malva pudding

Vegan Malva Pudding

In Baking, Dessert, Recipes, Sweet by Muriel10 Comments

You know that feeling you get when you tuck into a familiar childhood favourite? Mmmm… that is what malva pudding gives me, every time!

This is a classic dessert that every South African knows and loves. There are various theories about the origin of the name, one being that it comes from the Latin for mallow (as in marshmallow). I’ve been enjoying this dessert for as long as I can remember, and you’ll find it on almost any South African restaurant menu. It’s that popular, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Malva pudding is traditionally made with eggs, milk and cream (lots of cream) – but it’s very easily veganised. I first shared my vegan malva pudding recipe in my early days with Vegilicious (the student organisation that I started in 2012), and the recipe has since made its rounds on social media. Lots of variations have been popping up over the last few years!

Here is my version – better than ever! It uses aquafaba to replace the eggs, although I used to use flax egg which also works. To replace the cream, I used a blend of coconut cream and soy milk.

This pudding is pretty perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. And I guarantee you that no one, not even a hardcore Afrikaans tannie, will know that it’s vegan. Try me 🙂

Vegan Malva Pudding

You know that feeling you get when you tuck into a familiar childhood favourite? Mmmm that is what malva pudding gives me, every time!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: South African
Keyword: baked
Servings: 6 servings


For the pudding

  • cup aquafaba
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam (high quality/homemade)
  • 1 heaped tbsp vegan butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • cup plant milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • ½ tsp salt

For the sauce

  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup plant milk (I used soy milk)
  • 50 g vegan butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease a small (20cm square) oven-proof glass dish.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the aquafaba and sugar together.
  • Mix in the apricot jam, then add the melted vegan butter, and the vinegar.
  • Mix in the plant milk.
  • Add the flour (don't mix yet). Add the bicarb and salt, then mix everything together.
  • Beat well, then pour into the oven dish.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until well risen and a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat, melt together all the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
  • Pour the sauce over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  • Leave to stand until the sauce is fully absorbed, then serve with vegan ice cream and/or custard.
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  1. Even though mine flopped a bit in the middle, the taste was amazing. Definitely gonna make this one again in the future.

    1. Author

      It’s possible that it didn’t get enough heat while baking — for next time, here are a couple tips: bake at 180 for 30 minutes (don’t open the oven before then, otherwise it’ll interrupt the rise), then test it with a cake tester, and if it doesn’t come out clean, leave it in for another 10 minutes. But like you said, it’s a pudding so a little gooey texture is alright! Plus, it’s egg-free so no health risks associated with underbaked pud 🙂

  2. If you don’t have vegan butter could you use olive oil or coconut oil instead?

    1. Author

      Coconut oil would be the best substitute for vegan butter, since it’s also solid at room temperature. Olive oil (or another oil, e.g. canola) will make it more moist (since the oil is liquid at room temperature) – but that’s probably ok since it’s a pudding, not a cake. Be aware of the flavour though, you might not want a grassy olive oil flavour (or maybe it’s an interesting variant, I don’t know!)

  3. Absolutely delicious! Just what I was craving on this cold evening 😀 It’s an easy recipe to follow and it turned out perfectly. Thank you!

  4. This is exactly what I was looking for! Perfect for a chilly winter evening. It’s so light and delicious, even my non-vegan family and friends loved it 🙂 I will definitely be making it again!

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