Koeksister recipe – South African plaited donuts soaked in a rich sugar syrup.

2 cups cake or plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
50g cold unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup milk
1 egg

3 cups caster sugar
2 cups water
5cm piece ginger, sliced
1 cinnamon quill
1 vanilla bean, split
1 lemon, juiced

For the syrup, combine sugar, ginger, cinnamon and 2 cups (500ml) water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves, then cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a heatproof bowl with the lemon juice and chill for at least 3 hours.

For the dough, place flour, baking powder and butter in a bowl and rub the mixture together between your fingers until you’ve formed very fine crumbs. Add egg, milk and salt then stir to combing into a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes then enclose in oiled baking paper and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 7mm thick. Cut into 10cm x 5cm rectangles, then cut 3 lines lengthways into each rectangle, leaving a 1cm boarder at one end to hold the strips together. Plait the 3 strips and pinch end to seal.

Set bowl of syrup over a bowl of iced water (syrup must be very cold). Half fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with oil and heat until 170°C. In batches, cook the doughnuts, turning, for 3 minutes or until dark golden. Immediately soak in syrup for 1 minute, then drain on a wire rack. Drizzle over more syrup and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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  1. Veiue Duko Tuerijama

    A big thanks for the tips on making that it use to be my favourite in school now that I came across your video I can’t thank you enough but anyways I have to say thanks 😊


    This is such a cool cooking video. If you add this on Khal,com. I can guarantee that this will be on the homepage

  3. mari

    Baie dankie! I tried making koeksisters here in Hong Kong this morning, but used another recipe and it doesn't taste the same…. going to try your recipe now! Can I use self raising flour? Hope it works 💪

  4. Lucy Smith

    When you say cake flour would that be equivalent to self raising flour in the uk or more of a bread flour?

  5. LAB Studio

    use a potato masher to push them down and hold them under for at least 10-15 seconds, just hold them under and do not crush them.
    if you bring them up and hear a slurp sound then that is too soon.
    Pop em in the freezer, best enjoyed ice cold

    also this syrup would be a not so sweet so when you bring them out the freezer to eat then go ahead and roll them in castor sugar before serving them, it adds a very pleasant texture to it.

    you're welcome

  6. Juan Serfontein

    I gave your recipe a go today, and it was absolutely fantastic. Nice treat to show off here in the UK! Thanks boet!

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