Wondrous Words Wednesday – Koeksister

Posted May 11, 2022 by elzaread in Wondrous Words Wednesday / 17 Comments

Greetings you guys! It’s Wednesday and time for Wondrous Words Wednesday, a bi-weekly feature hosted by yours truly. The concept of Wondrous Words Wednesday is fairly easy, all you need to do, is share any new (or new to you) words you came across this week and share them with us. You are also welcome to share words you simply want to show off to us. For more on Wondrous Words Wednesday, you can click here. There is a Mr. Linky attached at the bottom of this post if you’d like to make your own post and add your link.

One of the words that we chose for our One Meow Reviews Top Ten Tuesday post, was Koeksister. We had so many comments and questions about this word, that we’ve decided to use it for our Wondrous Word for this week.

If you’ve ever been to South Africa, the chances are very high that you’ve come across koeksisters. Koeksisters is by far my Daddy’s favorite confectionary and it’s very typical South African and Afrikaans. Mommy isn’t all that crazy about it, she says it’s way too sweet. 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 center, are very sticky and sweet, and taste like 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.

Just for fun, we will include a recipe for you today. Nope, this is not my Mommy’s recipe. She has actually never even attempted to bake koeksisters. We got this recipe from MasterChef South Africa: The Cook book.


800 ml water
1,5 kg sugar
12,5 ml cream of tartar
40 ml lemon juice
for frying, sunflower oil

4 x 250ml (500g) cake flour
25ml baking powder
20ml margarine
1/2 large beaten egg
245ml water


For the syrup:

Place the water, sugar and cream of tartar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the syrup starts to boil, add the lemon juice and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool the syrup to room temperature. Pour half of the syrup into a bowl and keep over ice to cool rapidly. Place the remaining syrup in the fridge to cool.

For the dough:

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and then rub in the margarine with your fingertips.

Add the beaten ½ egg to the water and whisk to incorporate.

Make a well in the centre of the fl our mixture. Pour in the water mixture and then start to mix until a smooth dough has formed. Knead thoroughly.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 5 hours. Heat the oil to 160 °C.

Using an oiled rolling pin, roll out the dough on an oiled surface to a thickness of 5 mm. Cut the dough into rectangles of 6 x 15 cm. Cut each rectangle lengthways into 3 strips, leaving one side uncut. Plait the 3 strips and press the cut ends together firmly.

Fry in batches of 6 in the hot oil for 6–7 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Drain them for a few seconds on paper towels. Keep the rest of the koeksisters covered to prevent them from drying out.

Dip the koeksisters into the ice-cold syrup while they are still hot. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack. The syrup will gradually become hot with use, so when you have done about half of the koeksisters take the remaining syrup from the fridge and use this for the balance.

Top tip: For a yummy flavour, add a piece of dried ginger and a stick of cinnamon to the syrup when the lemon juice is added. The colder the syrup the better! Make it the day before and place in the fridge to ensure it is ice cold.

So why did my Mommy use the word koeksister to describe a book? I’m sure by now, a few of you had figured that out. Any book that is twisted and sticky, is a koeksister. Here’s a few of our favorite koeksisters:

What books would you classify as a koeksister? Have you read any of ours?

If you want to join in the Wondrous Words Wednesday bi-weekly posts, just add your link to the Mr. Linky provided, or leave it in the comment section.

We will add our link Wordless Wednesday as well today. Wordless Wednesday is hosted by Sandee @ Comedy Plus and it’s always fun to visit!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


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17 responses to “Wondrous Words Wednesday – Koeksister

  1. Those Koeksisters sound delicious! I am not a fan of honey, but as there doesn’t seem to be any actual honey in the recipe I might still like these 🙂 . And I do like fried dough. I would definitely like to give them a try!

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #491
    • Hi Lola! I prefer honey to syrup, but there are a lot of people who don’t like honey. We mainly use syrup in our koeksisters and yes, it is a delicious fried dough!!

      Thanks for visiting us and I hope you’ve been doing well!

      elzaread recently posted: The Sunday Post #72
    • Hi Vidya! Like I’ve said in my post, I’ve actually never attempted to bake koeksisters myself. I might try it when we return from our holidays.

      I loved all the books on my list and I hope you get to read a few of them.

      Thanks for the visit and for taking part in WWW!

      elzaread recently posted: Weekend Book Friends #31
    • If ever you come to South Africa, you have to try it! I think it’s about time I try this recipe. Perhaps when we get home after the holidays I will try it!

      I love the word to describe twisted books. It actually fits quite a few of Jodi Picoult’s books.

      elzaread recently posted: Weekend Book Friends #31
    • Hi there Cecilia! I very easily judge a book by it’s cover and I’m a real sucker for a pretty cover.

      Koeksisters are really delicious. Come and visit us in South Africa – you’ll find a few in every deli or supermarket.

      Thanks for visiting us today!

      elzaread recently posted: Wondrous Words Wednesday - Koeksister
  2. I ate them all. Yummy.

    Love your books and one of them I have read. You like the same kind of books that I like.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

    Sandee recently posted: Wordless Wednesday