One thing I miss quite often when I’m away from South Africa is the delicious desserts. It’s hard to find most of my favorites sweets here in the States. Even if you can find them, it’s difficult to get the true experience if you’re away from the country. That’s why I make sure to get a few tastes whenever I’m home.

If you are going to be in South Africa and you have a sweet tooth like me, do yourself a favor and try these three desserts. You won’t regret it:



One of South Africa’s most beloved desserts has to be melktert (Afrikaans for ‘milk tart’). You can find the sweet pastry all over the Rainbow Nation. From tea rooms to bakeries and kitchens all over, the simple dish is relatively easy to make. With four simple ingredients (milk, eggs, flour and sugar) it resembles many other nations’ tarts. Some like to add extra flavor to milktert by infusing cinnamon into the milk before preparing.

Milktert is one of those desserts that all ages across the nation enjoy. With similar dishes made across the world, it’s hard to find outside of South Africa. That’s why I can’t recommend it enough whenever you can. 



South Africa two different kinds of this treat (Dutch for cookie) that vary quite differently. So, naturally, try both on for size!

For those that enjoy a more sweet taste, the Afrikaans’ version represents a braided, syrupy cookies that resemble a bow tie donut you’d find in many American bakeries. Spicy fans aren’t left out of the tastings thanks to the Cape Malay version (where they originated) that often comes with a coconut sprinkling. Regardless which version you prefer, all koeksisters find themselves getting deep fried before they hit the serving plate.

Koeksisters are so revered in Afrikaan culture that there is a monument for the treats in the town of Orania. Local stories recall how the sweets helped raise funds to help build local schools and churches. Across the country, they help small business ventures as locals make their versions to sell on populated street corners.

For a look at how one person makes their Koeksisters, watch the video below.

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding is, arguably, the staples South African reminder of desserts from our childhoods. Of all the desserts in South Africa, malva pudding is the quintessential fresh-out-the-oven sweet treat. Heavy on butter and sugar, the sponge-y cake alone is delicious, but it all comes together when the homemade crème anglaise gets drizzled over.

A great dish for guests at your home, malva pudding is very easy to make. While some South African desserts can be timely, this one is just as easy to make as it is to enjoy. Once you’ve mastered the basics of making it, feel free to add your personal touch to it. One of the best parts about malva pudding is tasting how each home puts their individuality into the dish. Whether you end up with a traditional serving or one with a slight twist, you’re sure to enjoy this signature dish.

See how Woolworths South Africa makes theirs’ below: