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African Pudding

African pudding is the generic term used to describe an oven-baked dessert with a sponge-cake like soft pudding consistency that is usually served warm with some sort of sauce or syrup. These involve the use of basic ingredients most likely to be available in the kitchen such as flour, butter, eggs, sugar along with a jam or sauce for company. There are a variety of puddings created to suit different occasions. Some popular ones are-

Jan Ellis Pudding

This is believed to be a classical South African Dessert named after the immensely popular Springbok [South African National Rugby Union Team] rugby player of the 1960-70’s as this happened to be his favourite pudding.


  • self-raising flour
  • egg
  • apricot jam
  • milk
  • sugar
  • baking soda
  • softened butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • grated orange zest

For Syrup

  • boiling water
  • cream
  • vanilla essence
  • butter
  • sugar
  • grated orange zest


The baking soda is dissolved in milk. All the other ingredients are mixed well together. The milk is then added and blended until smooth. Finally, it is poured into a baking dish and baked until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

All the ingredients for the syrup are put in a small saucepan and brought to boil over medium heat till viscous.

While serving each portion of pudding is ladled with a generous helping of syrup and maybe some custard too.

South African Malvapoeding (Marshmallow Pudding)

This rich, South African pudding actually contains no marshmallows, but possibly got its name owing to its light and spongy texture. It tastes delicious served both hot or cold topped with cream.


For Pudding:

  • butter
  • white vinegar
  • milk
  • superfine sugar
  • eggs
  • apricot jelly
  • cake flour
  • baking soda
  • salt

For Sauce:

  • heavy cream
  • butter
  • white sugar
  • water, orange juice, or sherry


  1. In a small saucepan butter is melted over low heat; vinegar and milk are then added before removing from heat. Meanwhile, flour, baking soda, and salt are sifted together in a separate bowl.
  2. Sugar and eggs are beaten well using an electric mixer at high speed until light in color and fluffy. Gradually apricot jam is mixed in. Next the dry ingredients mixture is slowly folded into the egg mixture, with a spatula, alternating with warm milk mixture. Batter thus prepared is poured into a greased, baking dish and set to bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted in the center comes clean.
  3. Sauce is made by mixing cream, butter, sugar, and water in a saucepan and stirring over medium heat just until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved.

While serving the hot cream sauce is poured over the pudding.

Nutrition Information

A serving of ~220 g would supply:

  • 396 calories (197 from fat)
  • 21.9 g fat with 13.3 g saturated fat, 107 mg cholesterol
  • 47.5 g carbohydrates, 0.2 g fibre, 31.6 g sugar
  • 3.8 g protein
  • 276 mg sodium and 74 mg potassium


Addition of orange juice would add to Vitamin C content of the dish. Instead of apricot, blackberry or blueberry jam or even fig jam would work well and incorporate a number of antioxidant nutrients in the process.