Skip to main content

Discover delicious South African marmite cake – A unique twist on traditional desserts

By August 18, 2023December 1st, 2023FinGlobal

Discover delicious South African marmite cake – A unique twist on traditional desserts

August 18, 2023


South African Marmite is a unique ingredient that has found its way into many kitchens worldwide. With its distinctive tangy flavour, it has become a staple ingredient for creating mouth-watering recipes that leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. One such extraordinary recipe is the South African Marmite cake. Yes, you read that right—a cake made with Marmite! Popularly known as a Marmite birthday cake, this delicious dessert is a perfect blend of savoury Marmite flavour and sweet cake indulgence. Whether you’re a Marmite enthusiast or just a curious baker, this recipe promises an exciting culinary adventure. So, let’s delve into the world of Marmite desserts and elevate your baking game to a whole new level.

The journey of marmite cake in South Africa – The rise to popularity

Marmite has a rich and distinctive history in South Africa, having been introduced by the British during the colonial period. It quickly became a beloved kitchen staple due to its umami-rich, salty flavour which added a unique twist to traditional South African cuisine. Over the years, Marmite has evolved from a simple spread to an innovative ingredient used in a variety of recipes, including the surprising yet delightful Marmite cake. Its popularity among South Africans is evidenced by its ubiquitous presence in local supermarkets and the multitude of Marmite-infused recipes available.

The product’s popularity among South Africans is not just due to its unique flavour profile, but also its nutritional benefits. Marmite is packed with Vitamin B, essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Its versatility in the kitchen, combined with its health benefits, has cemented Marmite’s place in the South African culinary scene. Now, it’s time to unveil the recipe for the much-celebrated Marmite birthday cake, a dessert that marries the umami flavour of Marmite with the sweetness of cake in a delightful fusion of taste and texture.

Exploring the marmite cake recipe – The ingredients & process for making this delicious treat

Without further ado, let’s embark on the exciting journey of creating this much-treasured Marmite birthday cake – a recipe that promises to be a delightful roller-coaster ride for your taste buds.

What you need

  • 100 g of granulated sugar
  • 140 g of all-purpose cake flour
  • A tablespoon of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt, around 2ml
  • 125ml of fresh milk
  • 30ml of either butter or margarine, as per your preference
  • 2 eggs of an extra-large size

For the Glaze

  • 60 grams of unsalted butter or a non-dairy spread
  • 45 milliliters of Marmite
  • 25 grams of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

What to do

  • Whisk together eggs and sugar until they achieve a light and fluffy consistency.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, using a sifter, and gently incorporate them into the whisked egg mixture.
  • Warm the milk and butter together in a small saucepan, ensuring it doesn’t reach a boiling point. Stir until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat and integrate this mixture into your batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a 23 cm tart dish that has been sufficiently greased. Place the dish in an oven preheated to 180 °C and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until fully baked. Take the cake out of the oven and make several punctures with a fork.
  • For the topping: Combine butter and Marmite and melt them together using a microwave. Drizzle this topping over the still-warm cake. Finish off with a sprinkle of grated cheese and serve while still warm.

Substitute for marmite – What can be used as an alternative ingredient if you don’t have access to the real stuff

If you’re unable to source Marmite for this recipe, don’t worry, there are alternatives available.

  • Vegemite, an Australian product, is the most common substitute. It has a similar taste profile to Marmite, with a salty, slightly bitter flavour, though it is a bit milder.
  • Bovril, another yeast extract product, can also be used in place of Marmite. It’s a little beefier in flavour, but it will still give your cake that unique umami touch.

In case yeast extract products aren’t readily available in your location, soy sauce or bouillon cubes could serve as a replacement. These won’t perfectly replicate the Marmite flavour but will add the savoury note that balances the sweetness of the cake.

Concluding remarks about marmite cake recipes – Summing up why it’s such a great idea to make one!

The Marmite cake, or more specifically, the Marmite birthday cake, is an ingenious fusion of sweet and savoury flavours that challenge traditional dessert norms. The unique combination of Marmite’s characteristic umami and the sweetness of the cake results in an unforgettable taste experience. Whether you’re a seasoned Marmite aficionado or a curious beginner, this Marmite dessert is a must-try. It showcases the versatility of Marmite as an ingredient and its transformative potential in baking. By experimenting with Marmite, you not only enhance your culinary repertoire but also embark on a delightful gustatory adventure that brings a spark of innovation to your kitchen.

Expert advice for SA ex-pats right here at FinGlobal

FinGlobal gives you access to excellent recipes for South African cuisine you can enjoy at home or abroad, and that’s not all. If you’re considering moving out of the country or are based abroad and need help with your emigration needs, look no further than FinGlobal. We offer bespoke services from emigration experts to suit your situation and needs, ensuring your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

FinGlobal helps you make the most of your international experience and is well-positioned to ensure a successful process, thanks to over ten years of experience. Contact FinGlobal today to discuss your financial and tax emigration needs and requirements by calling 028 313 5600 or emailing

Leave a Reply