Recipe: South African Roly–Poly Pudding

08 April 2020

— by Verena Neumayr-Howes —

First created in the UK in the early 19th century, this flat-rolled suet pudding is spread with jam and rolled up, similar to a Swiss Roll, before being steamed or baked.

It travelled to South Africa with the original colonial farmers and has since become a favourite South African dessert, to be enjoyed not only at Easter but also as a sweet finish to a Sunday Roast, on Father’s Day or at Christmas – or any other special occasion! Children and other family members with a sweet tooth will go crazy for this easy recipe by Tronette Dippenaar, Head Chef at The Marine hotel in Hermanus, which is made with Rhodes Apricot Jam (its British cousin usually comes with strawberry jam). It can be whipped up in no time – prepare the pudding in advance, then simply put it in the oven before the main course and ta-da! It tastes wonderful served with custard, ice cream or whipped cream.

RECIPE: South African Roly-Poly Pudding

Serves 4 – 6 guests


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Milk, a few tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Rhodes Apricot Jam Superfine for spreading

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


  • Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius
  • Grease a suitable oven dish with spray & cook and butter.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the butter till it resembles breadcrumbs. (this step can be done in a food processor, also the next step)
  • Add the beaten eggs, and then just enough milk, little by little, to make a firm dough.
  • Roll the dough out quite thinly on a floured surface to form a rectangle.
  • Spread the dough with apricot jam
  • From one of the long sides, roll it up like a swiss roll
  • Cut the roll in 1 cm slices, using a serrated knife. The jam will push out.
  • Pack the slices, cut side up, closely together, in the greased dish.
  • In a pot, mix the boiling water, sugar, butter and vanilla essence and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • With a tablespoon, ladle evenly over the slices of pudding.  You will have more liquid than the dish can take but keep the rest to pour over once it comes out of the oven.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
  • Once pudding comes out of the oven, spoon the rest of the hot sauce over and the pudding will soak it up.
  • Serve hot with custard, ice cream or sweetened whipped cream

Enjoy with family and friends.

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