Malva Pudding


This dessert is a little jewel. My brother-in-law Mike made it during our Thanksgiving festivities in Kentucky.

It’s kind of like a very moist cake. Picture a Tres Leches cake, but more thin and–dare I say–more delicious? I haven’t decided if I dare or dare not, since I love a good Tres Leches Cake.

This is a South African dessert. Mike happens to be from South Africa, and this recipe has been passed along through the generations. You are making a historical artifact, essentially, and engaging in a cookery lore that has been fine-tuned to hit your taste buds just so.

I had the honor of holding the original, 200-year old recipe card in my own hands, and kissed it with my own lips.

Well, that was the interesting version, but the real version if that Mike hopped on the worldwide web and found this recipe on Heh heh.

But whether it came from the in’ernet or came from his South African grandmother’s sticky recipe box on a hand-written card with the marks of love, age, and flour all over it, it’s equally delicious.

If you’re dubious about the ‘moist’ part (as I was–I hate anything that remotely rings of sogginess), take your doubts and give them a swift kick in the groin. They have no place here. Here, only deliciousness reigns.


(Serves 6)

For the pudding

3/4 c sugar

2 eggs

1 TBS apricot jam

1 1/4 c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS butter (generous TBS)

1 tsp vinegar

1/3 c milk

For the sauce

3/4 heavy whipping cream

7 TBS butter

1/2 c sugar

1/3 c hot water

2 tsp vanilla

Let’s get started!

First, find two strapping young men to do the work.

And don’t come out until you have that pudding on a plate!

Then, go watch funny youtube videos with your sister . . . .

. . . and let the magic unfold in the kitchen ‘by itself’ so to speak.

Now get your oven preheating to 350.

Grease an oven dish (a 7×7 square Pyrex dish works, or a circular one like Mike used). Baking spray never hurt anyone if you don’t feel like getting down and dirty with the butter dish.

Beat together the sugar and the eggs until the mixture is thick and yellow.

Add the apricot jam, and mix it in.

Melt the butter, and add in both the butter and vinegar.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; add it to the wet mixture along with the milk and give the whole thing a good beating.

If your mixer has a really deep bowl, be aggressive with your spatula. You don’t want flour hanging around the bottom of the bowl.

That’s what happened to Mike, and he was obliged to pour the batter back into the bowl from the baking pan and remix it.

I’m sorry I had to point that out, Mike, but you may have just saved our readers from making the same mistake! It’s called a ‘moral’ and I always have to include one in my ‘story.’

Pour the whole mixture into the greased oven pan.

Bake that baby until the pudding is golden brown and has risen (somehwere between 30-45 minutes).

Meanwhile, make the sauce: melt the butter and mix all the ingredients together. Very straightfoward.

As soon as the pudding comes out of the oven . . .

. . . pour the sauce over it as evenly as possible.

Let it stand for a few minutes before serving. This gives the cream time to invade every inch of this amazing dessert.

It really should be served warm, so gather everyone together. C’mon Dave and Erica! Let’s boogie!

Time to serve it up, whether Erica and Dave are willing to stop suggling or not.

Every bite caused my senses to celebrate this thing called ‘dessert.’

This South African treat is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Malva Pudding

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25 Responses to Malva Pudding

  1. This looks sublime! Thank you for sharing your recipe for Malva Pudding! Blessings to you…

  2. Wendi says:

    Long live deliciousness!

  3. Circe says:

    This looks wonderful, does it keep it well, or was there any left after dinner to put away? ;)

    • Jenna says:

      There was none left over when Mike made it, however when he’s made it in the past it’s kept in the fridge A-OK. Not sure how long it would stay good–probably a couple days at least.

  4. That looks so yummy, and it does seem a lot like Tres Leches.

    Using baking soda and vinegar instead of baking powder is an interesting idea. Does it rise better that way instead of just baking powder?

  5. foongfest says:

    First off, this look absolutely delicious but this post makes me COMPLETELY upset. Why? Because Mike never made me Malva Pudding or anything all through college. Grrr… The only time I remembered Mike baking was when we (aka I) made a bunch of cookies for Heidi when your parents in B-town over Valentine’s Day a few years ago. But way to go stepping up to the plate now. I can’t believe he’ll be a Daddy soon! Awesomeness.

    • Jenna says:

      Heh heh . . . ah, the changes marriage can wreak in a man! Changes like newfound baking skills! =) I also can’t believe he and Heidi are about to be parents. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO??? THEY’RE PRACTICALLY CHILDREN THEMSELVES!!
      No, seriously, they’ll do a great job. And I’m incredibly excited.

  6. Weighting For 50 says:

    Oh huge yum. This looks delicous. Love the recipe, and LOVE the photos. Your family looks so fun! (also love the two cats in the YouTube picture. I’m thinking that little tabby cross will be getting up to no good with that computer cord VERY soon!!! And has a very “who me??” look!)

  7. Helene says:

    Dessert is yummy! Love all of your pictures.

  8. OMG, now thats my kinda cake! x

  9. This looks amazing, and *infinitely* easier/faster/yummier than a Tres Leches cake. Good job setting the guys to work!

  10. This is a very interesting and delicious looking dessert. And I love the history that goes with it.

  11. brenda says:

    Sounds yummy! Thanks for stopping by and have a Merry Christmas!

  12. Tamanna says:

    that pudding looks seriously juicy and yumm….oh my gosh!

  13. Heather says:

    OMG I cannot wait to make this for my Mister. He is going to LOVE this. I love recipes that are handed down and around. I am sure you can find ones similar if not exactly the same on the internet but its not the same as it being handed over from loving hands who wants to share the goodness with you.

  14. Looks like a fun way to spend an evening. The dessert looks fabulous!

  15. Bonnie says:

    This is such an interesting and delicious looking cake. I am going to try this one soon. It seems to use ordinary ingredients that one might have in the pantry. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  16. Jacqueline says:

    This does remind me of a kind of tres leches with the sauce poured on. How wonderful to have a 200 year old recipe in your hand, lots of old recipes just aren’t that great either and this is one that stands the test of time.

    • Jenna says:

      Jacqueline, I’m sorry to let you down but I seem to have caused some confusion with multiple readers, so I must clarify–I was kidding around when I said it was 200 years old, etc.–that was the ‘interesting’ version whereas the real version is that Mike found the recipe on I must not have made that clear enough in my post–when I meant to be funny I ended up being misleading! So sorry! But I guarantee that it is absolutely DELICIOUS even if it does come from the internet . =) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  17. Veronica says:

    wow, never heard of this stuff! How cool! Love the pics too. Dave has some very smooth soles–he should be proud. :)

  18. Rox says:

    Ummm this looks so delicious… I want a piece like right now!!!!!

  19. giselle says:

    I see two kitty kats!

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