Freedom Day Koeksister

Freedom Day Koeksister

24 Apr 2018

Local Patisserie

Braided and golden crisp on the outside; Soft, sticky and sweet on the inside. What’s not to love about the famous koeksister?

The braided koeksister we know and love today is actually the combination of two recipes brought from the Netherlands in the 17th century. One was deep fried similar to a doughnut and the other thin, braided and sweet. At some point the two combined to form the ‘modern’ koeksister.

Making the perfect Koeksister is not easy, but the challenge is worth it and what makes them extra special.

The secret is to let the dough proof properly, and to fry them in hot oil, and immediately plunge them into ice cold syrup. It takes some time and a few tries to accomplish but it’s well worth the effort!

Ready to try for yourself?


For the syrup


  • 500g sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1½ cups of water
  • juice of one lemon

Working Method:

  1. As the syrup needs to be very cold, prepare it a day in advance.
  2. Dissolve sugar in the water.
  3. Add the cinnamon, ginger and lemon juice and boil the mixture until thick (about 30minutes).
  4. Leave the syrup in a cold fridge overnight.


Braided and golden crisp on the outside; Soft, sticky and sweet on the inside. 

For the dough


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter/margarine
  • 150ml of water/milk mixture
  • Oil for deep frying

Working Method:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together, then use your fingers to crumble the butter into the flour. 
  2. Add the sugar and the eggs and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. It is easier to use your hands once the mixture becomes too doughy.


To prepare the koeksisters

Koeksisters need to be plaited. To make the process of plaiting them easier, you can first put the dough in the fridge.  Dough that has been resting in the fridge is easier to handle and easier to shape.

  1. Roll out the dough (thickness 5mm).
  2. Cut the dough into strips of 6cm long, 2cm wide.
  3. Cut each of these strips into three strips (not all the way through, leave the strips connected at the top).
  4. Plate each strip, pinch together at the end of the strip.
  5. Deep fry until golden brown.
  6. Remove and drain quickly – dip the hot koeksisters in the cold syrup (that was stored in the fridge up to now).
  7. The secret is to keep the syrup cold and the koeksisters hot, this way it will draw just the right amount of syrup.
  8. You can keep the syrup cold by placing the syrup bowl in another container filled with iced water or ice cubes.