South African Malva Pudding

Someone in my comment section recently told me to make malva pudding. I had no idea what this was, so I ran to google to see.

I immediately wanted to make it, IT LOOKED SO GOOD.

I now love malva pudding, it’s so easy to make, it doesn’t take long, and it tastes amazing.

The malva pudding on a plate with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Video Tutorial

What is malva pudding?

If you haven’t heard of malva pudding before, let me try and give a quick explanation on what is it.

It’s a South African dessert that is essentially made up of a soft spongy cake that has been flavoured with apricot jam.

And then this cake is soaked in a sweet sauce, that is made from sugar and cream (there is more ingredients but these are the main 2).

That is pretty much is, like I said it’s super easy to make, but the taste is amazing.

If I had to compare it to something, I would say it’s like a sticky toffee pudding, but a completely different flavour. I’m not sure if this is a fair comparison though, but it did remind me of sticky toffee pudding.

Either way, I loved this so much, it’s such a good dessert.

Close up of malva pudding after being cut into slices.

The cake

We’re going to start by making the cake first. 

Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make it:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Oil – any flavourless oil works, but I used vegetable oil.
  • Apricot jam
  • Soft light brown sugar – regular white sugar also works. But brown sugar is going to give a softer cake with a lot more flavour.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Self raising flour
  • Milk – whole milk is best to use.

Using plain/all purpose flour instead

A lot of times when making cakes, I like to use self raising flour just because I find it easier to use. I don’t need to add any raising agents, it’s already mixed into the flour.

But if you don’t have any self raising flour, or live in a place where it is hard to get, plain/all purpose flour also works. You will just have to add some baking powder to it.

So use the same amount, but mix in 2.5 teaspoons baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt into it. Then it is ready to be used.

The cake batter inside of a square cake tin, before being baked.
The cake inside of a square cake tin after being baked.

The sauce

Whiles the cake is baking, we’re going to make the sauce.

I don’t know exactly what the sauce is. Like I’m sure it has a name. But I have not been able to find out what that name is.

So I’m just calling it a sauce.

To make it all you need is:

  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
  • Whole milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Soft light brown sugar
  • Salt – just a little to help enhance the flavours.

Making it is super easy, you’re just heating all the ingredients together…that’s it.

The cake inside of the tin after the sauce was poured over it.

Letting the cake soak

Once the sauce has been made and the cake has been baked. All you need to do is poke some holes into the cake whiles it is still hot, pour half of the sauce over it, then leave this aside to soak.

You want to leave it to soak for about 30 minutes.

THEN IT IS DONE WOOHOO. You can dig in.

Here are some other recipes I’ve posted recently, you should try these too:

South African Malva Pudding

5.0 from 3 votes


  • For the cake:
  • 90 g unsalted butter, softened

  • 90 ml vegetable oil

  • 100 g apricot jam

  • 150 g soft light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 eggs

  • 180 g self raising flour

  • 40 ml whole milk

  • For the sauce:
  • 150 ml double cream

  • 150 ml whole milk

  • 150 g unsalted butter

  • 80 g soft light brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Making the cake:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c. Also grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • In a large bowl, add the softened butter, oil, apricot jam, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat these together on high speed for 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs into this and whisk these in.
  • Now add the self raising flour and milk. Whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Add this into your greased cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Making the sauce:
  • Whiles your cake is baking, make the sauce. So in a pot, add all the ingredients for the sauce.
  • Place this onto medium heat and heat until all the butter has melted and you get a smooth mixure.
  • Let this mixture simmer for around 2 minutes, you just want it to thicken slightly.
  • Take this off the heat and leave aside until you're ready to use it.
  • Once your cake has baked and is still hot, poke some holes into it using a knife or skewer.
  • Pour half of the sauce over the cake, then leave this aside for around 30 minutes so the sauce can soak into the cake.
  • After 30 minutes, cut it into slices and serve with some ice cream and the leftover sauce. Enjoy!

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