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Alternative namesKoeksisters
Place of originSouth Africa
Main ingredientsDough, sugar syrup

A koeksister /ˈkʊksɪstə/ is a traditional Afrikaner confectionery made of fried dough infused in syrup or honey. The name derives from the Dutch word "koek", which generally means a wheat flour confectionery, also the origin of the American English word "cookie", and "sister" can refer to the oral tradition of two sisters plaiting their doughnuts and then dunking them in syrup, so creating this iconic pastry. "Sis" can also refer to the sizzling sound[1] it makes when the dough is dipped into the oil. Some people mistakingly think that "sister" refers to a sibling, when the Afrikaans spelling in this case is "suster". As a result, koeksister is sometimes misspelled as "koeksuster".

This should not be confused with the Cape Malay version called koe'sister which is a spicy dumpling with a cake-like texture, finished off with a sprinkling of coconut.[2]

Koeksisters are prepared by frying plaited dough strips in oil, then submersing the hot fried dough into ice cold sugar syrup. Koeksisters have a golden crunchy crust and liquid syrup centre, are very sticky and sweet, and taste like honey.[3]

Koeksister Monument in Orania

A monument of a koeksister in the Afrikaner community of Orania recalls an Afrikaner folk tradition of baking them to raise funds for building of churches and schools.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Koeksisters – what's in a name?". Cook Sister. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Koesister vs Koeksister". Lizeme.
  3. ^ Laurens van der Post (1970) African Cooking, Time-Life Books, New York
  4. ^ Wybenga, Wim (2008-05-01). "Koeksister het sy eie monument op Orania". Volksblad. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2012.