Deliciously sweet and juicy koeksisters
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I found these koeksusters pretty easy to make, the trick seems to be in taking them straight from the hot cooking oil and dunking them straight into the cold syrup so that they can absorb all the lovely flavour and become saturated with the syrup.

They are so delicious that you may even find that only half of them actually make it to the fridge after they are sampled by people along the way!

The photo is of the ones I actually made, and if I can do it then anyone can!

Once made let them cool off and then keep them in a container in the fridge as they are at their best served cold.

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

Ingredients for koeksusters

The syrup

  • 3 Cups of sugar
  • 2 Cups of water
  • One piece of fresh ginger approx. 1 inch peeled
  • The zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of lemon juice

The koeksister dough

  • 2 Cups of self raising flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
  • A Pinch of salt
  • 2.5 Table spoons of unsalted butter cut into small pieces (This makes it easier to mix into the flour)
  • 1/2 Cup of milk
  • Oil for frying the koeksisters (approx. 2 cups of cooking oil) You may need more depending on the size of your pan as the oil needs to be about 2 inches deep for frying.


Step 1.

  • First make the syrup by combining sugar, water, ginger, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a medium sized saucepan
  • Bring the syrup to the boil, then reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Cool the syrup down to room temperature, transfer the syrup to a container, and then refrigerate for approx. 6 to 8 hours.
  • (You can leave the ginger in the syrup as this will be absorbed into the flavour)

Step 2.

  • Sift the flour, the baking powder, and the salt together in a large bowl
  • Then gently rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it is all worked in well.
  • Add the milk bit by bit and mix until a smooth dough forms 
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let it rest for about 2 hours.

Step 3.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a 5×14-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick
  • Next cut thin strips approx. 1.5 cm wide and 10 – 12 cm long
  • Take 3 strips, press firmly together at top then plait, joining them again firmly at the bottom of the plait.
  • Set them aside and let them rest for approx. 15 minutes

Step 4.

  • Place a wire rack over a baking sheet (This is where you will put the koeksisters to cool off )
  • Pour some of the cold syrup into a shallow bowl (square or rectangular if possible as you are going to dunk the koeksisters in this)
  • Heat about 2-inches of oil in the pan or saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  • The oil needs to be nice and hot to cook the koeksisters and make them nice and brown.
  • Fry a few of the koeksisters in the oil (2 or 3 at a time) until they swell up and are golden brown
  • Remove koeksisters from hot oil and immediately immerse in cold syrup for 10 seconds.
  • Transfer the soaked koeksisters to the wire rack to cool. 
  • Leave koeksisters to cool down to room temperature, then put them in the fridge to get nice and cold.
  • Enjoy

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