Spiced caramel-stuffed Koesisters

This traditional Cape Malay pastry gets an even sweeter spin with caramel and a hint of cardamom.

More than 1 hour

Makes about 18 


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  • 1 cup (150g) cake flour 
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour  
  • Pinch salt 
  • ¼ cup (50g) castor sugar 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) each ground cardamon, mixed spice, ginger, and cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp (3ml) aniseeds, finely ground 
  • 1 packet (10g) instant yeast 
  • 1/3 cup (80g) butter 
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk, warmed 
  • 4 cups (1L) oil 
  • Desiccated coconut or icing sugar, for sprinkling 



  • 3 cups (600g) sugar 
  • 1½ cups (375ml) water 
  • 2 whole cardamom pods, bruised 
  • 2 star anise  
  • 2 sticks cinnamon  
  • Peel of 1 orange or lemon 



  • 1 can (385g) caramel 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon  



  1. Combine flours, salt castor sugar, spices and yeast. 
  2. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  3. Add milk slowly while mixing until combined. 
  4. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm directly on the dough. 
  6. Rest dough until it has risen and doubled in volume – depending on the room temperature, this can take 1-3 hours. 
  7. Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
  8. Divide into 4 and shape into logs (about 2cm in diameter). 
  9. Cut logs into 8cm-long pieces. 
  10. Roll pieces out with a rolling pin to form oval koesisters. Set aside to puff up slightly.  
  11. Heat oil in a large pot and deep-fry koesisters in batches for 5-7 minutes or until golden.  
  12. Drain on kitchen paper and cool completely. 
  13. Combine syrup ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved. 
  14. Boil for 3-5 minutes. 
  15. Whisk caramel and cinnamon together until smooth and place in a piping bag. 
  16. Make a hole using a skewer in one side of each koesister and fill with caramel mixture. 
  17. Drizzle koesisters with syrup (don’t submerge). 
  18. Dust with icing sugar or desiccated coconut just before serving. 


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