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Milk Tart With A Twist

Updated: Feb 2

In honour of National Milk Tart day, which took place this past Saturday, 27 February, foodie Elmarie Berry has created a milk tart with a luxurious twist. We share her recipe!

The traditional milk tart with its familiar sweet crust and creamy custard filling is an enduring South African favourite that originated from Dutch settlers in the 1600s.

Elmarie’s Milk Tart Layer Cake is her twist on the traditional ‘Jodetert’, a lavish stack of separately baked tiers filled with thick custard. While the origin of the name remains uncertain, Jews of Russian ancestry may have introduced this dessert to rural Afrikaner communities in the late 19th and early 20th century as it is strikingly similar to Russian honey cake. Treasured heirloom recipes requiring the highest baking skills are still passed down from generation to generation, particularly in the Free State.

Fortunately, no expert baking skills are required for Elmarie’s super easy version, which uses a basic sponge cake to create the layers but is equally decadent to enjoy as a dessert with a glorious red wine, Dr Charles Niehaus 2017, Roodeberg’s top-tier red blend.

As intriguing as the story behind this South African culinary treasure, Roodeberg also conjures up a lifetime of memories harking back to 1949 with a story in every bottle. For many Roodeberg evokes fond memories of people, places, and occasions, and of sharing special moments with family and friends.

Representing the best of the best, Dr Charles Niehaus 2017 is a super-premium Roodeberg that has evolved since its maiden vintage in 2010 into a formidable Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon driven blend. Fruit purity and complexity are the crux of this signature tribute.

Milk Tart Layer Cake

Makes one cake


  • 1 litre milk

  • Extra ½ cup milk

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup milk

  • ½ cup water

  • 100ml oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 2 cups cake flour

  • 10ml baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • Extra cinnamon to sprinkle between layers


  1. Heat the litre of milk, butter and sugar in the microwave for 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Mix the eggs and flour with the extra ½ cup of milk. Add the mixture to the boiling milk.

  3. Put back in the microwave for 1 minute and give it a stir with a whisk. Repeat this step 4-5 times until the mixture is thick.

  4. Add the vanilla. Cover with cling wrap and let it cool.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 2 x 20cm cake tins by greasing them and lining them with baking paper.

  2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Heat the oil, water and milk until boiling. Add the vanilla.

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together. Fold the dry ingredients into the fluffy egg mixture. Add the hot milk, fold in until it forms a silky-smooth mixture.

  4. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins.

  5. Divide each layer into two. Fill each layer with the custard and sprinkle cinnamon between the layers.


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