Koeksisters are a traditional South African recipe. The koeksister that I made is the traditional ‘Afrkaner’ version. It’s  a braided, deep fried doughnut that is soaked in syrup and served cool. This traditional treat is almost made in all ‘Afrikaner’ households, sold at church fares, farmstalls and corner stores around the country. Many a childhood memory has these little guys in them, my hands sticky from the intoxicating sweetness of these devine pastries.  Eventhough I grew up with these treats, I had never made them before coming to Korea. We attended a Thanksgiving dinner and for desert, I decided that the Koreans, Americans, Canadians and fellow South Africans needed a little taste of South Africa , along with milktart another traditional South African dessert.

Needless to say that in South Korea the necessary ingredients were hard to come by and I had to improvise. The result was delicious, impressive and made me miss home.To follow is the recipe that I received form Elize Visser, my boyfriend’s mom. So here goes:


4 cups of wheat flour
2 tablespoons of margarine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
8 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sieve all the dry ingredients together. Work the margarine into the flour. Mix the milk and water into the flour. Kneed the dough until firm, but not elastic. Let the dough rest and rise for 20 minutes. After which you roll out the dough and cut it into pieces. The length and breath depends on what you want. Next cut a small slice into the dough that is cut and thread one side through the hole. This will make a braided shape, You can cut the dough into two pieces and twist it around, but I decided to go the easier route to save time. After you have braided your dough deep fry the koeksisters. Directly after you fried the koeksisters you have to submerge them in ice cold syrup, until the syrup has completly soaked the koeksisters. Next I will give you the koeksister syrup recipe:

Koeksister stroop/ Syrup:
8 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
4 table spoons of golden syrup
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar or lemon juice( I prefer lemon juice)
A little bit of grated dried ginger to taste

Add water to sugar and lemon juice. Let it boil for 10 minutes, until all the sugar has disolved. Add the golden syrup and stir. If you are satisfied with your syrup, let it cool down well before using. I definitely recommend making the syrup the day before you make the actual koeksisters. Divide the syrup into two containers, preferably glass or metal. Store it in the refrigerator. The syrup that you use needs to be ice cold. Directly after frying the koeksiters you put them into the syrup. Change the syrup as soon as you feel the syrup is getting warm.

Step one , after mixing and kneading the dough , cut it into pieces and braid. Next deep fry and then submerge in cold syrup.Lastly, enjoy!!

Step one , after mixing and kneading the dough , cut it into pieces and braid. Next deep fry and then submerge in cold syrup.Lastly, enjoy!!

This recipe is by no means fashionable or healthy , but its incredibly nostalgic. Its a little bit of my heritage that I can enjoy each time I make it and especially it s great to share it with people from other countries.Lekker, lekker koeksisters.

One thought on “Koeksisters

  1. Pingback: How to Make Koeksisters of Hymie Baker | Stephen Darori on Family Recipes and Cooking

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