Malva Pudding


Malva pudding is a delicious cake-like dessert with an amazing caramelized outer layer. It’s extra moist, soft, and bursting with apricot flavor.

Looking for more desserts that are amazingly soft and moist? Here are a few of my favorites: figgy pudding, pumpkin pudding cake, and sticky toffee pudding!


Malva Pudding Cake

Never heard of Malva pudding before? Prepare to meet your new favorite dessert. This is a traditional South African dessert and is similar to bread pudding or tres leches. Essentially, it’s cake soaked in a decadent sauce made with heavy cream and evaporated milk. I mean, let’s be real here. Has there ever been a dessert made with evaporated milk that hasn’t been good? Because of its soft, pillowy texture, this dessert is called ‘malvapoeding’ in Afrikaans. Translated, this literally means ‘marshmallow pudding.’ There’s no better way to describe it!

Let’s talk about the cake itself, though. It is AMAZING. It’s buttery, soft, and gets its signature flavor from one key ingredient- apricot jam! The cake also gets the most amazing caramelized outer layer when it bakes. Once you top it off with the creamy glaze, it becomes an absolutely irresistible dessert. Your family is going to LOVE it! If you’ve been looking for new desserts to add to the lineup, malva pudding is definitely one to try.

Ingredients Needed

Malva pudding is a great dessert recipe to make on the fly because it uses a lot of pantry staples. Just make sure you have apricot jam on hand! This is what gives malva pudding its classic fruity flavor. Note: exact measurements can all be found below in the recipe card.

  • Sugar: Just regular white sugar here!
  • Large Eggs: A couple of large eggs will help to bind all of your ingredients together.
  • Apricot Jam: Not only does apricot jam add flavor, but it’s great for adding extra moisture as well!
  • White Vinegar: White vinegar will give your cake a nice, tender crumb and slight hint of tangy flavor.
  • Butter: I used unsalted, melted butter for the cake.
  • Milk: Makes the batter smooth and creamy! I recommend using whole milk because it will make your cake more moist and soft. The higher the fat content in your malva pudding, the more soft and tender it will be!
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works great here! Avoid using flours that have a high protein content.
  • Baking Soda: Helps the cake rise during the baking process.
  • Salt: Just a pinch will keep your pudding from tasting bland.

Cream Sauce

  • Heavy Cream and Evaporated Milk: This is the foundation of the cream sauce. These ingredients make the glaze silky-smooth and absolutely indulgent.
  • Powdered Sugar: Helps to create a glaze-like texture and adds sweetness as well.
  • Butter: I used unsalted.
  • Vanilla: I like to add in a little vanilla extract for a pop of flavor!

How to Make Malva Pudding

It’s actually super easy. You’re going to love it! If you can make a boxed cake mix, you can make malva pudding. It only takes a few steps of mixing and baking for it to come together perfectly! Both the cake and glaze are really simple to prepare.

  1. Preheat Oven, Prep Pan: Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit, then spray an 8X8 cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix Sugar and Wet Ingredients: In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat together your sugar and eggs until light and lemon colored. Then add in your jam and mix until well combined. Add in your melted butter, vinegar, and milk, and mix for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Combine With Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda, and salt. Then add this flour mixture to your egg mixture and mix for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.
  4. Bake: Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, after the first 15 minutes cover your pudding with foil to keep it from getting too dark. The pudding should rise and become an even golden brown.

Making the Cream Sauce

  1. Melt Ingredients Together: In a medium pot, combine your cream, milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla. On medium heat, melt the ingredients together, and whisk until it has all come together smoothly.
  2. Pour Over Cake: Once your pudding comes out of the oven, pour the cream sauce on evenly while it’s still hot.
  3. Soak: Let the pudding stand and soak the sauce in for at least 10 minutes before serving. Best served fresh and warm.

How to Make the BEST Malva Pudding

Here are a few extra tips and tricks to help you perfect this tasty dessert from South Africa!

  • Don’t Overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients for the cake, only mix until smooth. If you overmix, this can cause the batter to deflate and sink when it’s baked.
  • Add Glaze While It’s Hot: Be sure to add the glaze to your cake while it’s hot. This way, it will absorb better and add moisture to your cake. If you let it cool too long, it may just sit on top of the cake like icing.
  • Make Individual Servings: Instead of making malva pudding in an 8×8 pan, you can also use small, oven-safe ramekins so everyone has an individual serving of this tasty treat! Because the dishes are smaller, you may need to knock a few minutes off the overall cooking time.
  • Serve With: Malva pudding is great on its own, but can also be served with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of custard on top!


Storing Leftovers

Because of the milky glaze, you’ll want to keep any leftover malva pudding in the fridge for best results. This dish is best enjoyed fresh the day it’s made, but you can make it ahead of time and store in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store malva pudding in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to 1 week.