Ouma Oumie se Koeksisters


I have always loved my longtime friend, Inemarie Rabie’s koeksister recipe – or should I say, her oumagrootjie’s! What sets this recipe apart, however, is the surprising and sophisticated twist of lavender.


for the syrup

8 cups granulated sugar

4 cups water

4 teaspoons honey

2 small oranges, sliced

4-6 sprigs lavender (or according to your liking)


for the dough

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

80g butter

¾ cup water

¾ cup milk

oil, for frying



for the syrup

Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, increase heat and boil for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely. Place in the fridge, preferably overnight until ice cold. Remove from fridge just before using it.

for the dough

Mix the dry ingredients together. Rub in the butter and add the liquids. Stir well until a dough ball forms. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest. Roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness (not too thin, otherwise they will be rock hard, you want a soft centre – Ouma se woorde). Cut into desired length (about 8cm) and plat 3 pieces together. Pinch the sides well before placing tin the fridge for 5 minutes. Heat oil to medium temperature and fry koeksisters in batches until golden and cooked. Place in the cold syrup immediately after removing from the oil.

Note: Use syrup in batches so that it always stays cold, topping up with cold syrup as you are frying them or leave your syrup in the freezer and place them in there directly.
The syrup must be ice cold and the dough piping hot to ensure that the syrup is absorbed properly.


Inemarie Rabie lives in Nice, France with her husband and is the author of the delectable blog, Miel + Meel.


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