Best Sweet Treats & Desserts from South Africa!

South Africans have a weak spot for sweet treats and desserts. Some of the best and most delicious ones are listed below including recipe and instructions.

Milk Tart (Melk Tert)

This yummy South African dessert can be made for any occasion. It consists of a sweet pastry crust and a creamy almost custard-like filling then topped with a sprinkle of powdered cinnamon.



If you have a sweet tooth or just love trying out new desserts I’ve compiled the simplest and easiest Milk Tart recipe below:

Pastry – Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125 grams of butter
  • A pinch of salt
Pastry – Method
  • Cream butter and sugar well together and add the egg, before beating well.
  • Add all other ingredients – making a stiff dough.
  • Press into one or two round cake tins/pie dishes and bake at 180°C until light brown.

Pastry recipe courtesy of Just Easy Recipes

Filling – Ingredients and Method

As for the filling, check out this quick and easy video demonstration by Robertson Spices:




This delicious syrup-coated doughnut has two different variations – one which is more crisp and braided ( known as the Afrikaner version Koeksister) and the other which is slightly spicy and coated with coconut (known as the Cape Malay version Koe’sister). Both are traditionally enjoyed on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee.



Afrikaner Koeksister



Cape Malay Koe’sister


Cape Malay version below:

Doughnut  –  Ingredients
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2.5ml salt
  • 10g (1 pkt) instant yeast
  • 10 ml fine cardamom
  • 10ml fine ginger
  • 10ml fine cinnamon
  • 10ml aniseed
  • 1 large egg
  • 15ml oil
  • 30ml butter
  • 375ml (1½ cup) hot water
  • 375ml (1½ cup) milk
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • Desiccated coconut for sprinkling


Doughnut  –  Method
  1. Mix flour with spices, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. Melt butter in hot water and mix milk.
  3. To dry ingredients add egg, oil and milk-water mixture.
  4. Mix thoroughly to form a soft smooth dough.
  5. Leave to rise for about 1- 2 hours in a warm place.
  6. Once risen, moisten hands with oil and roll dough into a sausage shape and cut into 2cm slices.
  7. Set aside to rise again.
  8. Lightly stretch slices to form an oval shape and deep fry in medium hot oil until golden brown.
  9. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Syrup  –  Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamon pods
Syrup  –  Method
  1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a slow boil, stirring to ensure sugar does not burn.
  2. Stir until the sugar syrup becomes slightly sticky.
  3. Boil the koeksisters in it for1- 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Sprinkle with fine coconut and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of Tasty Recipes


Alternatively follow this amazing video from the Expresso Show:



If you would like to try the Afrikaner Koeksister please follow this link SA promo

Featured Image by Xandre Verkes


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Our Correspondent
Cult South Africa correspondent
Shakeela - Cape Town

Born in Johannesburg, lived in East London, grew up in Port Elizabeth and living in Cape Town for ten years now, I love to think of myself as an all round South African! I received my BA Degree in Motion Picture in 2010 ...

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Continent: Africa
Capital: Pretoria
Population: 49,000,000
Area: 1,219,912 km2
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Languages: English, Afrikaans

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