Malva Pudding, South African Baked Dessert

Malva Pudding – a sweet decadent South African dessert with a caramelized exterior and spongy interior soaked in tasty warm butter.
It is a big part of South African Desserts, it is easy and you can create more desserts out of one recipe, the great thing about this dessert is that you can add more ingredients like Fruits, Nuts, and Wines.  It’s a perfect traditional oldie.

Malva Pudding Recipe

It is a sweet pudding of South African origin and it contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce is often poured over it while it is hot, and it is usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream.
It is such a fluffy, moist cake that some people say its name, “malva,” comes from the Afrikaans word for “marshmallow!”.
Chocolate Malva Pudding
Chocolate Malva Pudding
What Country Does Malva Pudding Come From?
South Africa! It’s said it was first brought to Africa by Dutch settlers in 1652 and was served after lunch or dinner (in the evening) to the Dutch ‘upper-class’, living in and around the Cape of Good Hope.

What is the History of Malva Pudding?

It is made in certain parts of the Netherlands. The origin of this recipe is decidedly Dutch. Dutch colonists brought the pudding to South Africa when they arrived, most in connection with Dutch East India explorations, in the mid-1600s.

Malva Pudding Vs Jan Ellis Pudding

Although Malvapoeding (Malva pudding) and Jan Ellis pudding are very similar.

Jan Ellis was a famous South African rugby player in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Jan Ellis pudding is evidently a great favorite of his.

These desserts are both cake-like in texture and steeped in a rich sauce that is poured over the hot tart when it is removed from the oven. There are minor differences in the ingredients that influence the end product in both texture and flavor.

Jan Ellis pudding uses baking powder (or self rising flour), whereas Malva pudding uses baking soda, and it contains vinegar, whereas Jan Ellis pudding does not. The relative proportion of ingredients also differs.

The sauce is rich in both cases. Whereas most of the calories come from cream in Malva pudding, they are from butter in Jan Ellis pudding.

Chocolate Malva Pudding
Chocolate Malva Pudding

How To Make Malva Pudding

It all starts with a wonderful spongy cake, flavored with apricot jam, that bakes until the exterior becomes somewhat caramelized. Then, after poking holes throughout the sponge, a mixture of heavy cream, milk, butter, sugar, and salt, is poured over the pudding.

The textures of the caramelized exterior, spongy center, and delicious creamy liquid are out of this world!

What Can I Use Instead Of Apricot Jam in Malva Pudding?

Apricot jam: traditional flavor profile for the Malva sponge, however, if you need a substitute for the apricot jam the best substitutes  are canned fruit, apple jelly, duck sauce, honey, orange marmalade, peach jam, ginger jelly, or a gelatin sugar and water combination.

Is Malva Pudding Healthy?

Some of the health benefits of this lovely recipe includes;

  •  Cooling: Cools down the entire body therefore, it is recommended for the following ailments :Fever, Cough, Flu Phlegm ,Sinus ,Asthma ,Pneumonia, Sore throats ,Tonsillitis (Tonsils) Pharyngitis , and Throat infections.
  • Rectifies Bloodshot eyes and heals rashes caused due to internal heat
  • For cleansing the urinary organs (bladder, kidney, et cetera) and to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI)

Does Malva Pudding Contain Alcohol?

No, traditional malva pudding does not contain alcohol. The sticky, sweet dessert is made from ingredients like flour, sugar, butter and eggs. It’s topped with a creamy caramel sauce after baking. Some variations add brandy or other spirits, but the original malva pudding recipe does not include alcohol.

How to Store South African Malva Pudding 

Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat it in a 300°F (150°C) oven or the microwave!

Check out other South Africa recipe here  

This Recipe is a Real cold-weather comfort food. This winter you must try this!

Chocolate Malva Pudding

  Malva Pudding

You won’t believe how flavorful and comforting this pudding is, especially because it is a cinch to make! Here is how you make malva pudding!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes



  • The pudding
  • 6 12ounces sugar (3/4 cup, 200 ml, or 180 g)
  • 2large eggs
  • 1tablespoon apricot jam
  • 5ounces all purpose flour (150 g)
  • 2teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 1tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
  • 1teaspoon vinegar
  • 13cup milk
  • 34cup fresh cream (200 ml)
  • 3 12ounces  butter(100 g)
  • 3 -5ounces sugar (90 - 150 g)
  • 13cup hot water(90 ml)



  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius. (NOTE: I find my convection/fan oven very hot. I baked the pudding at 170 deg C and had to turn it down to 160 deg C/325 deg F for fear the pudding might burn. You know your oven -- Adjust accordingly).
  • Grease an oven dish. Use a 7 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch Pyrex dish. (18 x 18 x 4 1/2 cm)
  • Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It's quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters.Beat until thick and lemon coloured, then add the jelly (jam) and mix through.
  • Melt the butter (don't boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
  • Sieve, or simply mix together: the flour, soda and salt.
  • Add this mixture with the milk to the egg mixture in the processor or mixing bowl. Beat well.
  • Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and well-risen -- depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 - 45 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes this time).
  • In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
  • Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  • Leave to stand awhile before serving.
  • Serve warm. Because it's rich it does not really need enhancement, but if you want, serve with vanilla ice cream.


I cut down a little on the sugar in the sauce, but it should actually be a sweet pudding!! The sauce was quite enough to moisten the entire pudding -- it should not be dripping with sauce,  Do not serve immediately, but let it stand, keeping warm, to give the sauce a chance to soak in properly. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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