How to Make Traditional South African Malva Pudding

“Malva!” Just hearing the word creates a burst of taste and memory in most South Africans.

At Tintswalo Atlantic, Malva Pudding is one of the most popular desserts that we serve; and apart from it’s wonderful sweet-and-sour taste, there are a number of interesting stories behind this famous South African dish.

It’s said that malva pudding was first brought to Africa by Dutch settlers in 1652 and was served after lunch or dinner (in the evening) to the Dutch 'upper-class', living in and around the Cape of Good Hope. Some claim it is named after a mysterious South African woman called 'Malva'; and others propose that since the Afrikaans word for marshmallow is 'malva', and the pudding is rather soft, this is how it got its name.

Another story says that the pudding didn't have a name at all but merely accompanied a sweet dessert wine called 'Malvacea' (also known as 'Malvasia' but more commonly known as sweet 'Malmsey'), which traditionally came from the tiny Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, and was considered something of a civilised delicacy.

Made with the simplest of ingredients and easy to make, every mouthful of malva releases a myriad of memories with a comfortable familiarity. While it bakes, the aroma emanating from the oven, filling the kitchen, wafting into every chamber of the house is as wonderfully fragrant as the week before Christmas. The next time you bring a tablespoon of malva to your mouth, take the time to savour the aroma, enjoy the soft stickiness and of course, the history behind a rather decent, colonial dessert.


6 1⁄2 ounces sugar (3/4 cup, 200 ml, or 180 g)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon apricot jam
5 ounces all-purpose flour (150 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1⁄3 cup milk


3⁄4 cup fresh cream (200 ml)
3 1⁄2 ounces butter (100 g)
3 -5 ounces sugar (90 - 150 g)
1⁄3 cup hot water (90 ml)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius.
Grease an oven dish. A 7 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch Pyrex dish. (18 x 18 x 4 1/2 cm)
Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It's quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick and lemon-coloured, then add the apricot jam and mix through.
Melt the butter (don't boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
Sieve, or simply mix together: the flour, soda and salt.
Add this mixture, with the milk, to the egg mixture in the processor or mixing bowl. Beat well.
Pour into your pre-greased oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and well-risen -- depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 - 45 minutes.
In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Leave to stand a while before serving. Serve warm. Because Malva is rich, it does not really need enhancement, but if you want, serve with vanilla ice cream or custard

Dinner at Atlantic

Tintswalo Atlantic is one of the most spectacular restaurant locations in Cape Town. Perched above the crashing waves on the coast of Chapman’s Peak, the famous lodge serves beautiful home-cooked meals while looking over the shimmering ocean of Hout Bay.

The Tintswalo Atlantic kitchen team creates memorable meals from fresh, locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Leading out onto an expansive wooden deck, the lodge dining room enjoys sublime ocean views and fresh sea air. Inside, the open-plan kitchen layout creates an interactive cooking experience for guests who might enjoy sipping a glass of wine while watching the chef prepare meals, or discussing cooking techniques with the head chef.

Over and above overnight guests, the lodge does cater for outside meal reservations, special occasions and events. Visitors may book for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Due to high demand, booking in advance is essential.

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