Cape Malay Koesister



A Koesister is Cape Malay fermented, spiced, sweet dough that is fried in oil and then rolled in syrup and desiccated coconut. (NOT A KOEKSISTER!)
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Sweet Treats
Cuisine South Africa


  • 4 ½ cup Cake flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 10 g Instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Melted butted
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Soft mashed potatoes
  • 3 tsp Naartjie peel powder or zest
  • 1 ½ tbsp Freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Mix spice
  • 2 tbsp Aniseed
  • 2 tsp Fine cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 ½ cup Lukewarm water
  • 1 Large egg
  • ** SUGAR SYRUP **
  • 3 cup Sugar
  • 3 cup Water
  • 5 sticks Cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, the dough will be quite sticky so do not be tempted to add any more flour, just use some oil on your hands when kneading. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to rise for 90 minutes in a warm and dark area of your kitchen.
  • Next, knock down the dough and using a little oil on your hands, shape little oblong shapes and deep fry in oil in a deep saucepan on a medium to high heat until brown on both sides. Remove from the oil.
  • To make the syrup, in a large saucepan, boil the water, sugar and cinnamon sticks until bubbling.
  • Dip the koeksisters into the warm sugar syrup and allow soaking for a minute. Using a slotted spoon place koeksisters in a bowl and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.


Do you know the difference between a koeksister and a traditional Cape Malay koesister? While a koeksister is plaited and deep fried for a crispy outside, the koesister is softer and made with cinnamon, traditional mixed spices, and aniseed.
Keyword cape malay, koesister, sweets


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