessert for its comforting flavors and charming history. Cooking shows, food blogs, and culinary magazines have all featured their own takes on this classic dish, contributing to its global recognition.


StepTime Required
Preparing Ingredients15 minutes
Mixing the Batter10 minutes
Baking the Pudding45 minutes
Making the Sauce10 minutes
Soaking the Pudding20 minutes
Total1 hour 40 minutes


All-purpose Flour1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar1/2 cup
Milk1/4 cup
White Vinegar1 teaspoon
Apricot Jam2 tablespoons
Baking Soda1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted Butter (for batter)1 tablespoon
Unsalted Butter (for sauce)1/4 cup
Heavy Cream1/4 cup


Step 1: Preparing Ingredients

Time: 15 minutes

Gather all your ingredients to ensure a smooth and enjoyable baking experience. Having everything measured and ready to go will make the process seamless.

Step 2: Mixing the Batter

Time: 10 minutes

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and granulated sugar.
  2. Create a well in the center and add in the egg, milk, white vinegar, apricot jam, and baking soda.
  3. Mix the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.

Step 3: Baking the Pudding

Time: 45 minutes

  1. Preheat your oven to the required temperature and prepare a suitable baking dish.
  2. Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread it evenly.
  3. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake until the pudding turns a beautiful golden brown.

Step 4: Making the Sauce

Time: 10 minutes

  1. In a saucepan, melt the unsalted butter for the sauce over low heat.
  2. Add the granulated sugar and heavy cream to the melted butter, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer gently until it thickens slightly, creating a luscious sauce.

Step 5: Soaking the Pudding

Time: 20 minutes

  1. Once the pudding is baked and still warm, use a skewer to poke holes all over its surface.
  2. Slowly pour the warm sauce over the pudding, making sure it seeps into the holes.
  3. Let the pudding sit for a while, allowing it to absorb the sweet sauce and become irresistibly moist.

Step 6: Serving and Savoring

Your Malva Pudding is now ready to be enjoyed! Serve it warm and delight in every spoonful of its soft, caramel-infused goodness. You can choose to enjoy it on its own or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra layer of indulgence.

Step 7: Storing Leftovers (if any!)

Should you somehow manage to have leftovers, fear not! Cover the pudding and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready for another round of blissful indulgence, reheat individual portions in the microwave for a warm treat that retains all its flavors.

From mixing the batter to savoring the final product, this Malva Pudding recipe is a journey of flavors and textures that’s bound to leave a lasting impression. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a baking adventure that’s sure to sweeten your day.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationPer Serving
Serving Size1/2 pudding (about 175g)
Total Fat19g
– Saturated Fat11g
Total Carbohydrates49g
– Dietary Fiber1g
– Sugars35g

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes. It’s always a good practice to check labels on your ingredients for accurate nutritional information if you’re aiming for precise dietary considerations.


  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs, milk, and butter are at room temperature before you start. This helps achieve a smooth batter consistency.
  2. Sift the Dry Ingredients: Sifting the flour and baking soda together helps remove any lumps and ensures an even distribution in the batter.
  3. Don’t Overmix: Once you start adding the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, be gentle. Overmixing can result in a dense pudding.
  4. Baking Time: Keep an eye on the pudding while it’s baking. The goal is a golden-brown top, but avoid overbaking, as it can lead to a dry pudding.
  5. Warm Sauce: Pour the sauce over the pudding while both are still warm. This encourages the pudding to absorb the sauce, creating that signature moistness.
  6. Sauce Consistency: If your sauce turns out too thin, you can simmer it a bit longer to thicken. Conversely, if it’s too thick, you can add a touch of cream to achieve the desired consistency.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Irresistibly indulgent dessert❌ High in calories and sugar
✔️ Easy-to-follow recipe❌ May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions
✔️ Perfect for special occasions❌ Requires baking and preparation time
✔️ Offers room for creative variations❌ Potential for overbaking, leading to a dry texture
✔️ Delivers a comforting blend of flavors❌ Rich sauce may be too intense for some tastes


In the realm of desserts, Malva Pudding stands as a testament to the magical marriage of simplicity and indulgence. From the moment you start blending the batter to the moment you savor that first spoonful of warm, caramel-infused goodness, the process is an adventure that promises both excitement and comfort.

With its origins deeply rooted in South African heritage and its flavors adored worldwide, Malva Pudding is not just a dessert; it’s an experience that transcends taste. The delicate balance of textures, the symphony of sweet and buttery notes, and the feeling of contentment it brings are all part of the journey.

Whether you’re an experienced home baker or someone just beginning to explore the world of culinary delights, this recipe beckons you to step into the kitchen and create your own piece of sweet history. The steps are clear, the ingredients familiar, and the outcome a delightful masterpiece that awaits your touch.

So, gather your ingredients, embrace the warmth of your oven, and embark on a journey that will not only satisfy your palate but also create cherished memories. Let the aroma fill your kitchen and your heart as you craft a dessert that’s more than just a recipe – it’s a story waiting to be savored. The joy of sharing this dessert, its history, and its flavors with loved ones is a reward in itself. So, go ahead, create, savor, and bask in the sweet journey that is Malva Pudding. Your taste buds will thank you, and your heart will sing with contentment.


  • Fact 1: A Fluffy Ancestor of Marshmallows
    • 🍥🔍 Did you know? The name “Malva” in Malva Pudding comes from the Afrikaans word for marshmallow! Just like marshmallows, this dessert’s texture is delightfully soft and airy, earning it a sweet spot in culinary history.
  • Fact 2: A Sweet Symphony of Cultures
    • 🌍🎶 Malva Pudding is the result of a global culinary fusion! Dutch, Khoikhoi, and British influences combined to create this iconic South African dessert, making it a harmonious blend of cultures and flavors.
  • Fact 3: Pudding with a Twist of Heritage
    • ⏳🇿🇦 Travel back in time with Malva Pudding! This treat has been savored for centuries, connecting us to South Africa’s rich history. It’s not just dessert; it’s a culinary time machine!
  • Fact 4: Dessert Fit for Royalty
    • 👑🍰 Malva Pudding was fit for royalty! Legend has it that Queen Victoria herself enjoyed a similar dessert during her reign. It seems indulgence knows no boundaries, even for monarchs.
  • Fact 5: Malva: The Star of Modern Culinary TV
    • 📺🍮 In recent times, Malva Pudding has dazzled on cooking shows and food blogs. Renowned chefs have turned their attention to this timeless dessert, giving it a spotlight in the modern culinary scene.


Can I make Malva Pudding ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, making Malva Pudding a day in advance can enhance its flavors as the sauce continues to infuse. Simply store it covered in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.

Can I freeze leftover Malva Pudding?

Yes, you can freeze Malva Pudding. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container. Thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat before enjoying.

Is it possible to make Malva Pudding in individual portions?

Certainly! You can bake the pudding in individual ramekins for a charming presentation. Just adjust the baking time accordingly, as smaller portions may cook faster.

Can I use a different fruit jam instead of apricot?

Absolutely, you can experiment with different fruit jams like raspberry, strawberry, or peach to create unique variations of Malva Pudding.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover Malva Pudding?

To reheat, microwave individual portions for about 20-30 seconds until warm. Alternatively, you can cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and warm it in the oven at a low temperature.

Can I make a vegan version of Malva Pudding?

Yes, you can create a vegan Malva Pudding by using plant-based substitutes for eggs, milk, and butter. Coconut milk and vegan margarine can work well in this recipe.

What’s the ideal sauce consistency for Malva Pudding?

The sauce should be smooth and slightly thickened, similar to a rich caramel. It will be liquid enough to pour over the warm pudding and be absorbed.

Is it okay to serve Malva Pudding with a custard sauce?

Absolutely! While the traditional caramel sauce is delightful, serving it with a vanilla or custard sauce can be a delectable alternative.

Can I make Malva Pudding without a baking dish?

While a baking dish is ideal, you can use oven-safe individual dishes or even muffin tins for smaller portions. Just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Can I use a different type of flour for Malva Pudding?

While all-purpose flour is traditional, you can experiment with different flours like whole wheat or almond flour for a unique twist. Keep in mind that this may slightly alter the texture and flavor.