Homemade malva pudding

Malva pudding

Capsicum Culinary Studio has tasked its chef lecturers to come up with some delicious dishes, perfect for the whole family to enjoy during the current lockdown.

Chef Charne Wylie from the school’s Pretoria campus shares her recipe for her delicious and easy-to-make malva pudding – perfect for the winter weather we are currently experiencing – and best served with lashings of cream or custard (or both for the very greedy!)

There are various theories on where the name for this traditional South African pudding came from including:

The Oxford English Dictionary says it comes from Afrikaans malvalekker, meaning “marshmallow” (ultimately from Latin malva, a mallow), which may arise from a resemblance between the pudding’s texture and that of a marshmallow or a similar Afrikaner sweet, the malvelekker, made with the extract of marshmallow.

Malva is also Afrikaans for geranium and a theory is that the batter was originally flavoured with the leaves of the lemon- or rose-scented geranium.

Another theory is that the sauce originally contained Malvasia (malmsey) wine.

Proponents of this theory include brandy or sherry in the sauce.

Malva pudding:

(makes 8 portions)

For the pudding


2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tblsp apricot jam

2½ cups flour

2 tsp bicarb

Pinch salt

4 tblsp melted butter

2 tblsp vinegar

250ml milk


Beat the eggs and sugar well until they are light and fluffy.

Add the apricot jam to the egg and sugar mixture.

Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt in a separate bowl.

Mix together the butter, vinegar and milk and add to the flour mixture. Combine this with the egg and sugar.

Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.

For the sauce


500ml cream

250ml butter

250ml sugar

250ml water and orange juice with a tot or two (to taste) of sherry or brandy. Leave the alcohol out if you don’t drink.


Boil together, then pour over pudding when hot.