South Africa- Koeksisters Recipe

South Africa Koeksisters

I first tried these delicious sweets when my friend Catherine brought me some from South Africa. She recommended this recipe for koeksisters and I recently made them and surprised her with a delivery. The original recipe for koeksisters comes from and I followed it, and also watched some videos on YouTube to see how to braid the dough.

The recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find. However, braiding the dough takes some time. The result is a sweet doughnut that is crispy on the outside and soft inside. It is hard to eat just one!

Koeksisters dough
Koeksisters dough
Koeksisters syrup
Koeksisters syrup



250 ml water (1 cup)
2 1/2 c white sugar
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence


1 3/4 c cake flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
20 g butter
150 ml milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Flour for dusting the cutting board


First, put the water and sugar in a pot and bring to boil on low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 7 minutes.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla essence. Put the pot into the fridge.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Next, break the butter or margarine into small pieces and mix into the flour mixture. Add the milk. Mix well until a dough is formed.

Roll the dough out on a generously-floured cutting board to a thickness of around 5 mm (1/4 in.). First cut the dough into long strips about 8 cm wide. Then cut the dough into thin (6 mm strips, leaving each set of 3 strips attached at one end. Braid the three strips and then pinch both ends.

Heat the oil in a pot to medium-high. Put a few koeksisters at a time in the oil and fry them on both sides until they get a golden-brown color. As you remove the koeksisters for the oil, place them directly ito the syrup from the fridge. It is important to keep the syrup cool, so between soakings, return the syrup to the fridge to maintain its coolness.

Remove the koeksisters from the syrup and allow the excess syrup to drip off. For this you can use a cooling rack with a tray below it. Place them in the refrigerator to cool and then eat!

Koeksisters dough
Koeksisters dough, making the braids
Frying koeksisters
Frying koeksisters

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