• Malva pudding (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

The calling cards of traditional malva pudding are apricot jam and a delightful spongy texture. Traditionally this recipe is served in South Africa at Christmas time. Serve warm with cream or ice-cream.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (186 votes)


  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 15 g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) smooth apricot jam
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 2 tsp white vinegar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour 
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt



  • 60 ml (¼ cup) hot water
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream or evaporated milk
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 100 g soft unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • lightly whipped cream or crème anglaise, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity baking dish.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, jam and egg together until pale and fluffy.

Mix together the milk, vinegar and vanilla bean paste.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

Alternately, fold the flour mixture and milk mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared baking dish, cover with lightly greased foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until just firm and golden on top.

When the pudding is nearly ready, make the sauce. Stir the hot water, cream, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. 

Combine 1 tbsp water with the cornflour to make a slurry and add to the sauce. 

Bring to just below the boil, then pour over the warm pudding.

Serve with lightly whipped cream or crème anglaise.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel

(Tea towel from The Happenstore. Plates from Stem.)