Milktart is a traditional South African milk-based dessert. But you can still enjoy this treat if you’ve chosen a plant-based lifestyle. This vegan milktart recipe will guide your way. 

Milktart, traditionally know as ‘melktert’, is a South African Afrikaner dessert. It consists of a sweet pastry crust containing a custard filling, which is made from milk, flour, sugar, and eggs. Often topped with cinnamon and beautiful to look at, the dessert is widely available. Melktert comes from the Dutch, who settled in the Cape in the 1600s. The recipe is thought to have originated from Thomas van der Noot’s book, “Een notabel boexcken van cokeryen” (A Notable Book of Cookery).

This favourited dessert has undergone numerous variations to accommodate modern diets, and this vegan milktart recipe is one of them.


For the pastry:

  • 1 roll dairy-free puff pastry
  • 1 teaspoon vegan margarine

For the custard filling:

  • 1 litre dairy-free milk of choice (e.g. soy milk/oat milk/almond milk)
  • 125ml Orley Whip dessert cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) alcohol-free caramel essence
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 5 heaped tablespoons cornflour


  1. Turn the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line an ovenproof dish (the size of a dinner plate) with vegan margarine.
  3. Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheet and roll flat to fit the size of the dish.
  4. Cut the pastry into the shape of the dish.
  5. Place the pastry inside the dish and set aside.
  6. Make a thick custard filling: Mix all the custard ingredients together in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thick.
  7. Cool slightly, pour the filling into the base, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 – 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and chill in the fridge to set.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Tip: Use the same filling to make custard slices! Substitute the puff pastry for dairy-free cream crackers and layer the cream crackers below and on top of the custard filling. Let it chill in the fridge and then ice your custard slices with a mix of icing sugar and water (use instructions on the packet).

Looking for more vegan dessert recipes? Try these: Vegan Pancakes, Vegan Sago Creme Brulee.

Vegan Milktart Notes

The Vegan Milktart Recipe is courtesy of Toni Brockhoven for HSI, Africa and Green Monday. Looking for more recipes? Check out the full I Love Foodies Recipes Archive.