This milk tart is a traditional South African comfort food and is usually served chilled as a dessert or afternoon tea treat. The tart has a stiff consistency, somewhat similar to Panna Cotta, but thicker. Usually, this milk tart's thick consistency is achieved using corn starch or egg whites, however, as this recipe proves, arrowroot powder works as a viable alternative.

South African Milk Tart [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



Cooking Time




For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • Cinnamon, for dusting


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 356°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Add the rice malt syrup and melted coconut oil, and begin mixing together.
  4. Once combined enough, use your hands to mix the mixture together crumbling it in between your fingers.
  5. Once fully combined, add to a pie dish greased with coconut oil. Press firmly down, pressing the mixture up the sides to create an even crust around the whole dish.
  6. Poke a few holes into the crust with a fork, and pop into the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 356°F. Once golden brown remove and set aside to cool.

For the Filling:

  1. In a medium pot, bring 1 1/2 cups of soy milk to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and rice malt syrup. Stir thoroughly.
  2. In a separate little bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and 1 cup of soy milk until smooth and no lumps are visible.
  3. Add this mixture to the pot, and on a low heat stir until thick. This may take around 3-5 minutes but do take caution that arrowroot powder can be sensitive to heat, so ensure the stove is on a low heat.
  4. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Gently pour the mixture onto the crust evenly, and dust with cinnamon.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

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