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It’s a real traditional South African oldie. It’s comfort food personified, as good as a hug from Mom herself (well, almost).

Malva pudding is a sweet pudding of Cape Dutch origin. It contains apricot jam, vinegar and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce is poured over it while it is hot, and it is usually served hot with custard or ice-cream or my favourite, heavy whipped cream. It is of Cape Dutch origin with many additions which may differ from one area to the next, e.g., ginger. It has many variants, such as the Cape brandy pudding, which also includes brandy and dates, and the tipsy tart, which contains only brandy.
Do not serve immediately, but let it stand, to give the sauce a chance to soak in properly. Real cold-weather comfort food. It’s rich, so a little goes a long way. This winter you must try this! I love it any time of the year though and even enjoy it cold, the next day, with ice cream – a summer dessert.


Batter in the baking dish


cake straight out the oven




Cake after the sauce is poured over – it all gets absorbed!

Serves 8


1 cup flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup / 115 g butter


Preheat the oven to 180 C / 360 F
Butter an ovenproof glass or porcelain dish, 20 cm / 8″ diameter
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt
In another bowl, beat the egg
Add all the other “cake” ingredients, one by one, beating well
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until smooth
Pour the batter into the baking dish
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until well cooked and browned
When the cake is almost ready, heat all the sauce ingredients together in a pan over medium heat
Remove cake from the oven and immediately pour all the hot sauce over the cake
Serve hot or at room temperature with some whipped cream