Introduction: A Traditional South African Malva Pudding

When there is a pudding craving in our home, it is hard for anything to beat malva pudding. There are simply too many things in its favour - it doesn't require any special ingredients (chocolate, cream cheese etc), it's cheap to make and the rich, syrup-drenched pudding is perhaps the epitome of comfort food. When a pudding craving hits, this is the answer you are looking for.

I admit, the search for the perfect malva pudding has not been an easy one. Moist but not too dense, satisfying but not overly sweet - a lot could go wrong with this pudding. However, the surprising winner for my absolute favourite recipe comes from Justin Bonello. I have no idea how a man who spends his days with smoke, wood and fire knows anything about pudding - but it's so good, you don't really stop to ask questions.

You can find more delicious recipes here


1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 tablespoon smooth apricot jam

1¼ cups cake flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

½ cup milk

For the glaze:

1 cup cream

125g butter

½ cup sugar


Beat the sugar and the eggs in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluff. Add the apricot jam, beat until smooth. In another bowl sift the flour, bicarb and salt. Melt the butter in a small bowl (I normally use the microwave for this) until just melted. Add the vinegar and the milk to the melted butter. (If the butter is too hot, the mixture will curdle. Not a train smash - I've made it more than once when it's curdled and it's still perfect). Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, alternating with the eggs and sugar. Fold in until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture evenly into ramekins of your choice or into a large baking dish - only fill 2/3 of the way.. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

When it is almost baked, boil together the cream, sugar and butter for 1 minute. As soon as your malva comes out the oven, poke holes in the top with a knife and pour over the glaze. You may need to poke more holes for all the syrup to be absorbed - the uglier the top of your malva pudding, the better it will taste. Serve immediately with cream, custard or ice cream.