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A very sticky South African treat originated from the Malayan cuisine.


4 c flour (pastry flour)
1 pn salt
3 T butter
2 egg (beaten)
1 c liquid (cold water or fruit juice)
4 c sugar
2 1⁄2 c water
1 cinnamon (1 stick)


Prepare the syrup

Place water and sugar in a pan and heat over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then add the cinnamon stick.

Simmer for 10 minutes, cool down to room temperature and chill, preferably overnight.

Prepare the batter

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.

Cut butter into the flour.

Add the sugar, liquid and beaten eggs. Mix until a dough has formed but do not over work the dough.

Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Shape and cook

Roll the dough until 2/3 of an inch thick. Cut rectangles about 3 inches x 2 inches.

Cut each rectangle into 3 strips but leaving them still joined at one end. Plait the strips and secure the loose end with a little beaten egg.

In a deep frying pan, heat oil until very hot. Deep fry koeksisters until golden brown.

Remove koeksisters from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and dip them into the chilled syrup.

Remove from the syrup and place in a tray. Leave them to dry until they can be picked up by hand.


Total time
55 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
2 dozen
  • Koeksisters in a plate.


Prepare the syrup the day before.

Don't crowd the pan when deep frying the koeksisters. Work by batches.


South African cuisine

The Malayan slaves brought to South Africa by European settlers were the origin of this recipe.

Foods with cinnamon

moderate, healthy
fish & seafood, main course
South Africa food recipes
Food in Africa