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Marvellous Melktert Made Vegan

05 June 2022 | 0 comments | Posted by Nicole D'Almeida in Masterchefs

Vegan milktart recipe

One thing that South Africans love is socialising around food. Something they possibly love, even more, is sharing those same South African recipes with people from other countries and cultures. I mean, who doesn’t love a ‘heerlike stuk’ melktert?

Melktert or ‘Milk tart’ in English, has been around since the sixteenth century. However, its origins can be traced back as far as 1514, when it was listed in Thomas van der Noot’s book ‘A Notable Book of Cookery.’

Of course, this recipe has since been altered on many occasions - and that includes a couple of plant-based versions, too. Fortunately, this means that those who no longer eat dairy can still take part in the South African tradition, of sharing a slice of home.

Melktert is one of those recipes that everyone tends to like, as the flavour tends to be subtle yet fragrant - with a slight hint of vanilla. The sweetness levels can be ramped up or toned down, without taking away from its charm.

All you have to do to tweak it is by increasing or decreasing the amount of sugar you use. In fact, some people actually prefer melktert that’s a little less on the sweet side - the choice is entirely up to you!

Homemade vegan condensed milk recipe

One ingredient that melktert calls for that may not always be accessible is condensed milk - especially a vegan version. Of course, this largely depends on where you are in the world.

If you’re fortunate enough to find some in your neighbourhood, then lucky you! If not, don’t stress. What most people don’t know, is that you can easily whip up your own batch at home using only two ingredients!

Condensed milk ingredients

All you need to make a 400ml can’s worth of vegan condensed milk is 1 can of full-fat coconut cream and ⅓ cup granulated sugar.


Pour your coconut milk and sugar into a pot. Boil it on medium heat, carefully watch that it does not get too hot and boil over. Once it has come to a boil, simmer it on medium-low heat for the next 40-45 minutes, or until it has reduced by about half. Stir the mixture every 5 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat and allow the condensed milk to cool.


The mixture will get thicker as it cools down, so don’t worry if it seems too runny. You can store your condensed milk in the fridge for up to 10 days without it spoiling. Make sure you use full-fat coconut cream so keep your mixture rich and creamy.

Marvellous melktert recipe

The crust

  • 160 g plain oat cookies
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 75 g vegan butter
  • Optional: ½ tsp cinnamon

The filling

  • 400 g vegan condensed milk
  • 400 ml plant milk of choice
  • 30 g vegan butter
  • 2 heaped tbsp flour
  • 3 heaped tbsp maizena (corn flour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Optional: Cinnamon as a garnish


  1. Blend the cookies, sugar and butter in a food processor until they combine to form a crumbly mixture.
  2. Transfer your mixture to your chosen cake or tart pan. Press the crust mixture down evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the pan in the fridge for the crust to cool and harden.
  3. Melt your butter in a pot on medium heat and then whisk it together with your flour until it forms a paste.
  4. Add in your milk, condensed milk and vanilla essence and continue whisking.
  5. Continue to stir as you sieve in your maizena. Cook your mixture for 15 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
  6. Pour the thickened mixture over your base until it fills your chosen pan, leaving a little crust on the sides to stick out.
  7. If you like cinnamon, sprinkle some on top for added flavour and decoration.
  8. Allow to fully cool in the fridge before serving.

Suggested substitutions

  • For this melktert recipe, you’ll need 400ml of vegan condensed milk. You can also substitute it for something else, but the end result may not be as thick and bouncy as you’d like it to be.
  • If you don’t have any coconut sugar for your crust, you can replace it with ordinary granulated sugar .
  • If you can’t find oat cookies, you can use any of your favourite vegan cookies as long as they are quite plain and fit in the same ‘cookie category.’
  • If you do decide to use less sugar in your recipe, you might have to use a little more maizena flour so you don’t lose the thick consistency needed for it to set.
  • Coconut oil mixed with a pinch of salt can be a great substitute for vegan butter if you can’t find any, or prefer a healthier choice.
  • If you’re looking for a gluten-free recipe, you can easily switch out the flour in your recipe for gluten-free flour. Make sure the cookies you use don’t contain gluten.
  • Oats are technically gluten-free but can still contain trace amounts. Keep this in mind if you’re making a melktert for someone with celiac disease.

Tell us your food story

Have you tried a vegan twist on an old favourite? Which one was your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments down below or contact us to have your recipe featured on our site.

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