Traditional Cape Malay Koesisters

Koesisters are a South African Cape Malay doughnut soaked in syrup and sprinkled with coconut.

Makes about 40

  • 6 cups (700 g) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground aniseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt 10 g instant yeast
    • 1 tablespoon (dried and ground) naartjie (tangerine) peel (Optional - can use zest of orange instead)
    • 100 g butter or margarine
    • 250 ml lukewarm milk
    • 1 egg, beaten lukewarm water (about 2 cups)


    • 5 pieces cinnamon stick
    • 1 cup of sugar 2 cups of water
    • Oil for deep frying
    • 1 cup of desiccated coconut

    Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl and make well in centre. Warm milk and butter until lukewarm and then add the beaten egg. Pour mixture into dry ingredients with enough lukewarm water and mix to form a soft dough. Cover and leave the dough to rise in warm place until double in size.

    Take small amounts of dough and form into oval shaped balls (Rugby balls). Deep fry in oil on medium heat (180C) until evenly browned. Remove onto paper towel to cool (around 30 minutes).

    Heat the sugar, cinnamon sticks and two cups of water on a low heat, stirring continuously until a thick syrup forms.

    Once the koesisters are cool, soak in bubbling syrup for one minute.

    Take them out and sprinkle with coconut.