Tannie Evita’s Koeksister Recipe

One can hardly mention Darling without mentioning Evita Bezuidenhout, or Tannie Evita as she is affectionately known by South Africans. The former stateswoman owns the local railway station and has a whole boulevard in the quaint town named after her. 

We sat down with a glass of her favourite wine, Groote Post Old Man’s Red Blend, as she shared her recipe for that quintessentially Afrikaans confectionary, koeksisters, with us.  Cheers skattie

Koeksister Recipe


500 g cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 tbs butter

2 eggs

1 cup milk


1 kg sugar

2 cups water

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp ground ginger

First prepare the syrup. Heat sugar and water in a pan and stir until sugar has dissolved.

Add the cream of tartar, cinnamon sticks and ginger and boil for a few minutes. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until it becomes syrupy. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To prepare the dough, mix cake flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter, using your fingers, until it feels like breadcrumbs. Beat eggs and milk together and add to flour mixture. Knead into a dough. Form into a ball and cover with wax paper for 2 hours.

Roll out dough to 1 cm thick. Cut into strips about 8 cm by 3 cm. Make two cuts, 1 cm from one end of the strip, so that you have 3 strips, attached at one end. Plait together and pinch to seal at the bottom.

Heat cooking oil in a pan and deep-fry koeksisters for 2 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain on kitchen paper for half a minute, then immerse in cold syrup until all air has escaped. Drain on a rack. Best served with a cup of tea. 

This recipe was taken out of her cookbook Evita Se Kossie Sikelela which is available at Evita se Perron, signed and tested. 

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