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Koeksusters (South African Donuts)

Koeksusters (South African Donuts)

These South African fritters or donuts (koeksusters) are a little crunchy on the outside and soaked in a delicious cinnamon-ginger syrup.
Course Dessert
Cuisine South Africa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time: 6 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 596kcal
Author Lizet Bowen



  • 2-1/4 cup sugar (500g)
  • 1-1/4 cup water (375ml)
  • half lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of about 5 centimeters of peeled ginger


  • 2 cups flour (271g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cold butter (15g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water (100ml)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (25ml)
  • Oil for frying


For the syrup:

  • Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat and when it begins to boil, cover with a lid and let cook for a minute. Lower the heat and uncover, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before using.


  • In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cold butter. Mix with 2 knives or with a fork until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  • Add the egg, water,¬†and milk. Using an electric mixer with the dough hook, beat for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover and let stand 6 hours.
  • After 6 hours of rest, heat the oil over low heat in a large pan.
  • Divide the dough into 8 balls. Roll each ball in a thin strip. Divide each strip into 3. Gather the 3 ends and make a braid. Follow this step with each dough portion.
  • Fry each braid for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Immediately add the braids to the syrup; turning so that both sides absorb the syrup.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.


Two very important things: One, the syrup needs to be very cold. Two, add the donuts in the syrup immediately after removing from the oil.