Malva pudding started gaining favour among South Africans in the 1970’s, along with other retro classics that have stood the test of time, such as the marshmallow and cremora tarts. Contradictory to popular belief, this beloved pud is actually much, much older. Having made its first appearance in a recipe book in 1652, malva pudding apparently got its name from the rose-scented malva leaves that were once baked in the batter – “malva” being the Afrikaans term for our indigenous, pink flowering pelargonium or rose geranium).
A conflicting theory sprouts from an Afrikaans cookbook, wherein the author introduces “marshmallow pudding” (Malvapoeding) by saying, “This rich pudding contains no marshmallows, but probably got its name from its spongy texture” – the Afrikaans for marshmallows being “malvalekkers”.
A third theory says the Dutch made a Malvasia pudding (shortened to Malva) using fortified Malvasia wine but substituted brandy on arriving in the Cape.
However malva pudding was christened, 400 years later it remains a firm family-time favourite. Topped with a sticky sauce that’s perfect for sharing, and easy to make using pantry staples, we love malva so much that we’ve made it three different ways.
Rhodes Malva Pudding Recipe Round-Up
Easy Malva PuddingGet this recipe
Malva Pudding Cupcakes
The twist: Our most loved winter pudding in cupcake form. Is it a finger-licking sweet or a delectable tea time treat? We think both.
Malva Pudding CupcakesGet this recipe
Chocolate Malva Pudding
The chocolate infusion: Once you’ve tried our chocolaty version, you’ll never go back to the regular one. This recipe gives the traditional pud a delicious indulgent twist.