Milk Tart Day


Milk Tart Day is a cherished celebration in South Africa, dedicated to honoring the country’s rich culinary heritage and the beloved milk tart, a dessert that holds a special place in the hearts of many. This annual event, observed on February 27th, brings together food enthusiasts, families, and communities to indulge in the creamy goodness of milk tart and share in the joy of this iconic South African treat. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of Milk Tart Day, delve into the history of milk tart, and share ways to celebrate this delightful occasion.

The Origins of Milk Tart Day:

Milk Tart Day originated as a grassroots movement among South African food lovers eager to celebrate their love for this classic dessert. February 27th was chosen as the official date to honor Milk Tart Day, providing a dedicated opportunity for people across the country to come together and indulge in the creamy deliciousness of milk tart while paying homage to its cultural significance.

A Brief History of Milk Tart:

Milk tart, known as “melktert” in Afrikaans, holds a storied history in South Africa, dating back to the Dutch settlers who arrived in the Cape Colony in the 17th century. The recipe for milk tart evolved over time, influenced by various culinary traditions and ingredients available in the region. Today, milk tart is a beloved dessert enjoyed by people of all backgrounds, with its smooth custard filling and delicate pastry crust capturing the hearts and taste buds of millions.

How to Celebrate Milk Tart Day:

There are countless ways to celebrate Milk Tart Day and pay tribute to this quintessentially South African dessert. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Bake Your Own Milk Tart: Embrace your inner baker and whip up a homemade milk tart to enjoy with family and friends. Experiment with different recipes and variations, from classic milk tart with a cinnamon dusting to modern twists like chocolate or caramel-infused versions.
  2. Host a Milk Tart Bake-Off: Invite friends and family to participate in a friendly milk tart bake-off competition. Have each participant bring their own version of milk tart to be judged based on taste, presentation, and creativity. Award prizes for the most delicious and innovative entries.
  3. Milk Tart Tasting Party: Organize a milk tart tasting party where guests can sample a variety of milk tart creations from different bakeries, cafes, or homemade recipes. Provide scorecards for guests to rate their favorite tarts and crown the ultimate milk tart champion.
  4. Share Milk Tart Recipes: Share your favorite milk tart recipes and baking tips with friends and family on social media using the hashtag #MilkTartDay. Encourage others to join in the celebration by baking their own milk tarts and sharing photos of their culinary creations.
  5. Support Local Bakeries: Show your support for local bakeries and cafes by purchasing milk tart treats to enjoy on Milk Tart Day. Explore bakeries in your area that specialize in South African desserts and indulge in their delicious offerings.


2 tblsp butter
4 cups milk
Combine and bring to boil.
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp flour
2 tblsp maizena
Combine and mix well.
When milk starts to boil remove from the stove and add egg mixture.
Whisk rapidly and return to heat. Cook until it thickens.
For the pastry
1 egg yolk
125 g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 180 deg.
Grease a rectangle baking tray.
Cream butter and sugar.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Add flour and knead until you have a soft dough.
Rest for 30 mins.
Roll out evenly and line baking tray. Bake for 15 mins.
Fill pastry and refrigerate until set.
Dust with cinnamon

Serving and storage tips:

1. Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve milk tart chilled or at room temperature, depending on personal preference.
  • Dust the top of the milk tart with ground cinnamon just before serving for a traditional touch.
  • Garnish individual slices with fresh berries, mint leaves, or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra flourish.

2. Store Properly:

  • Store leftover milk tart in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.
  • Cover the milk tart with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, ensuring it is tightly sealed to prevent exposure to air and odors.
  • Consume the milk tart within 2-3 days for optimal taste and texture.

3. Freeze for Extended Storage:

  • Milk tart can be frozen for longer-term storage, allowing you to enjoy it at a later date.
  • Wrap individual slices or the entire milk tart tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the wrapped milk tart with the date of freezing for easy identification.
  • Thaw frozen milk tart in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Allow it to come to room temperature before enjoying for the best texture.

4. Avoid Direct Sunlight:

  • When serving milk tart outdoors or at events, avoid placing it in direct sunlight or warm temperatures for an extended period to prevent melting or spoilage.

5. Individual Portions:

  • Consider slicing the milk tart into individual portions before serving to make it easier for guests to enjoy.
  • Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry between cuts to achieve clean slices without crumbling the pastry crust.

6. Reheating Instructions:

  • If serving leftover milk tart, gently reheat individual slices in the microwave on low power or in a preheated oven at a low temperature until warmed through.
  • Avoid overheating the milk tart, as excessive heat can cause the custard filling to become rubbery or curdle.

7. Serve with Complementary Beverages:

  • Pair milk tart with complementary beverages such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a delightful dessert experience.
  • Offer guests a selection of beverages to choose from to accommodate different taste preferences.

8. Decorative Presentation:

  • Enhance the presentation of milk tart by serving it on decorative plates or platters.
  • Sprinkle additional ground cinnamon or cocoa powder over the serving plate for an elegant finishing touch.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your milk tart remains fresh, flavorful, and ready to be enjoyed whenever the craving strikes. Whether served as a dessert for a special occasion or enjoyed as a sweet treat any day of the week, milk tart is sure to delight with its creamy custard filling and buttery pastry crust.

FAQs :

1. What is milk tart?

  • Milk tart, also known as “melktert” in Afrikaans, is a traditional South African dessert consisting of a creamy custard filling encased in a crisp pastry crust.

2. What does milk tart taste like?

  • Milk tart has a rich, creamy texture with a delicate sweetness and hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The pastry crust adds a buttery, flaky contrast to the smooth custard filling.

3. Is milk tart served hot or cold?

  • Milk tart can be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference. It is commonly enjoyed chilled, but some prefer it warmed slightly before serving for a comforting treat.

4. Can I make milk tart ahead of time?

  • Yes, milk tart can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. In fact, allowing the tart to chill for a few hours or overnight can enhance its flavor and texture.

5. How should I store leftover milk tart?

  • Store leftover milk tart in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. It is best consumed within 2-3 days for optimal taste and texture.

6. Can I freeze milk tart?

  • Yes, milk tart can be frozen for longer-term storage. Wrap the tart tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

7. Is milk tart gluten-free?

  • Traditional milk tart contains wheat flour in the pastry crust, making it not suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, gluten-free versions can be made using alternative flours.

8. Can I customize milk tart with different flavors?

  • Yes, milk tart can be customized with various flavors to suit your taste preferences. Consider adding citrus zest, almond extract, or nutmeg to the custard filling for a unique twist.

9. Can I make milk tart without eggs?

  • While traditional milk tart recipes call for eggs to create a smooth custard filling, there are egg-free variations available that use alternative ingredients such as cornstarch or gelatin to achieve a similar texture.

10. Can I serve milk tart with toppings?

  • Yes, milk tart can be served with a variety of toppings to enhance its flavor and presentation. Common toppings include a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, whipped cream, fresh berries, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.


Milk Tart Day is a joyous celebration of South Africa’s sweet tradition and the beloved milk tart that has captured the hearts and taste buds of generations. Whether baking homemade tarts, hosting tasting parties, or sharing recipes with friends, Milk Tart Day provides a wonderful opportunity to come together and indulge in the creamy goodness of this iconic dessert. So mark your calendars, gather your loved ones, and join in the festivities to honor Milk Tart Day in delicious style!

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