Malva pudding

This is a much-loved traditional dessert. Few things can warm and comfort like a bowlful with homemade vanilla custard. This version is not too sweet and the buttermilk adds a soft texture.

Ready in

1 hour 30 mins

Serving size

Serves 8


  • ½ cup (125 ml) cake flour
  • ½ cup (125 ml) wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) apricot jam
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
  • 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk or maas
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) white grape vinegar


  • ½ cup (125 ml) low-fat milk
  • ½ cup (125 ml) strong Rooibos tea (see tips)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence


  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C and lightly grease a 1,5 litre oven dish with oil.
  2. Mix flours and bicarb together.
  3. Beat egg, sugar, jam and vanilla until smooth, light and fluffy.
  4. Stir buttermilk and butter in a pot over a medium heat until butter has melted. Add the vinegar – the mixture will curdle, but don’t worry.
  5. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Gradually add the warm buttermilk mixture and beat to form a smooth batter.
  6. Pour into oven dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Sauce: Meanwhile, place sauce ingredients in a small pot. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Prick the hot pudding all over with a fork as soon as it comes out of the oven. Pour hot sauce over and allow to absorb. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Serve hot with homemade custard (see tips).


  1. Make strong Rooibos tea with 1 tea bag in ½ cup (125 ml) boiling water.
  2. For a different flavour, substitute the Rooibos tea in the sauce for orange juice.
  3. When buttermilk is not available, mix 1 cup (250 ml) low-fat milk with 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice. Allow to stand for a few minutes and use as above.
  4. Low-sugar homemade custard: make custard with 2 cups (500 ml) low-fat milk, 2-3 tbsp (30-45 ml) custard powder and 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar by following the instructions on the packaging. Season with vanilla essence and finely grated lemon rind. This serves 6.

Malva pudding video

Homemade custard

Prepare a delicious and healthier homemade custard, this way you can control how much sugar is added.

Homemade custard infographic

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 4th edition: Braai

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