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Mouthwatering Rooibos Koeksisters

180 Minutes
30 Servings
11 Ingredients


Two South African favourites unite, and the result is unbelievably delicious. Keep a stash of these in your freezer for an instant sugar solve. 


1. Combine sugar, water, red espresso, ginger, lemon peel, and lemon juice together in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool syrup to room temperature and transfer to a container before refrigerating overnight.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add the milk and mix to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 2 hours.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into long 2 cm thick sausages.

5. Slice strips into 10 cm pieces. Pinch the ends together to form a loop. Twist loops to form the koeksister shape. Repeat for all of the strips. Cover twisted strips with a clean cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.

6. Heat oil to 170C and deep-fry until golden and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, immerse koeksisters into the chilled syrup for a minute. When cool, place on a wire rack. Refrigerate koeksisters until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Nutritional Information

Not Available


  • 3/5 cup (150 ml) brewed red espresso or strong rooibos tea
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 lemon, peeled into large strips and juiced
  • 2 cups oil, or as needed for frying
  • 6 thick slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) baking powder
  • 3 cups (750 ml) white sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
  • 1 ½ cup (375 ml) water
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) salt
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) milk