Helen Goh's malva pudding with Amarula sauce

South Africa's answer to sticky date pudding.
South Africa's answer to sticky date pudding. Photo: William Meppem

This delicious, easy dessert is South Africa's answer to sticky date pudding. Inexpensive Amarula liqueur has romantic and practical appeal: the butterscotch sauce here is fabulous. If you can't find it, Bailey's Irish Cream, or even a strong white coffee, is a good substitute.


For the pudding

250g plain flour

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

50g unsalted butter, melted, plus 20g extra, softened

125ml milk

3 eggs, at room temperature

80g caster sugar

80g light brown sugar

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp apricot jam

thick cream, to serve

For the Amarula sauce

50ml cream

50ml water

50ml Amarula liqueur

40g caster sugar

40g light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

⅛ tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 175C fan-forced (195C conventional). Brush an ovenproof dish (about 25cm x 30cm) with the 20g extra butter. Set aside in a cool place.

2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside.

3. Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. As soon as it has melted, remove from heat and stir in the milk.

4. Combine the eggs and sugars in the bowl of a cake mixer and beat on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until thick and pale – about 7-8 minutes.

5. Reduce speed to low, add the vinegar and jam and mix for a few seconds. Then, in three batches, add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk/butter mixture. Beat for just a few seconds between each addition – the batter should not be fully incorporated yet – then remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a flexible spatula, fold the batter by hand until fully combined. (This is to avoid over-beating, which will result in a tough or chewy cake.)

6. Scrape the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown.

7. For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugars have dissolved, then increase heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Poke holes all over the top of the hot pudding using a thin skewer. Spoon the sauce over it, allowing it to soak into the holes and then overflow. Serve warm with thick cream.