Malva Pudding Cupcakes

Malva Pudding Cupcakes

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Literally translated as mallow pudding, this [malva pudding] is a well-loved traditional South-African pudding. It is seriously sweet and seriously rich but oh-so-mouth-meltingly-delicious. I think every South-African has fond memories of malva pudding, either lovingly made by their ouma (grandmother), or on the poedingtafel (pudding table) alongside jelly and custard at the annual kerkbasaar (church fete). I can’t remember my own granny ever making this but I do have fond memories of eating it at church fetes, visiting my aunts and yes even at the university residences.

The description of malva pudding above was written by my Taste & Create partner, Marisa, from the South African cooking blog, The Creative Pot. Most of us here in the United States (myself included, before this week) have never heard of malva pudding – but it’s worth learning about!

Wikipedia explains that “Malva Pudding is a sweet pudding of Dutch origin, usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. It is made with apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture… The pudding’s name is derived from Malvacea wine from Madeira. The dessert and dessert wine used to be served together after main course at Cape tables.”

That last sentence was the key to my Name That Dessert quiz. A big congrats goes out to GiGi who guessed it correctly and even used the South African name, malvapoeding! Gigi, please email me with your address so we can send you your prize!

I decided (no shock to anyone) to make my malva pudding in cupcake form. Like bread pudding, the malva pudding cupcakes were definitely best when fresh out of the oven. However, the same effect can be achieved by microwaving the cupcake for around twenty seconds prior to eating (be sure not to use foil wrappers).

The malva pudding cupcakes’ apricot flavor was practically non-existent (which could be good or bad, depending on your thoughts on apricots). The flavor was simply warm and sweet. Even though I’d never tried malva pudding before, it evoked happy homey memories. Sometimes the simplest flavors can provide the most pleasure.

Malva Pudding Cupcake Recipe

Here is the malva pudding recipe from The Creative Pot (adapted from, converted to cupcake form.


Malva Pudding Cupcakes

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Malva Pudding Cupcakes


    For the cupcake
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 2 T apricot jam
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 C milk
  • 1 C cake flour
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 C lowfat evaporated milk
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C boiling water


  1. Combine butter, sugar and egg
  2. Add lemon juice, apricot jam, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Add milk and flour bit by bit, stirring to ensure no lumps form.
  4. Fill cupcake liners almost to the top.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until nicely risen and browned on top. The top should feel spongy.
  6. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring to ensure all the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Prick the cupcakes with a toothpick. Then, drizzle the sauce over them. It should be absorbed very quickly.
  8. Return to the oven for another three minutes to caramelize.

I served the malva cupcakes with Ciao Bella Tahitian Vanilla Gelato. Because of the neutral taste of the cupcake, however, any ice cream flavor would work. Pick your favorite! Oh – and don’t forget to serve the cupcake with some Malvasia wine from Madeira. It really was a perfect pairing. FYI – The bottle may not say Malvasia. Look for something labeled Malmsey. You can read all about Malvasia wine over at Wikipedia, my best friend.

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11 comments on “Malva Pudding Cupcakes”

  1. GiGi says:

    Woo Hoo. I am so excited! I never win anything. This really peaked my curiousity, but I must admit I was STUMPED. That is until your last hint…and it was just dumb luck that the little one took her nap just in time for me to go online and see the clue!

  2. Nancy says:

    Hmmm…wonder how it would taste if you substituted the wine for water in the sauce ;)

  3. Marisa says:

    Awesome post! You never cease to amaze me – I’m sure these babies would taste great in cupcake form.

    Oh and btw, you didn’t do anything wrong, malvapudding never really tastes of apricot, I think the apricot jam just contributes to the texture/moistness.

    Kudos on the extra research on the pudding – never knew about the wine they used to serve it with. Now I’m very curious to know what that would taste like. :-)

  4. Well I am well impressed! I am sitting in a very sunny Cape Town, South Africa … so I totally appreciate this recipe and post! Well done!
    Admittedly we normally eat Malva pudding in winter, hot with custard, as you said, and today it’s 29 degrees celcius, so perhaps the ice cream option will be best!
    And for the record – there should be no substituting water for wine in this one …

  5. Aparna says:

    This is all new to me, but the cupcake sound interesting.
    I am bookmarking it to try. :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    My daughters name is Malva and we’re having a namegiving ceremony for her in early June and I’m SO making these then! Fantastic! Did you know that Malva is the name for the Mallowflower from which you get mashmallows? Needless to say we’re also bbq-ing marshmallows for the ceremony :)

  7. Leigh Ramsay says:

    Hello! I have found your recipes of interest and as a South African living abroad I fancied spicing up the good old Malva Pudding and was super pleased to find this recipe! I have just mixed my batter and have to ask as my batter is very runny. The 2C of milk … should it not be 1/2C of milk or 1C milk for every 1C flour? It may be that I missed something but the consistency does not seem right to me?

  8. Heidi Hawyes says:

    This is totally the best ever. I am South African and i adore Malva pudding – i was shocked to see it here :) i am def going to make these!!!!

  9. It is meant to be quite runny! Every time I make Malva pudding it always seems to defy nature, and I always think this is never going to turn out ok, yet it always comes out perfect. Something to do with the vinegar and baking soda!

  10. Tharina Potgieter says:

    wow. malva pudding bring back so many memories as a child. Im married for a
    year now and Tomorowe Im going to make malva pudding for the first time
    and going to start my own new memories for my family.
    I love cupcakes and I was so happy to see the post.

  11. Lesmarie says:

    As a South African living in Durban I love Malva pud with cream and custard. But these cupcakes are screaming for me to try them.

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