South African Malva Pudding Cakes

6 servings
1 hr

Malva pudding is a classic South African dessert spongy in texture, sticky, and irresistible. These easy mini cakes are made with apricot jam that gives them a delicious caramelized texture, and the sweet, buttery cream sauce makes them deliciously gooey.

Who doesn't love a warm, gooey cake à la mode? Malva pudding is perfect for when you want to indulge and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Traditionally, the pudding is baked in one pan, making it even easier to make. I love the individual mini cakes because it makes for mess-free serving and easy portion control.

Truth be told, the latter doesn't work as intended - these malva pudding cakes are super addictive, and it's so hard to stop at just one!

What is Malva pudding?

Malva pudding (malvapoeding) is a popular South African dessert of Cape Dutch origin. The unique flavor combination of apricot jam and butter-cream sauce creates an appetizing sweetness with caramelized exterior and spongy interior that you'll find only here!

Malva pudding is as ingrained in South African culture as melktert or crunchies.

The cake is poured with cream sauce while it's hot, making the pudding delightfully sticky. It is usually served with ice cream or custard, and sometimes both. Or you can also simply dust it with powdered sugar.

Malva pudding variations:

This South African sticky dessert is something you can experiment with a little:

  • Try using ginger in the pudding mix for a little bit of spice or switching some of the ingredients for the cream sauce.
  • You can include brandy, sherry, or dark rum into the sauce before pouring it over the pudding for a more adult version.
  • I've heard of people using sweetened condensed milk instead of cream, and some like to add almond extract in addition to the vanilla extract.
  • Serve the pudding cakes warm or cold as they are, or you can dust them with powdered sugar or top them with ice cream.
  • You can make malva pudding as one big cake or use a muffin pan to create single servings. For this recipe, I decided to use a large, 6-cup muffin pan to create those perfect little portions because I love dessert and have minimal self-control.

Whatever your preference is, I guarantee these little pudding cakes will steal your heart!

South African Malva Pudding Cakes
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Pudding Cakes
  • ▢ 1 cup sugar
  • ▢ 2 large eggs
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ▢ 1/3 cup milk
  • ▢ 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon vinegar
Cream Sauce
  • ▢ 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • ▢ 1/3 cup sugar
  • ▢ 1/4 cup hot water
  • ▢ 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pudding Cakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 6-cup muffin pan or a 7-inch round or square baking dish.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the jam and mix through.
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix alternating with milk. Stir in the vinegar. Combine everything together.
Pour into the prepared muffin pan and bake until the cakes turn golden brown on the edges about 30-45 minutes (about 60 minutes if you're not using a muffin pan).
Cream Sauce
In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and everything is well combined.
Take out the cakes from the oven and poke holes with a toothpick all over them. Pour the sauce over the hot baked pudding cakes.
Let the cakes stand for about 20-30 minutes for the sauce to completely soak in.
  • To avoid lumps of apricot jam and ensure even spreading in the pudding, warm the jam with a splash of water (about ½ teaspoon) until it liquefies. You can also use apricot preserves.
  • You want to make sure you pour the sauce over your pudding while it's still hot so that all those delicious flavors can sink in.
  • It is best to serve the pudding when the sauce is fully absorbed; let the cakes rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • The butter sauce will separate a bit when simmering, but don't worry! Just scoop out any milk solids before pouring it over your cake. You'll have an even cleaner look with no pesky bits sticking up all over the place.
  • If you choose to bake the pudding in one pan instead in a muffin tin or ramekins, you will need to bake it longer, about 30-40 minutes.
  • You can serve the malva pudding warm or cold.
  • Check the post for variations and FAQs.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
  • Storage:
  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze.
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