Milk Tart, I have been meaning to put this recipe on my blog for a long long time now, but overtime I make it, it always gets eaten so fast that I never get a chance to take photos. Milk Tart is a typically South African desert and is eaten all the time, everytime I go home to visit, I always either request or make a Milk Tart.

Milk Tart

I grew up on Milk Tart and they were always a real treat in our house as children and we always wanted another slice as it was that delicious. Whenever we went to visit my Ouma in South Africa, we got this tart so needless to say, we wanted to go more often than we did!

Milk Tart

This recipe is from a book called Let’s Bake by Carmen Niehaus, I have slightly adapted it to suit my needs better. Essentially a Milk Tart is like a custard tart baked in the oven and then allowed to cool, so imagine a sweet pastry case filled with delicious vanilla and cinimmon custard and then you have your Milk Tart, I ask you what more do you need in life? Apart from more Milk Tart.

Milk Tart

In a lot of recipes that you find you need to blind bake the pastry first, in this recipe you don’t blind bake the base, you allow it to cool in the fridge and then make the filling whilst the case cools down. It really is nice and easy and will be a talking point at your next dinner party.

Milk Tart

So without further ado, I give you my recipe for the South African Milk Tart, which has been adapted from You Lets Bake. What is the desert that you grew up eating or was your most favourite as a child? Let me know in the comments below.



Milk Tart

A wonderful South African Milk Tart which is sometimes called a Custard Tart, I personally think it is nicer than a custard tart

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 large tart 1x


For the Crust/Pastry:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 80 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar fine sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 4 cups full fat milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 3 tbsp custard powder
  • 45 grams butter
  • 50 grams flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence this is sometimes called Extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ground cinnamon for dusting.


  1. To make the pastry, first grease a 23cm flan, pie or tart tin, make sure it has a removable base as this makes it easier to take out once it is cooked.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined and light and fluffy, then beat in the egg.
  3. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix it until it forms a soft pliable dough. If your mixture is a bit dry, then add a dash of milk, this will ensure that it is easily spreadable and won’t crumble.
  4. To roll it out, form the pastry into a ball, place it between two sheets of greaseproof paper, then use a rolling pin and roll it out to about 2cm thickness, which is slightly larger than the tart tin.
  5. To line the tin, remove the top sheet of greaseproof paper and lay the uncovered side of pastry into the tart tin and carefully push it down into the sides, it doesn’t matter about overhang, just let it hang for now, then remove the top sheet of greaseproof paper very carefully so that nothing breaks.
  6. Once the greaseproof paper is remove, trim the edges so it is all nice and neat around the top of the tin, reserve the pastry and ff there are any holes or breakages from placing the pastry in the tin, use the reserved pastry to patch it up. Once you are happy with it, place it in the fridge to chill whilst you make your filling.
  7. Before making the filling, preheat the oven to 180 degrees without fan.
  8. To make the filling, first combine the flour, cornflour custard and baking powder and half a cup of the castor sugar, stir in 1/2 a cup of milk and thin whisk it to make a thin paste. Set aside.
  9. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining half a cup of sugar and set aside.
  10. Put the remaining milk and the two cinnamon sticks into a large pot and bring to boil, once boiling, remove from the heat and carefully take 1/2 a cup of the hot milk to the flour paste that you just make in the step above. Mix well with the whisk and then return the entire flour mixture back to the hot milk.
  11. Return to the heat on a medium heat, and using a whisk or wooden spoon stir continuously until the mixture thickens, it will be about 5 minutes, it is very similar to making a white sauce.
  12. Once it has thickened, remove the cinnamon sticks and then take a ladle and add a spoon of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisk well to combine, then add the egg yolks to the milk mixture. Put the mixture back on a low heat and stir continuously with a whisk or a spoon until smooth. Stir in the butter and vanilla essence and set aside to cool slightly.
  13. Whilst the above mixture is cooling slightly, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold them into the milk mixture which has been cooling slightly.
  14. Remove the pastry from the fridge, pour the filling into the pastry bake for about 30 minutes until the surface if a mottled brown, you will know when it is ready because it will have risen and will be wobbly.
  15. Remove from the oven and dust the top with ground cinnamon until the custard mixture in the middle is lightly dusted in cinnamon.
  16. Serve and enjoy.


So there you have it my milk tart,  a classic South African desert or tea time treat. In my opinion, totally delicious and would wow any dinner guests. This can be served lukewarm or you can wait for it to cool entirely, the cover with cling film and store in the fridge. It will last about 3-4 days covered in clingfilm, although it is unlikely that there will be any left after 2 days.

To serve, remove from the case and put on serving plate and cut generous slices.

See you soon.