The best Malva Pudding

This Malva pudding recipe handed down to me by my aunt delivers the most delicious, rich pudding drenched in syrup. This classic from South Africa is the ultimate warm, comforting dessert and is perfect served with custard and cream.

The best Malva Pudding

What is Malva pudding?

Malva pudding is a traditional South African dessert which very similar to British sticky toffee pudding in idea. A cake-like baked pudding drenched in sauce/syrup and served warm with custard or cream. The pudding is made with apricot jam/apricot preserves, white vinegar, sugar, flour and eggs and a sweet sauce is poured over the top the moment it comes out of the oven.

Ingredients needed

  • Butter.
  • Sugar. I use granulated sugar but brown sugar can be used as substitute.
  • Apricot jam/apricot preserves. I use smooth apricot jam but whole fruit jam can be used too.
  • White vinegar. Spirit vinegar.
  • Flour.
  • Milk.
  • Eggs.
  • Bicarbonate of soda/baking soda.
  • Salt.

For the sauce

  • Sugar.
  • Golden Syrup.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Butter.

How to make Malva pudding

Make the sponge pudding by melting the apricot jam, butter, sugar and vinegar together over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes then pour into a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Once the butter mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the flour mixture and the milk, alternatively, until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the beaten eggs. Pour the batter into a greased baking dish then place in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

While the pudding is baking, combine all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan then bring to a boil and simmer together for 5 minutes. Once the pudding comes out of the oven, pour over the sponge and allow to soak for 10 minutes before serving with custard, cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Can you freeze Malva pudding?

Malva pudding freezes very well. Allow the baked pudding to cool then wrap with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen for 30 minutes or until hot throughout then pour over extra syrup to make sure it’s super moist. Malva pudding can also be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to a day in advance. Reheat before serving.

South African Malva Pudding

South African recipes

  1. Perfect Milk Tart
  2. Slow Braised Oxtail
  3. Homemade Peri Peri Sauce
  4. Peri-Peri Chicken Livers
Malva pudding

South African Malva Pudding

South African Malva pudding is rich, syrupy and absolutely delicious served with quick and easy frozen custard. The ultimate dessert.
4.80 from 49 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: South African
Keyword: Malva pudding, malva pudding recipe, recipe malva pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 529kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 10


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam/apricot preserves
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda baking soda
  • pinch of salt

for the syrup

  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup you can also substitute maple syrup/honey
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • To make the pudding, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 30cm/11in baking dish.
  • In a saucepan set over medium-high heat melt together the butter, sugar, apricot jam and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes then pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together then add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in the beaten eggs.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared dish and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the pudding is dark brown and baked through (a skewer inserted should come out clean).
  • While the pudding is baking, prepare the syrup.
  • Bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the syrup over the pudding as it comes out of the oven.
  • Allow to stand for 20 minutes then serve with custard or cream.


Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 815IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Looks delicious ! Am going to make this for an African night for 20 – do I just double the ingredients and cooking time ?

  2. Looks yummy! Do you use white or brown sugar and can I sub apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar?

  3. Hello! I see you used a 30cm (11 inch) rectangular pan, what is the dimension of the other side? I only have a 9x13inch pan so I’m trying to determine how to increase the recipe proportions for the extra surface area.