• 250 ml (1 cup) cake flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) self raising flour
  • 5 ml ( 1 tsp) salt
  • 60g (1/4 cup) butter
  • 5 ml (1tsp) ground ginger
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground mixed spice
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cardamom
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) soft brown sugar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) white sugar
  • 7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
  • Syrup
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) dessicated coconut
  • 1 piece of naartjie peel


In a mixing bowl combine the flours with salt. Add butter and rub in lightly till it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add remaining ingredients, using the warm water to form a dough. Do not knead. Cover with plastic and leave in a warm place fo0r about 1/1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size then turn out on a lightly floured surface. Dip fingers and knife into flour and use your hands to stretch the dough. Cut into 4cm X8cm strips and deep fry over medium heat in a deep saucepan. Insert fork to check if done, and remove quickly one by one and drain in colander or on kitchen paper.

To make the syrup bring, water, sugar, coconut and naartjie peel to a slow boil in a large saucepan until syrup starts to bubble. Prick each koeksister, then lower into syrup . Add as many koeksisters as the pan will hold. Turn and cook for 5 minutes each side or till browned. Remove with slotted spoon place on platter with some extra coconut. Sprinkle coconut over them and serve while hot


Koeksisters are easier on the mind and hands than fetkoeks. Fetkoeks are deep fried bread dough then filled with meat or fruit. Very filling and like all breads takes time to nurture the rising process. Koek sister are similar but more like a cake.


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

Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add sprinkle of cinamon with a piece of lemon. 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 mix untill 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 and pinch at the ends to seal. Heat oil to 350 F anf fry for 4-5 minutes, dip in syrup and serve hot.

Another koeksisters recipie

The secret of the crisp syrupy outside of koeksisters is that they are taken straight from hot oil and dipped into ice-cold syrup. This seals the syrup outside and leaves the inside dryish in contrast.

From the Cape Times, Saturday August 3 1991.

"Food for thought" column, by Andrew Bergman Your intrepid Top of The Times reporter recently visited everyone's favourite member of the diplomatic corps (pronounced corpse), Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout, South African Ambassador to the Republic of Bapetikosweti, at her official residence, Blanche-Noir. Mrs Bezuidenhout said: "The koeksister is a symbol of the National Party."It's sticky because we cling on for dear life and it's sweet because nothing is sweeter than a Nationalist, except of course two Nationalists." [And it's twisted - HdW]While we will only deal with the conventional koeksister here, Mrs Bezuidenhout admitted that she was working on a "new South Africa" version. the new version would be plaited from a white, a brown and a black strand. "Three halves that would make up one delicious enigmatic whole."

To make the syrup, mix a litre of sugar, 5 ml cream of tartar, 2.5 ml tartaric acid and 5 ml vanilla essence or grated orange rind or cinnamon, or 1.5 ml ginger with 500 ml of water. Bring mixture to the boil and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes or until syrupy. Set syrup aside to cool. It is advisable to make the syrup first and leave it overnight in the fridge. "This recipe is like the dismantling of apartheid - it has to be done in stages, ne?" To make the batter, sift 500 ml flour, 10 ml baking powder and 5 ml salt into a mixing bowl. Cut or rub 70 ml of margarine or butter into the dry ingredients. Beat an egg thoroughly and add it to 80 ml of milk. Add the egg and milk to the flour mixture, handling as little as possible. Put the dough in the fridge for at least one hour. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 4 mm. Cut into strips about 8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Cut each strip into three lengthwise, leaving one side uncut. Now plait the three pieces and press ends together firmly. Pre-heat a deep pan and remove syrup from the fridge. The hot fried koeksisters must be dropped into the cold syrup. The syrup will warm up about halfway through, so divide it into two bowls. Deep-fry koeksisters until golden brown, drain for a few seconds on absorbent paper and dip into cold syrup.