Milk tart cupcakes

Milk tart cupcakes: A twist on an old classic. Image: Marele van Zyl.

Milk tart cupcakes – A fantastic twist on a classic

Whether for dessert or just midday treats or a naughty midnight snack, these delightful milk tart cupcakes will certainly hit the spot.

Milk tart cupcakes

Milk tart cupcakes: A twist on an old classic. Image: Marele van Zyl.

One of our top South African desserts must be milk tart. Add a delicious twist and you get milk tart cupcakes, the ultimate treat that no one can resist.

Traditionally, milk tart has a flaky crust, a rich custard centre, and a generous dusting of cinnamon on top. Transforming this much-loved dessert into cupcakes, you need to make it a bit denser, but definitely reminiscent of the original.

This milk tart cupcakes recipe has a few more steps than your traditional cupcakes recipe, but it is worth every moment spent on preparing them. They are creamy, tasty and deliciously fragrant. So, if you have a little bit of time on your hands and in the mood to take on a new kitchen adventure, try this milk tart cupcakes recipe.

Whether for dessert or just midday treats or a naughty midnight snack, these delightful bites will certainly hit the spot. Let us know in the comments of the recipe section if you have tried this recipe.

Milk tart cupcakes recipe

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by Marele van Zyl Course: DessertCuisine: South AfricanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ salt

  • ¾ cup ¾ white sugar

  • ½ cup ½ salted butter softened

  • 2 large 2 eggs

  • ½ cup ½ full-fat plain Greek yoghurt

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon 1 cinnamon


  • Mix all the dry cupcake ingredients together. This includes flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and white sugar. You can give it a gentle mix in the mixer.
  • Add all the wet ingredients at once. Add the softened butter, eggs, Greek yoghurt, and vanilla extract, and allow it to beat on low for about three minutes or until thoroughly mixed. The cupcake batter will seem thick, and it is.
  • Line a baking dish with traditional-sized cupcake wrappers. Fill each one about ⅔ of the way (or about one big ice cream scoop) with batter. You can make about 14 cupcakes with this recipe at this size.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 162°C for 15 minutes. They’ll be puffy when you take them out, but they’ll likely collapse slightly when you remove them. This is because they’re pretty dense but that’s normal. Set them aside to cool while you get started on the custard.
  • To start the custard, combine the milk, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to heat until you just start to see bubbles around the outside edges of the pan, whisking occasionally to avoid clumping. Once combined and when the bubbles appear, remove the mixture from heat.
  • Mix two tablespoons of this milk mixture into the eggs using a whisk or in a mixer on low.
  • Once combined, take this egg mixture and mix it into the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the pan with the combined mixture to medium heat and whisk gently until the custard begins to thicken; this will likely take between three or four minutes.
  • Once thickened, remove your custard from the heat, mix in the vanilla, and pour it into a bowl, immediately covering it with plastic wrap. You’ll want to make sure the plastic wrap is resting on the custard, itself, to prevent a film on the surface. Let the custard cool for about an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Now it’s time to assemble the buttercream! This is the easy part. Add a cup of softened butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla to the mixer and cover it with a towel. This is to prevent the sugar from flying up while it mixes. Turn it on low and let it mix while covered for a minute. Uncover it and allow it to mix thoroughly for another minute.
  • This next step will take place once the custard has cooled for an hour. Gently fold the custard into the buttercream, and start the mixer again. The buttercream will go from a pure white to a kind of pale golden yellow.
  • Finally, it’s time to assemble the cupcakes! This step is kind of a pick-your-pleasure kind of thing. You can simple slather the custard buttercream on the cupcakes with a butter knife, or you can pipe them. I usually prefer to do the latter, and I go a step further – filling them, as well. To fill them, use a piping bag. Then, simply pipe your cupcakes and top with cinnamon to your desired amount!


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Snack time has never been better than with these milk tart cupcakes. A truly South African treat! For more tasty recipes to prepare for your family and friends, just have a look at our recipe page, we have so many delicious recipes for you to try.

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