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South African Desert: Melktert (Milk Tart)

South African Desert: Melktert (Milk Tart)

Milk Tart is an iconic South African dessert which is also known as Melktert in Afrikaans, a cherished delicacy enjoyed by locals and visitors in the region. This delectable treat offers a delightful fusion of cultural heritage and culinary creativity, making it a symbol of unity and celebration.


This dessert started from the early Dutch settlers in the 17th century, they made a simple custard pie which evolved with influences from the Malay and indigenous African culinary practices. The addition of local spices like cinnamon set Milk Tart apart from what the Europeans brought into the country.

Milk Tart embody the true essence of South African lifestyle and culinary heritage, hence, whether it’s being served at family gathering or teatime with friends, it’s one of the moments cherished by many all the time.

Preparation Time

1 hour and 15 minutes.


1 cup white sugar

Cooking spray

3 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 tablespoon cinnamon 

3 egg white

3 egg yolks

1 cup cake flour

4 cups milks

¼ teaspoon salt

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Coat a deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Mix sugar and butter in a large bowl until it is smooth.
  • Add egg yolk and beat until it is fluffy.
  • Sift in the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the milk and vanilla 
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, and reduce the heat.
  • Repeat the process and serve hot.