koesisters on a white plate
koesisters on plate
  • Product
January 31, 2019

Confectionaries from Around the World: The South African Koesister

January 31, 2019

Confectionaries from Around the World: The South African Koesister

OOne of South Africa’s best treats reflects the country’s rich diversity, as this steaming ball of goodness stems from Malaysian origin. Koesisters (not to be confused with the traditional Dutch “Koeksisters”) is a delightful little doughnut, about the size of a fist, spiced with ginger, tangerine zest and aniseed. It is cooked in syrup and sprinkled with coconut. Best eaten fresh!

Unlike any other doughnut, the incorporation of a blend of spices allows for the baker to apply finesse in flavor profiles. Traditionally, Koesisters are warm, uniquely flavored confectionaries, as its taste is dependent on the preference of the baker.

We know that you cannot wait to try these flavor-packed treats, so here is our recipe. It will have you cooking like a traditional South African ‘aunty’ in no time. The ingredients:


  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 700 g cake flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 50 g ground cinnamon
  • 20 g ground ginger
  • 10 g ground aniseed
  • 100 g butter
  • 200 ml lukewarm milk
  • lukewarm water
  • 10 ml dried tangerine zest
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
Ingredients on a tablet

Step 1 S

Apart from the sugar and the syrup components, mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next, heat the milk and butter until the butter has been fully melted, then add the beaten egg. Once fully combined, add the milk-egg-butter solution to the dry ingredients; add small amounts of lukewarm water until you have a soft and workable dough.

dough resting in bowl on baking paper

Step 2 S

Line a bowl with thinbake®, to avoid an unnecessarily messy kitchen, and place the dough inside. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest in a warm area of the kitchen, allowing the dough to rise until it is double in size (this should take approximately 40 – 60 minutes).

dough getting baked in oil

Step 3 S

Next, create oval shaped pieces of dough – slightly smaller than a fist – and deep fry in oil on medium heat until evenly browned. Place aside on a paper towel and leave to rest for about half an hour.

finished koesisters on a white plate

Step 4 S

Meanwhile, heat the sugar and the two cups of water until a syrup forms. Stir continuously and use low heat. Take the Koesisters and coat them by dipping and boiling them in the syrup for about 1 minute. Finally, sprinkle with coconut and enjoy!

Nutmeg on table

Get creative G

Next time try adding a dash of nutmeg instead of aniseed. The nature of the dough allows for an endless amount of combinations – it can be a light snack or the sweetest of comfort foods. We recommend trying a sprinkle of lemon zest, too. Have fun discovering your own unique flavor combination!

creative collaboration