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Koesisters are spongier, plumper and spicier than its Afrikaans cousin koeksisters. They are never plaited and sometimes made with the addition of cooked potato and covered in dessicated coconut after soaking in syrup — these traditional Sunday morning Cape Malay treats are a delight to the palate.

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Cook Time:
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Makes: 30


  • 500 ml water

  • 250 ml sugar

  • 1 ml bicarbonate of soda

  • 15 ml butter


  • 500 g cake flour

  • 100 ml sugar

  • 2 ml salt

  • 10 g instant dried yeast

  • 10 ml ground ginger

  • 10 ml ground cinnamon

  • 10 ml ground aniseed

  • 5 ml ground cardamom

  • 125 ml vegetable oil

  • 1 egg

  • 200 ml milk

  • 200 ml water

  • desiccated coconut



  1. Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves

  2. Boil uncovered for about 5 minutes, until thickened to a light syrup

  3. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and butter.


  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and spices into a bowl

  2. Lightly mix together the oil and egg, then mix in well

  3. Mix together the milk and water, heat to blood temperature, and mix in to form a soft dough

  4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm spot until double in bulk (about 2 hours)

  5. Roll out with your hands on a lightly oiled surface into a sausage about 5 cm thick — cut into 2 cm lengths, form into flattened doughnut shapes and arrange on a tray, leaving space for rising

  6. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes, until double in size.


  1. Deep fry the koesisters in medium-hot oil for about 5 minutes, turning constantly, until golden, crisp and cooked through — drain briefly on kitchen paper

  2. Add to the syrup and simmer gently for about 30 minutes

  3. Lift onto a plate and garnish with a sprinkling of coconut

  4. Koesisters are best eaten within a few hours of being fried.

Category: Sweets

Cuisine: Cape Malay

Sub-Category: Traditional

Total Views: 3523

Word Count: 745

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