By Drum Digital
13 September 2016

These traditional South African treats are popular with many.

By Hope Malau

Makes: 25

Preparation: 15 min

Cooking: 35 min


500 ml (2 c) water

1 kg sugar

pinch of salt

10 ml (2 t) cream of tartar

1 cinnamon stick


1 L self-raising flour

pinch of salt

50 g butter

25 ml (5 t) baking powder

60 ml (¼ c) sugar

200 ml (¾ c) milk

2 eggs

oil for deep-frying

  1. Syrup. Heat the water until warm and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring to make sure that all the ingredients dissolve. After 10 minutes, take the syrup off the heat and let cool to reach room temperature before placing the syrup in the fridge. Leave the cinnamon stick floating in the syrup
  2. Dough. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Then rub the butter into the dough with your fingers. Pour in the milk and eggs and mix well. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough out and then cut into strips 1 cm wide and 8 cm long. Take three of them and press the ends together on one end before plaiting it. When the plait is finished, press the other ends together.
  4. Heat a pan with oil on low until it starts sizzling when you drop a tiny piece of dough in the oil.
  5. Place the pan of syrup into another pan filled with ice water so as to keep it cool.
  6. Fry the koeksisters in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Scoop them out of the hot oil with a slotted spoon and transfer them immediately into the cold syrup and let them sit there as long as you can. Keep frying the koeksisters and once you’ve run out of room in the pan, take out the ones that have soaked the longest and place them on a wire rack to cool.

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