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A fat cook (Vetkoek).jpeg
Vetkoek with meat
Type Pastry
Place of origin South Africa
Main ingredients Dough
Sweet filling: syrup, honey, or jam
Savoury filling: minced beef
Cookbook:Vetkoek  Vetkoek

Vetkoek (pronounced FET-cook and sometimes known as 'fat cook') is a traditional Afrikaner pastry. It is dough deep-fried in cooking oil and either filled with cooked mince (ground beef) or spread with syrup, honey, or jam. It is thought to have its origins from the Dutch oliebollen, which go back to the time of the migration period. It is similar in taste to Mexican sopapillas.[1]

Vetkoek literally means "fat cake". It is similarly shaped to a doughnut (jam filled, no hole) and is made from flour, salt and yeast. Dough is rolled into a ball then deep fried. It is commonly eaten with butter or filled with jam or a more savory filling. In a traditional South African braai, or barbecue, vetkoek may be served alongside boerewors, (South African sausage). Koeksisters are made from a similar, but sweeter, dough but are braided in long strips then coated in a sticky sweet syrup.

Similar to a vetkoek, the amagwinya is a popular meal for many people living in townships. The term amagwinya originates from the historically Black townships of Gauteng in South Africa. Amagwinya are vetkoek. However, amagwinya differ from the vetkoek in that amagwinya are never filled like the traditional vetkoek; but are served plain and hot with an optional variety of piquant, umami and salty side dishes such as portions of Cape snoek fish, mango atchar, sausage and salted fried potato chips. Amagwinya are fast selling food items since they are popular, cheap, easy to make, and easy to eat on the go. The popularity of this food item is evidenced by the many spaza shops, hawkers at taxi ranks, roadside vendors, and fast food shops located in the Gauteng townships who sell this food.

Vetkoek is commonly sold at family owned take away restaurants, Afrikaans Festivals or Cultural events.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henk Werk (January 20, 2014). "Oliebollen" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-07-13. 

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