How To Make Koeksisters


South African Koeksisters are easier on the mind and hands than vetkoeks. They are similar but sweeter and more like a cake.

They are made using brown sugar and self-raising flour. Deep frying in fresh oil gives a much better taste.

Traditional Recipe

Vetkoek is deep fried bread dough then filled with meat or fruit, very filling and like all bread takes time to nurture the rising process. They are the perfect dessert after the main meal of biltong pasta.


  • 9 oz of brown sugar
  • 1/4 pint water, cinnamon
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • Oil for frying.


  • Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon with a piece of lemon then bring to the boil then allow to cool, discarding the lemon.
  • Add the butter, beat in the egg and get it creamy. Sift the flour and mix with the butter/sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Roll into a 9′ square and cut into 18 pieces ( 3′x11/2′). Cut two slits in each piece but leave them joined at the top, so it looks like a thing with three legs.
  • Plait the legs in and pinch the ends to seal.
  • Heat oil to 350 F and fry for 4-5 minutes, dip in syrup and serve hot.

Tip: Make syrup the night before and leave in the fridge in two containers half in each then when dipping keep one in the fridge cold and use the other then swop. It makes for better coverage and works better if syrup is cold.

They are best when eaten fresh. It is best to eat them fresh as the sugar can crystallise if frozen.

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container.

Be careful when sharing them out as they will disappear quickly when the family taste them. They are a real treat to have and make. Have a look at our bobotie recipe

About Gareth 17 Articles
I am a keen biltong enthusiast, I like to keep to the traditions that I learnt when I grew up in South Arica. Please feel free to comment on our recipes and join in with ideas.

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