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Koeksisters are a traditional South African treat. The dough is deep-fried in oil and then soaked in either ice-cold or hot syrup. Passion for food shared a step-by-step guide to making Koeksisters
There is also a Cape Malay version that is rolled in desiccated coconut and called a Koesister. For step-by-step instructions to make the Cape Maley version, follow the video by Fatima Sydow. 

Below are some tried and tested recipes shared by members of our Facebook group

Koeksister Recipe shared by Judy-Ann Graill

This recipe makes about 28 koeksisters


  • 5 cups of Sugar (1kg)
  • 500 ml Water
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger
  • 2ml cream of tartar
  • 2 ml salt
  • a strip of lemon rind
  • 45 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 625 ml (250g) Cake flour
  • 15 ml baking powder
  • 2ml salt
  • 60g butter
  • 1 extra large egg, beaten
  • 125 ml water
  • 15 ml fresh lemon juice
  • cooking oil for deep frying


Prepare the syrup in advance. Let it cool to ice cold

Place all the ingredients in a deep and heavy saucepan. Heat it up, stirring lightly, until the sugar has dissolved. Let it boil on medium heat for about 5 – 8  minutes. Remove from the stovetop and let it cool. Once it cooled down, put it in the fridge to become ice cold


Sift the dry ingredients together. Rub the butter in with your fingertips. Beat the egg, water, and lemon juice and mix it with the dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead the dough lightly. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 1 cm thick. Cut into sections measuring 6 *x 9 cm. Cut these into three strips of 2 cm each. Keep the top intact. Plait the strips.

Deep fry the plaits in hot oil until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and dip them immediately in the ice-cold syrup. Remove from syrup and leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Koeksister recipe shared by Bianca Smith