Koeksisters (South African Syrup-Soaked Fritters)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

This recipe was given to me by my South African cousin a long, long time ago. They are delicious little fritters (atleast the way she makes them) that are soaked in a spicy syrup. We have them with tea.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare syrup the day before making the koeksisters and chill thoroughly.
  2. Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat.
  3. Add spices and knob of ginger.
  4. Boil together for 10 minutes.
  5. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
  6. Rub in butter finely, add beaten eggs with enough milk to blend into a stiff dough.
  7. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out to 5 mm (1/4 inch?) thick and cut into strips approximately 70 x 30 mm (3 x 1 inches).
  9. With a sharp knife, cut each strip into 3 smaller ones, leaving them attached at one end.
  10. Plait (braid) loosely and pinch ends to secure.
  11. Drop a few at a time into hot oil.
  12. Cook until lightly-browned and puffed.
  13. Lift out and drain for just 1 minute of crumpled paper towels, then drop at once into chilled syrup.
  14. Soak in syrup, lift out and drain in a sieve until dry.
  15. Note: I'm sure my cousin got a larger yield than this, she made hers very small and dainty.
  16. You can make them the size that suits your needs and aesthetics.
  17. I like them small and dainty, but that's the only way I've ever had them.


Most Helpful

I took the advice of a previous reviewer & included some cream of tartar to prevent crystallization in the syrup, but I also definitely enjoyed the spicy combo of clove, ginger & cinnamon ~ VERY, VERY NICE! I'm not a big fan of deep frying, but I have no problem with this recipe ~ Everything went together very easily & the taste of these little buggers, OUTSTANDING! [Made & reviewed while touring Africa on the Zaar World Tour 4]

Sydney Mike June 24, 2008

Adding a ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar to the syrup will prevent crystallization. I put only fresh ginger in the syrup while it boils. I think the other spices are unnecessary.

Christl May 13, 2007

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