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5 Proudly SA Desserts For The Sweet Tooth Squad

Sugar rush here we come!

BY Naledi K

Jul 13, 2021, 02:42 PM

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Along with being alive with possibilities and having enough diversity to make smarties (button-sized chocolate covered with colourful candy) jealous, the one place South Africa wins without fail is in the kitchen when it comes to desserts.

When it comes to catering for the sweet tooth squad, you will often find that we have a huge menu of nothing but sugary goodness. The diverse recipes that have come out of gogo, tannie and mama’s kitchen have become legendary over time and are still delicious. 

Years after the recipes for these sweet edibles and desserts were created, most people still love and enjoy them whenever the sugar craving comes knocking. Some of the recipes have been modified as chefs add their own twists, but the original recipes (which are fairly available on the internet) are just as good… if not better!


A koeksister is a sweet made of fried dough that is then soaked in syrup. The plaited dough is a tell-tale sign of a koeksister. If you’ve ever had amagwinya then think of koeksisters as amagwinya’s long-distance, bad and boujee cousin, who was smothered in sugar and left in the hot oil a bit longer than its cousin. Then literally drowned in syrup. Think Powerpuff girls, without the spice bit!

Milk Tart 

Milk tart or “Melktart” as it is known in Afrikaans, is a dessert with a sweet crust and a creamy filling. It is usually sprinkled with cinnamon and served as is. Think cheesecake but better in taste, especially if you are South African. 

The ingredient that gives milk tart the push to triumph over cheesecake is nostalgia. Everything tastes better when it reminds you of home and the love that only comes from being surrounded by family.

Malva Pudding

This is a much-loved traditional dessert. Few things can warm and comfort like a bowlful with homemade vanilla custard.

Especially when it’s cold outside, warm malva pudding will make you feel like all's right with the world and most importantly with you. Also see the legendary combo that is: Custard and Jelly.

However, the ultimate “death by sugar” contestants are brownies and fudge. Now the only reason these are number one and two respectively is because they are considered a proudly Mzansi dessert. However, that does not mean that we love them any less!

Why? Well, that’s a weird question and if you are asking it, you are probably not a person with a sweet tooth. Not that we need reasons why brownies and fudges are awesome but if we did it may have something to do with the fact that they are simply delicious.

With the brownies, it’s often the rich chocolate, the ooey-gooey/soft texture, and the undeniable sweetness! Fudge is a type of creamy candy made with butter, sugar, milk, and usually, chocolate, cooked together and beaten to a soft, smooth texture.

I don’t even need to explain why fudge is the ultimate “satisfy your sugar craving” winner because, at its very core, fudge is nothing but sugar.