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Traditional Cape Malay Koeksisters

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Traditional Cape Malay Koeksisters (also pronounced Koesisters) is a deliciously sticky, sweet syrupy treat. A South-African delicacy you should not miss!!


A koeksister is a traditional Afrikaner confectionery made of fried dough infused with syrup or honey. There is also a Cape Malay version of the dish, which is a fried ball of dough that is rolled in desiccated coconut called a koesister. The name derives from the Dutch word “koek”, which generally means a wheat flour confectionery, also the origin of the American English word “cookie”, and “sister” can refer to the oral tradition of two sisters plaiting their doughnuts and then dunking them in syrup, so creating this iconic pastry. “Sis” can also refer to the sizzling sound.

Koeksisters are prepared by frying plaited dough strips in oil, then submersing the hot fried dough into the ice-cold sugar syrup. Koeksisters have a golden crunchy crust and liquid syrup center, are very sticky and sweet, and taste like honey.

But these we share today are the much-loved South African traditional sticky spicy treats that are so yummy! These are called koeksisters, but are not to be confused with the traditional Dutch version as mentioned above, the plaited ones.

Take a look at some other Koeksister recipes

Traditional Cape Malay Koeksisters

Traditional Cape Malay Koeksisters

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A Cape Malay Koeksisters (also pronounced Koesisters) are sticky, syrupy sweet treats. A South-African delicacy not to be missed.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Approximately 30 depending on size 1x
  • Category: Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies and Tarts
  • Cuisine: Cape Malay


Units Scale
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • Enough sour milk/maas to make a soft dough
  • I added a pinch of salt


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Add butter and maas
  3. Make into a soft dough
  4. Break off the dough into little balls
  5. Roll into a thin roll
  6. Cut in half and twist
  7. Secure ends
  8. Deep fry till golden brown
  9. Dip in warm syrup, roll in coconut


Boil all the ingredients together until it thickens.


Prepared, tried, and tested Jennifer from The Recipe Hunter: Tried and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs 


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 137
  • Sugar: 11
  • Sodium: 164
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 1
  • Cholesterol: 9

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6 thoughts on “Traditional Cape Malay Koeksisters”

    • I am happy to hear that you intend to try these out. Hope you will enjoy them and please do let us know with a rating and review what you think of it. I would love to hear your feedback. Enjoy


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