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800 g white sugar

500 ml warm water

5 tsp glycerine

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp tartaric acid

1 cinnamon stick


310 ml self-raising flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
30 g soft butter
250 g amasi


Combine the white sugar, warm water, glycerine, cream of tartar, tartaric acid and cinnamon stick in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has melted and bring it up to a simmer. Cook the syrup for 10 minutes, then transfer to a glass bowl, allow to cool and then place in the fridge. Make and cool the syrup at least 6 hours in advance or the night before.


Sift the self-raising flour, salt and ground nutmeg together. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles the texture of coarse breadcrumbs.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the Amasi. Once the dough starts to come together, turn it out onto a clean surface and bring the dough together with your hands.

Knead the dough until smooth, for 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise, 1 hour.

Braid each piece of dough by taking the left section and crossing it over the middle one. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll out the first piece of dough to a thickness of 5mm thick. Keep the rest of the dough under a clean moist kitchen towel. Cut the dough into rectangles that are 5cm wide and 10cm long. Cut 3 equal legs into each rectangle but keep the 5mm at the top uncut so that the pastry doesn’t fall apart once you start braiding it.

Then take the right strand and cross it over the new middle strand. Keep crossing and alternating all the way down. Press the ends together and lightly tuck it in under the braid. Give the top part of each braid a twist and tuck it in gently underneath to form a neat braid. Cover them with a clean damp cloth while you continue with the rest.

Heat a deep pot of sunflower oil for deep-frying to 180°C. Fry the koeksisters off in batches until golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes.

Drain the koeksisters on kitchen paper for a few seconds and immediately dunk them, while they are still hot, into the ice cold syrup. Use one half of the syrup for the first half of the fried koeksisters and swap it out with the remaining syrup in the fridge once the syrup being used becomes too warm. Keep the koeksisters submerged until they sink and no longer float, 10-15 minutes. This is where an extra pair of hands comes in really handy.

Remove the koeksisters with a slotted spoon and allow most of the syrup to run off before transferring the koeksisters to a cooling rack. Set aside, 1 hour.

Koeksisters are best served cold with a strong cup of coffee or some milky rooibos tea. They are best stored, covered, in the freezer. Simply remove them 15 minutes before serving.


Article written by: Food24

Photo credit: Manu’s Menu


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