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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling time 8 hours 30 minutes
Course Sweet Treats
Cuisine South Africa
Servings 14
Calories 0.538 kcal


  • Drip tray
  • Large saucepan for deep frying or Deep Fryer


  • ** Spicy Syrup **
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • tsp Cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh ginger
  • Fresh squeeze lemon juice (half lemon)
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup Water
  • ** Dough **
  • 1 cup Corn flour (100grams)
  • cups All purpose flour
  • tsp Baking powder
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 Large egg
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • Oil for deep frying


  • ** For the Spicy Syrup **
  • In a medium saucepan. Add, cream of tartar, salt, sugar, ginger, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Bring water to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, Stirring syrup occasionally. Let it cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • ** For the Dough **
  • In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients- corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder
  • Then all the wet ingredients milk and egg followed by butter. Knead several times until all the ingredients have been incorporated. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Place dough on board and roll out into about 1 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or knife cut into thin strips and then shorter strips. Divide the dough into three strands and stretch them out carefully until they are of an even thickness all the way down. Pinch the ends together
  • Take the left strand and cross it over the middle strand. 
Take the right strand and cross it over the middle strand. Tightly pinch to seal the end.
  • In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil into a pot, until it is at least 3 inches Test to make sure the oil is hot enough by putting a ‘drop’ of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top. If using a deep fryer, fry at 350 degrees
  • Gently place koeksisters in the pan
  • Fry for a few minutes until the bottom side is golden brown.Turn the over and fry for a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown.
  • Use a large spoon or something like that to take it out of the oil and directly place in syrup.
  • Leave to soak in the syrup for a while. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before eating.


Keyword deep fry, koeksister, sweet


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