Milk tart layer cake paired with the Dr Charles Niehaus wine. Picture: Supplied
Milk tart layer cake paired with the Dr Charles Niehaus wine. Picture: Supplied

National Milk Tart Day: Pair your milk tart with some good wine

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Feb 27, 2021

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Saturday is a special day in our culinary calendar: it’s National Milk Tart Day.

The milk tart or melktert, as it is called in Afrikaans, is a dessert loved by many South Africans, so much so that it needed its special day.

Traditionally described as a shortbread crust with a milky filling, this classic dish is said to have come from the Dutch in the 1600s.

In celebration of this special day, foodie Elmarie Berry has created a luxurious version worthy of Dr Charles Niehaus 2017 wine, which is Roodeberg’s top tier red blend crafted in honour of the brand’s founder.

Berry’s milk tart layer cake is her twist on the traditional “Jodetert”, a lavish stack of separately baked tiers filled with thick custard. Fortunately, no expert baking skills are required for her 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.

Below is Berry’s recipe to try this Milk Tart Day.

Milk tart layer cake



1 litre milk

Extra ½ cup milk

1 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

1tbs butter

1tsp vanilla


4 eggs

1½ cup sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup water

100ml oil

2tsp vanilla

2 cups cake flour

10ml baking powder

2tsp cinnamon

Extra cinnamon to sprinkle between layers



Heat the litre of milk, butter, and sugar in the microwave for 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Mix the eggs and flour with the extra ½ cup of milk. Add the mixture to the boiling milk. Put back in the microwave for 1 minute and stir with a whisk. Repeat this step 4-5 times until the mixture is thick. Add the vanilla. Cover with cling wrap and let it cool.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 2 x 20cm cake tins by greasing them and lining them with baking paper. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Heat the oil, water and milk until boiling. Add the vanilla.

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

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

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