Cape Malay koeksisters

I can remember eating koeksisters every Sunday for breakfast as a kid, then when I grew up, it stopped. Simply because the aunty that we would buy them from, got older and stopped making them.

 My mum used to make koeksisters, but they never lasted.

I used to make koeksisters but the whole raising thing just puts me off and the fact that my koeksisters always ALWAYS come out square.

I don’t remember seeing my granny making koeksisters, but what I do remember is seeing endless amounts of orange peel hanging from string, drying in my grans kitchen. I can also remember her drying them out in the oven as well, but that is as far as the memory goes. Other than that, I can’t seem to remember how she made them or what they tasted like.

I have her recipe, but it has an egg in and orange peel. My mother can’t eat eggs and well when I asked her about the orange peel, she told me that it gives her heartburn.

Then when I came across a simpler recipe in Carima Isaacs cookbook, I thought I would give it a try. Of course the recipe, like my grans had eggs in and orange peel.

But you know me, I converted it into an eggless but and what did I do with the orange peel? I kept that ingredient in. Yes, I landed up buying a kilogram of naartjies and painfully removed all the flesh and like my gran, I strung up the skins to dry. I also  popped them in the oven to dry a bit further before putting them in the grinder to blitz into a fine powder.

The verdict, delicious and sooo yummy and the orange peel added soo much more flavour to the koeksister and guess what I finally figured out how to get it into the oblong shape. Not 100% but close enough if you ask me.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 3 x cups milk.
  • 60g x butter.
  • 2 x vegan eggs
  • ½ x cup sugar.
  • 6 x cups cake flour, sifted.
  • 1 x tsp baking powder.
  • ½ x tsp salt.
  • 1 x packet Anchor instant yeast.
  • 1 x tbsp. naartjie peel powder.
  • 1 x tbsp. cinnamon powder.
  • 2 x tsp ginger powder.
  • 2 x tsp cardamom powder.
  • 4 x tsp aniseed seeds.
  • 1 x cup self raising flour.

Ingredients for the syrup:

  • 2 x cups water.
  • 2 x cups white sugar.


  • Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan till all the butter is melted.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the vegan egg and sugar till all the sugar has dissolved..
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add in the yeast, ground naartjie peel, spices and seeds.
  • Mix well.
  • Pour in the milk mixture and the egg mixture.
  • Using your hands, knead till the mixture comes together.
  • Cover the bowl with clingwrap and leave to rest for an hour or till double is size.
  • When it has doubled  in size, sprinkle the self raising flour over your counter.
  • Lightly oil your hands.
  • Turn the dough out onto the floured countered.
  • Shape into a long sausage.
  • Cut the dough into 3cm pieces.
  • Stretch the dough till it is 3cm wide and 6 cm long.
  • Cover the dough lightly with some more clingwrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes before frying.
  • Deep fry the koeksisters in batches until golden brown on each side.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  • To make the syrup, boil the sugar and water together till all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is near a drop ball consistency.
  • Dip the koeksisters in the syrup and leave for a couple of minutes, turning the koeksisters every couple of seconds.
  • Remove from the syrup and roll in desiccated coconut.
  • Shake off the excess coconut and serve.

Tell me what you think of this recipe