Peppermint Crisp fridge tart – a South African treat

This classic South African Peppermint Crisp fridge tart combines layers of coconutty cookies, cream whipped with dulce du leche and a classic minty South African chocolate bar. It's no-bake and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser at any party!

A criticism of South Africans (and pretty much all antipodeans in London) is that we arrive from sunnier Southern climes, find jobs, find accommodation and then proceed to live in little self-imposed ghettoes, socialising only with other South Africans, eating only out of South African shops, drinking in South African-themed bars, wearing Sprinkbok rugby jerseys everywhere, and generally spending time slagging off the English – our hosts!  And I do have to say that there is some truth in this. It is very hard to stick out your finger in Wimbledon/Earlsfield/Southfields and not poke a South African, because a lot of us really do congregate there.  And I have spent many a night talking to South Africans in London and thinking “good grief – you’re in LONDON!  Stop carrying on about the weather – you didn’t come here for the weather!!”

But let’s not forget that there is always an exception that proves the rule.  Since we arrived here, Nick and I have been Eastenders.  We have never lived west of Canary Wharf and am not aware of any South Africans in our street.  Sure, you do hear Afrikaans on the train occasionally, but we are more likely to bump into our Lithuanian, Irish, Indian, Finnish or West-Indian neighbours than other Saffers.  Although I get terribly homesick, I also experience moments of such intense joy at being in London that I want to run laughing through the streets yelling “Hey, everybody, look!  I actually live here in one of the most exciting cities in the world!!”  On the other hand, you are what you are: there’s no denying your roots.  And so, like clockwork, once a year Nick and I host a Big South African Braai.  Not to surround ourselves with only South Africans, but to give all our friends a little taste of what home means to us.

We usually have between 10 and 17 people in our tiny garden and we have a rich mix of natinalities and backgrounds.  This year we had 3 Brits, 5 Saffers (including me and Nick), 2 Aussies, 2 Kiwis. a German and a Mexican. So naturally we felt compelled to educate them on the finer points of South African cuisine 😉  In the past, we have treated them to chakalaka, seven-layer salad, sosaties, braai sarmies and snoek.  And this year we treated them to not one but TWO South African delicacies:  chicken sundowners (will be blogged in a later post, I promise) and Peppermint Crisp fridge tart.

I don’t know what it is about this desert that makes grown men go all misty-eyed and 20070805_peppermintcrispfridgetartcwomen look wistful, but it is one of those desserts that everyone seems to like.  It is absolutely not fancy, pretty, clever or remotely sophisticated.  But I can guarantee you that every South African reading this has tasted it because it is one of those things that every South African mom has at some stage made when catering for masses of people… say, at a braai.  Some people whom I invited but could not make it were upset not about missing the braai, but about missing the pudding!  In fact, it has become so ingrained in the South African culinary psyche that I was amused to see on my visit home in June that it has become a chocolate flavour!  Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has brought out a range of “Local is lekker” chocolates in flavours like milk tart and… mint crisp fridge tart.  Jawellnofine.

So what is this ambrosial pudding?  OK, don’t wince when I tell  you.  Many moons ago, a South African company called Orley Foods developed a range of non-dairy cream substitute products.  The flagship product was (and still is, apparently) Orley Whip which looks like single cream, whips up to three times its original volume and can be stored in the fridge for up to three months.  My recipe for this pudding was copied down from a package insert in a pack of Orley Whip a long time ago, probably much like every other South African I know.  The recipe combines Orley Whip with Caramel Treat (caramelised condensed milk) and Peppermint Crisp (a chocolate bar from Nestle that features a filling of tightly packed, long and very brittle tubes of BRIGHT green mint-flavoured candy – looks like Kryptonite and tastes madly minty), layered with Tennis biscuits (shortbread-ish coconut-flavoured cookies).  It struck me that it is in some ways a South African take on tiramisu, minus the culinary history and the fashionability ;-).  The final product is not overly sweet, thanks to the peppermint and the fairly neutral biscuit layers, but is rich enough to go a long way.  And I distinctly remember seeing plates licked clean.

So clearly, local is lekker, even if you have never set foot in South Africa!



This post is my submission to this month’s Sugar High Friday, hosted by my friend and holiday companion Johanna.  The theme is local delicacies and you still have till 27 August to get entries in. 

4.9 from 7 reviews
Peppermint Crisp fridge tart
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: South African
Author: Jeanne Horak-Druiff
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Looking for that long-lost delicious Peppermint Crisp pudding recipe that you remember from your youth? Well, you’ve found it!
  • 250ml Orley Whip, whipped to soft peaks
  • 2 packets of Tennis biscuits (although you will probably use less)
  • 375g tin of caramelised condensed milk
  • 20ml caster sugar
  • 3 Peppermint Crisp chocolate bars, crushed
  • 3-4 drops of peppermint essence (more, if you like))
  1. Whip the Orley Whip and then add the caramelised condensed milk, castor sugar and peppermint essence.  Beat until well mixed and then stir in 2/3 of the crushed Peppermint Crisp.
  2. Place a layer of whole tennis biscuits in a buttered 29x19x5cm dish.  Spoon 1/3 of the caramel mix over the buscuits and spread evenly.  Continue in layers, finishing with a layer of filling on top.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Decorate by sprinkling the remainder of crushed peppermint crisp on top.  Cut into squares and serve.

You can substitute whipping cream for Orley Whip (a kosher dairy substitute), but the outcome may be even richer than this pudding already is.  I used Elmlea, a half-dairy cream available in the UK.  Apparently the American Cool Whip is a near-identical product.  For caramelised condensed milk, you can use dulce du leche or you can make your own by boiling a tin of normal sweetened condensed milk (warning:  hazardous!!).  The Tennis biscuits may prove problematic, although I have seen forums in Australia advising the use of a type of Arnott’s coconut biscuits or Nice biscuits.  Any other suggestions welcome.  And as for the Peppermint Crisp… sadly, for that you will have to bite the bullet and buy it from a South African shop.  Not sure if anything else like it exists.  Maybe start campaigning for Nestle to produce it worldwide? 😉



Never miss a Cooksister post

If you enjoyed this post, enter your e-mail address here to receive a FREE e-mail update when a new post appears on Cooksister

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rate this recipe:  

  1. Josh says

    You’re right on the money, this is the best dessert/teatime treat/comfort food EVER…beyond delicious. I’m a Saffie living in Taiwan and believe me SA products are few and far between. I use regular cream, regular mint chocolate and digestive biscuits. And as far as boiling the condensed milk goes,, yes it’s hazardous and tedious(it takes hours of boiling, checking the water levels and praying for the best) but oh so worth it!Not the real deal but close enough to close your eyes and go mmmmmmmmm…..!

  2. kat says

    you can’t say you didn’t warn us… :) well done!
    the pics look great, and i am so intrigued by the “local is leeker” range from cadburys – will definitely look out for those next time i’m home.

  3. says

    Oh jeanne, this will alwasy be a favorite! When we go back home for a visit, we have to have a piece of this delicacy before we leave there! Seeign your beautiful photo makes me licking my lips!

  4. says

    Aaahhh…peppermint crisp tart – I have not had that in years. Mores the pity too. It is almost worth hosting a braai just for the excuse of making it.
    Did you also bite the ends of peppermint crisps and drink milk through it when you were a kid? Those mint crystal tubes make the perfect straw – it is messy but fun.
    Am also interested in this new range of choccies from Cadbury’s – will have to impose on my mother to send some samples up for me to try – am especially intrigued by the milktart flavour…

  5. says

    I made some just a few weeks ago, but mine was pretty much just a pack of tennis biscuits, 250ml cream (whipped), the caramel condensed milk and a peppermint crisp. This one looks even sweeter…
    Either way, it always goes down a treat.

  6. says

    Tiramisù: heaven in your mouth!
    – caffé –
    360 cc espresso coffee
    2 teaspoons sugar
    – zabaione –
    4 egg
    100 gr sugar
    120 cc marsala wine
    450 gr mascarpone cheese
    230 cc heavy whipping cream
    – cake –
    285 gr savoiardi
    2 tablespoons bitter cocoa powder
    – caffé –
    Prepare a very extra strong espresso italian coffee.
    Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in it, when the coffee is still hot. Let the coffee cool at room temperature.
    – zabaione –
    Beat the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl or in the bowl of a double boiler, until they become fluffy. Beat in the sugar and the Marsala wine.
    Transfer the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until the cream thickens. The zabaione will thicken just before boiling point, when small bubbles appear.
    With a rubber spatula, mash the mascarpone cheese in a bowl until creamy.
    Add the zabaione into the mascarpone cheese, and beat to mix very well.
    Whip the cream. Fold the whipped cream into the zabaglione–cheese cream, until smooth.
    – assembling cake –
    Lightly soak the ladyfingers in the coffee, one at a time.
    Place them in one layer in a container of about 30×20 cm.
    Evenly distribute half of the zabaglione cream over the ladyfingers.
    Repeat the step with a second layer of ladyfingers, and top with the rest of the cream.
    Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for about 3 – 4 hours.
    …welcome in the Italian paradise.
    Ciao bella!

  7. says

    I just had to comment on this, I am a Saffer recently moved to Sydney from London and just the mention of Tennis biscuits has me salivating! I am going straight to the supermarket tomorrow to look for Arnott’s coconut biscuits and Nice biscuits and I will do a taste test and come back to you! I am also going to make a pilgrimage to a Saffer butcher I have heard of because I am just craving biltong so badly! thanks for a delicious reminder of home! I have been reading your blog for years whilst in London and still check in regularily from Sydney!

  8. says

    Wow, this looks amazing! I wish I had the ingredients to replicate it, but for now I’ll just gush over the pictures. Makes me think of a friend of ours who stayed with my mother and I for several years of my childhood… he was born in South Africa and though his parents were American, he spoke Afrikaans and sometimes would recite poetry to me. It was strange, how like Dutch I could understand the spirit of what he was saying (I speak German), but couldn’t give you a word for word translation to save my life!

  9. Blularkie says

    Hi! Im from Malaysia and learnt the recipe from my host when I was in SA for 3 months… Sad to say, we don’t got no orley or caramel treat or chocolate mint here. Its rare to even find peppermint ice cream. But I tried making it the other day, with regular whipping cream and without boiling the condensed milk, Dairy milk chocolate and a few clorets mints blendered. It turned out ok, minus the caramelly flavour and doesnt set that nicely.
    How do you ‘boil’ the condensed milk? Does it take very long and won’t it be sticky?

    • Sue says

      You take a can of condensed milk and boil it for 3 hours.

      However and this is very important you have to keep the can covered with water at all times or it will explode so it is dangerous but worth it.

  10. Jaco says

    When i make mine, it doesn’t always set too well and is often quite runny. Am i doing something wrong? Can i add something different like gelatine?

    • Asanda says

      Hey Jaco, I also had the same problem but the trick is in the cream whipping,make sure that it is solid enough to stay put when shaking ur bowl but also soft enough to form peaks.And leave in the fridge over night, come lunch time it shoud be “set to go”

  11. says

    Right on the money sister! You are so right about this being such a South African thing and being so integrally linked to braais. :) It’s certainly one of my favourite desserts ever and between this and your recipe for bread and butter pudding, you’ve certainly won over another fan. (Despite the fact that I’ve only just found your blog today!)

  12. Joey says

    In the UK, you can use Cadbury Mint Crisp for the peppermint crisp, but as it isnt that pepperminty, use an Aero Mint or two. As for the biscuits Hobnobs are quite good, or coconut biccies.

  13. says

    On X’s demand my visiting sister brought a stack of mint crisp bars from SA on her recent visit. These, I were informed beforehand, would be used by me in making a mint crisp tart. Something I have never done before. So today he got online and searched for recipes (for me, of course) and guess who’s popped up first! So I’m going to try it this week and will let you know how it went. A relationship is in the balance here! :)

  14. Audrey says

    To boil condensed milk – first remove label and scratch off all the glue, otherwise it will be all over your pot. It is best to use a trivet. Lie can on its side,cover with water bring to the boil and simmer for 3 hours. Cool completely before opening. I have never heard of a can exploding!! I usually boil 3 cans at once.

  15. Karen Erasmus says

    Hey – I’m in SA and love the pepermint crisp fridge tart – love it!
    Sometimes I have been unable to find peppermint crisp bars here in SA and have substituted with mint crisp bars by Beacon or Cadburys (milk chocolate bar with crispy peppermint bits in) – i’m sure these are available worldwide. Open to correction here.
    And as for the tennis biscuit problem – I actually prefer to use romany creams – but that solves nothing because you cant get those outside this country either. but they taste so good in this tart – especially the caramel flavour ones which are sometimes but not always available. Maybe there is a romany cream equivalent available in the rest of the world – its a chocolate coconut sandwich cookie with a hard chocolate cream filling. yummy!
    As an aside – i feel sorry for people who dont get all these great SA products like those mentioned here as well as marie biscuits, milo, bovril (yum!), etc

  16. Tova says

    In the US you won’t be able to find Peppermint Crisp since the FDA won’t allow it to be imported because it contains a dye that isn’t approved in the US.

  17. Emma Fargher says

    Hello I am a Sout Africain living in Canada. I am very sad that i can never find any peppermint Crisps in stores anywhere else but south Africa. Does anyone know where I could find some or order them. I love the name of your site cook sisters are very dear to me and it is such a treat to hear ( read) people taking the way my family does.( we have changed the way we talk because no one else understands us> Cheers.

  18. michelle rolleston says

    great to come across your site. i love cooking and spoiling my kids with S.A. treats we are Kaapenaars and love local foods.
    will try the pudding pepppermint this weekend.

  19. Emma Fargher says

    I live near Toronto, I’ve found Peppermint Crisps once, i look for them every where… old fashion sweet stores, Kensignton, Import stores ect but with no suscess.

  20. Karen Murphy says

    Try doctoring this recipe, I use nice bisscuits, peppermint aero, and lightly whipped double cream, it works realy well.

  21. says

    Being of Cape Malay origin, this one of my favourite dishes, and since moving to Australia, ‘no one’ I know now had the recipe.. Then this morning I decided to google ‘peppermint and caramel tart’! And found the best sweet dish recipe ever.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog, you have another fan :)

  22. Marlene Thick says

    I went to google for fridge tart and up you popped. I am from Cape Town but lived in Rhodesia for a long time, I now live in Sacramento, CA. I am having some South African friends for dinner on Saturday and thought I would like to make a fridge tart, I think I am going to have a problem getting all those ingredients. At least they will enjoy the steak and mushroom pie.
    I enjoyed all the comments

  23. Terri says

    I’m going to be making this for my Australian and English friends next week for the South African braai I am hosting. I am one of those rare South Africans in London who has immersed herself almost completely in British culture after 12 years of living here that I even call ‘braais’ ‘barbeques’ now, oh the shame! I don’t have any South African friends here so it’s easy to avoid South African culture but sometimes I just need a bit of ‘home’ (I think it’s the World Cup, I’m feeling really homesick). Local really is lekker!

  24. Jo says

    you can sometimes get peppermint crisp here in New Zealand, unfortunately they can cost upwards of NZD 4 each, so I tend to stock up on them when in Australia. Its a pity about the dye, these things have to be the only chocolate bar I ever buy.

  25. Leigh says

    I just came across this now. Was looking for a good peppermint recipe for Christmas dessert last year. I’m a Saffa, living in Ireland.
    I didn’t want to make my way up to Cork just to get the ingredients, so I substituted with these ingredients:
    Peppermint crisp – Aero Mint
    Orley Whip – Double cream (beaten)
    Tennis biscuits – NICE coconut biscuits
    Caramel treat – Most Polish shops stock caramel in a tin (the size of a baked beans tin). It tastes the same and is just as sweet.

  26. says

    Just had an idea, what about adding caramel essence to the condensed milk, instead of boilig? Might work? I’ve used AREO with success iso Peppermint crisp

  27. says

    just wanted to put my 5 cents in ….you can make your own caramel by putting the tin of condensed milk in a pot of water and boiling it on the stove for about two hours…no the can does not burst(i know this because this used to be a weekly treat after school on a friday, my friend and i would “make caramel”) dont forget to keep topping up the water in the pot…leave to cool open the tin and hey presto CARAMEL!

    • Maje Flower says

      You can also cook the caramel in the pressure cooker. I usually do 5 cans at a time, my pressure cooker does not take more. Cook for about 40 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pot a bit. The cooked cans keep well on the shelf for at least 3 months or more.

  28. Shire Kerrod says

    Adding ginger nuts biscuits with the tennis biscuits is also divine, if you are a ginger lover like me. Not that this recipe needs anything to make it nicer!! Just another option:)

  29. Janette says

    Tesco in Reading (Berkshire) is now selling a whole lot of South African stuff including Tennis Biscuits and Peppermint crisp chocolate, and flings (yum, one of my favourite chips/crips!) and other yummy things like ouma biskuit, lunchbar, iwisa pap etc. I have just this morning bought the ingredients to make a peppermint crisp tart.

  30. Graham Shackleton says

    Just thourght about some of the homecomforts and sweets and found your sight, will be making this tart asap after assembling to requireg parts. Now been here in the UK 12 years and nobody in church stretton but us from ZA, but still manage to braai during the summer!!lots of stange looks at what is on the braai because thereare no burger patties and sausages.

  31. Michele says

    I am in New zealand and just wondered what cream I can use here as I cant find anything like Orley Whip. Every cream I try is too runny and the tart doesn’t set properly….

  32. says

    I cannot believe Tesco in Reading are now selling all those South African treats!! That used to be my local when I lived in Reading…how I wish I still lived nearby! I made a slightly adapted version of your peppermint crisp fridge tart this week but made it in a round cheesecake tin with tennis biscuit sides, it was really tasty!

  33. Belinda says

    Michele in NZ I make it all the time and use the thickened cream by Anchor (in those tubs) unfortunately I found out from Anchor that it is Artificially thickened…but since finding out that the green dye is a non FDA approved substance anyway..well a few more chemicals can’t do much more damamge!!

  34. Abbey says

    Jeanne, this is such a delicious recipe!!! In regards to the caramel/dulce de leche… I hate the idea of boiling condensed milk in the tin, so I bake it in the oven. This is the easy method I use:
    2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk
    1.  Preheat oven to 220C. 
    2.  Place the condensed milk in an ovenproof baking dish and cover tightly with aluminium foil. 
    3.  Place the baking dish in a larger deep-sided baking tray and fill with boiling water until it reaches 2/3 of the way up the sides of the dish.
    4.  Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes or until caramel in colour (refill water every 20 minutes). 
    5.  Spoon the caramel into a bowl and whisk until smooth. 
    For one tin, it only needs to be in the oven for an hour. If you make a bulk amount: Spoon into sterilised glass jars and keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

  35. says

    Just wanted to let the Aussies out there know that I found peppermint crisp at Coles today, haven’t had time to check Woolies yet but I’m pretty sure they’ll stock it too as it’s produced by Nestle in Australia now. I’ve subbed the caramelized condensed milk for the caramel filling (same size tin).

    • Maje Flower says

      Marabou, a swedish chocolate, has a divine mint flavour, like Cadbury’s Mint Crisp.
      ecause we have no tennis biscuits, we use what the germans call “butterkeks” a bit like marie biscuits, and add some dessicated coconut and a pinch of mixed spice.
      The pudding sets well when it has a few hours chilling time, better overnight. Or you can simply add some gelatine dissolved in only a little water. Use enough gelatine to set 250 g/ml. Should do the trick.

  36. Sarah says

    For those in the UK, you can get caramel treat here. Also Nestle, in the same size tin, but it is called Carnation Caramel. It is exactly the same as Caramel Treat and can be found in all supermarkets. :) This makes Saffa me very happy!

  37. Yolandi says

    My goodness… How I wish you were our friends… And in Auckland, New Zealand, instead of that London 😀
    Great post.

    Thank you!

  38. Sanet says

    Jeanne, I lost the recipe my mom gave me when I was younger and could never quite get it right without that. The one you posted with the Orley Whip is exactly as she made it. I live in South Africa (having been overseas plenty of times) and reading your comments made me miss my country while still living here :-) Miss all you Saffies, come home/visit soon.

  39. Ting says

    how i enjoyed your little tail, i am living in switzerland since 5 years and must say i have looked up a few south africans as i enjoy their company. i have been wanting to make this peppermint tart for a long time but never found just the right one as i remember my mother made it, well this looks like it, i will be trying it this weekend, thank you for your post.

  40. Angela says

    I am sure a frozen peppermint aero bar would work but I am planning on adding extra essence and just using dark choc chips. Won’t have the lovely green coloring but should still have the flavour. Maybe I should color some white choc green and add essence, cool and grate.

    • Kate says

      Peppermint crisps have always been sold in Australia! I’m 32 and have been eating them since I was a kid. I’m just about to make this recipe for a South African friend – we both now live in the US and are very peppermint crisp deprived. I was in Tanzania recently and brought a stash of them back, mainly so I could try out this recipe!

  41. Carol says

    I agree with what you said about South Africans gathering together and I used to feel guilty about it but then I started thinking back to SA and it’s true of most of the communities that have moved to SA – the Portuguese, the Italians, the Chinese etc etc. I guess it’s pretty much a comfort thing and makes one feel more at home in a foreign land.
    I think constantly moaning about the UK is not going to make you feel any better and quite rude in front of Brits.

  42. Okkie says

    One of those eats to sell a soul for! I use cream in the place of Orley whip. and ad 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice as well as 3 drops op peppermint oil just before building the tart.
    Any square tea biscuit should do the trick but in emergency cases crumbed Marie biscuits mixed with 2 tablespoons of melted to make an only lining crust in dish also works.

  43. Lindie Kolver says

    You’re right…this has all the trappings of a very , very habit-forming aphrodisiac . It is yummy !
    And luckily we get the exact Peppermint Crisp on the South African shelves now in Australia in our Supermarkets…..just ‘bladdie bewdiful’as they say here. Thanx for posting..