Malva Pudding~ South Africa

Malva Pudding South Africans use the word “puddings” for dessert, but this dessert is what Americans would typically think of as a kind of bread pudding. One of my favorite traditional puddings is their Malva Pudding (pronounced mull-fa). The only difficulty for some missionaries would be obtaining cream. Otherwise, this is made from simple ingredients.

First you make a simple cake, and then drench it in a warm sauce. It’s sooo good! You can’t really mess it up, unless perhaps you undercook the cake. Overcooking the cake is not really an issue, because the cream covers a multitude of sins.

Malva Pudding


2 heaped T. butter
6 heaped T. apricot jam (We joke that Afrikaners often use apricot jam or chutney in their recipes!) πŸ˜‰
2 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and jam and beat together. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately and stir into the mixture. Pour the batter into a greased 13×9 pan. Cover either with a lid or aluminum foil and bake at 375F for 30 minutes until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.


2 c. cream
1 c. butter (or a bit less)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. hot water

Heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You can prick holes in the top and sides to help the sauce soak in.

Make cake and sauce. Drench cake with sauce, pricking to make it soak in faster. Serve...with more cream if you want!

Make cake and sauce. Drench cake with sauce, pricking to make it soak in faster. Serve…with more cream if you want!


Afrikaners sometimes put some of the sauce on the side rather than in the cake for extra sauce, or they serve it with a bit of custard. Personally I enjoy Malva Pudding most when it’s moist with sauce, though–not dry. The cream sauce already inside makes it quite rich, but you might enjoy a small dollop of ice cream on top. The heat of the pudding makes the ice cream melt a bit, and it’s delicious on a cold night! You can bake the cake while dinner guests are eating dinner, so that it’s fresh and warm. Or do it ahead of time. It’s great cold or warm, leftover too!

Creative K Kids

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and homeschooling mother of five children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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17 Responses to Malva Pudding~ South Africa

  1. Lois Ruley says:

    Looks very yummy~
    Praying for you and your sweet family~

  2. Rachel says:

    Ooooohhhh… that looks wonderful! I could do it with gluten free flour so I can eat some too and play a libribox story and think that might just be a wonderful Winter family time πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  3. Rachel says:


  4. Christie says:

    Cream covers a multitude of sins on both sides of the ocean. = )

    • Afrikaner says:

      Alma….you are right…find a traditional Malva Pudding recipe on Pinterest or Youtube. This Mava Pudding recipe is so rich….that’s not our tradition….

      • Amy says:

        lol, where do you think I found my recipe? If it’s too rich for you, you’re welcome to halve the sauce as I mentioned above, or definitely find a recipe that you prefer.

  5. Very nice that you posted this.

    Made me very hungry. Missing home. Hope you won’t mind. I Will copy and repost on my site back to yours.

  6. It’s fun to see how your tastes have changed to love foods you wouldn’t have loved before! Thanks for linking up with Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays. I’ve pinned it to the Creative K Kid’s Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest Board.

  7. Lorraine says:

    Nice easy recipe, thank you – may I respectfully point out that Afrikaners are not “the white people” of South Africa! There are many non-Afrikaans “white people”, and many Afrikaans speaking “brown people”. We’re the Rainbow Nation….no stereotyping! Oh and we all love Malva pudding! (a T of brown vinegar also adds a special dimension to the pudding, and is traditional!)
    Lovely on a cold night.

    • Amy says:

      Sure! I’ll delete that comment about the Afrikaners being the “white people group in SA”; you’re right–there are the English whites, etc. But I didn’t think others, like the English or “brown” people called themselves “Afrikaners”? I probably stereotype more than a lot of people are comfortable with in our politically correct age. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your comment. I’ll have to try the brown vinegar next time.

  8. Pingback: Home Again, Home Again, Joburgy-Jig | Ita Vita

  9. Alma says:

    Morning I see that this malva pudding dont have lemon juice or vinegar in. Is that right? All the malva pudding recipes I saw get one or the other in.

  10. Dienkie Kotze says:

    Making it now – Sunday 30 May 2021

  11. Afrikaner says:

    Afrikaners have a joke that Americans use way too much sugar and butter in their recipes….as in your recipe of the Malva Pudding above….πŸ€”

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