10 inspired takes on South African heritage desserts

By Jess Spiro, 17 September 2021

Not that we need an excuse to eat dessert, but to celebrate heritage month, we’ve put together a collection of our favourite local heritage sweet treats – with a few twists!

Everyone loves a traditional milk tart, a koeksister and a koesister for that matter, but if you're looking for a new take on traditional South African desserts, we've got some crackers for you!

1. Skopas ice cream

A term only South Africans will know, skopas or di kip kip are sweet, flavoured popcorn good enough to eat by the fistful. Khanya's done us all a favour, however, and turned this local delicacy into a delicious ice cream.
Skopas ice creamGet the recipe for skopas ice cream here.

2. Jelly-and-custard moulds

Everyone loves jelly and custard, but it has a special place in the hearts of South Africans. This version is a slightly grown-up take on the childhood classic featuring a set custard (the Woolies readymade one works a treat!) and canned guavas.
Jelly-and-custard mouldsGet the recipe for jelly-and-custard moulds here.

3. Pampoentert

Americans might have pumpkin pie, but in SA we have pampoentert. Don't let the meringue topping put you off  – it's made using a clever cheat!
PampoentertGet the recipe for pampoentert here.

4. Maltabella cookies

Nearly all of us can agree that Maltabella was a lifesaver on a cold winter's morning. Now you can relive that joy, in biscuit form.
Maltabella-cookies-with-peanut-butter-caramelGet the recipe for Maltabella cookies here.

5. Mageu with strawberry coulis

The maize-based, fermented drink gets the nostalgic treatment, which could rival the best milkshakes out there.
Get the recipe for Find the recipe for mageu with strawberry coulis here.

6. Pumpkin fritters

Are they dessert? Are they part of your main course? The debate is never-ending to which we say, why choose? Have them for both courses and be twice as happy.
Pumpkin-frittersGet the recipe for pumpkin fritters here.

7. Bollas

Light, airy and dunked in syrup – bollas might be our favourite fried sweet treat.
bollasGet the recipe for bollas here.

8. Blueberry malva pudding

You already knew that malva pudding would make an appearance on this list, but we're switching it up slightly with this genius blueberry version by The Lazy Makoti. Looking for a classic recipe instead? Check out our malva pudding recipe guide.
blueberry malvaGet the recipe for blueberry malva here.

9. Telefoon pudding

Malva isn't the only warm pudding out there! The name behind this dessert comes from when people had party lines that were connected through the "sentrale" phone system in the platteland, when the recipe would be passed on "over the phone" from cook to cook. It's super syrupy and lush.
telefoon puddingGet the recipe for telefoon pudding here.

10. Peppermint Crisp tsunami cake

Peppermint Crisp tarts are something of a national treasure and, because of that, you've likely already got your favourite recipe. Enter this insanely decadent cake version – perfect to wow everyone at your next braai.

Peppermint-crisp-tsunami-cakeGet the recipe for Peppermint Crisp tsunami cake here.

Looking for more South African recipes? Find our ultimate collection here.

Jess Spiro

Article by Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.
View all articles
Load more