Chai spiced koeksisters

The Sweet Rebellion
Prep: 24 hrs 20 mins, Cooking: 30 mins
Rate this recipe
Delicious deep-fried twists of dough dunked in a thick syrup, the ultimate sweet treat for many a South African.

By Independent Contributor September 20 2022
Recipe Disclaimer
Tap for method
Tap for method

Ingredients (16)

For the koeksister dough
500 g flour — plus extra for rolling
30 ml baking powder
1 pinch salt
45 ml butter
1 large egg
250 ml water
5 ml vanilla essence
2-3 l vegetable oil — for frying
For the chai syrup
500 ml water
1 kg sugar
20 ml lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks — 10ml ground cinnamon
5 ml ground clove
5 ml ground ginger
5 ml ground cardamom
generous pinch black pepper
Tap for ingredients
Tap for ingredients


Start by making the Chai syrup the day before. Add all the syrup ingredients to a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature. Store the syrup in the fridge overnight (it must be ice-cold before using).

To make the dough sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Beat together the egg, water and vanilla. Add gradually to the flour mixture and stir together until you have a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes. Wrap the koeksister dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Pour your oil into your deep fryer or a medium saucepan and heat to 170°C. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 5mm thick. Cut the dough into slices about 8cm long and 3 cm wide. Cut each of these again in half long ways, but don’t cut all the way so that the 2 strips are still connected at the top. Gently twist the two strips around eachother and press to secure at the end. Repeat with the remaining dough. Remove half of your syrup from the fridge and strain into a bowl ready for dipping.

Drop the 3 koeksisters into the hot oil at a time and fry for 1-2 minutes each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove and drain the koeksisters on absorbent paper. Immediately submerge the koeksisters in the ice-cold Chai syrup and leave to soak for a minute or so, then place on a cooling rack so the excess syrup can drain off. If you like your koeksisters crisp, don’t soak them for too long in the syrup. If you prefer them very juicy, leave them in a bit longer!

Repeat with the remaining dough and syrup. When the syrup starts to become warm, swap it out with the syrup in the fridge.

The koeksisters are best eaten the same day but they can be frozen.

Reprinted with permission from The Sweet Rebellion, follow along on Instagram for more recipes!

New recipes on Food24

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Food24 Team Loves


Get weekly access to our best recipes, tips and tricks

Sign Up

Login to your account below

Fill the forms below to register

Subscribe to Newsletter

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Recipe Disclaimer

All recipe content is the responsibility of the party from whom such content originated. You agree that you use the content on Food24 at your own risk. Please read our editorial policy.