Welcome to this delightful journey into the heart of South African cuisine! Today, we’re diving into the beloved recipe for Vetkoek, a cherished dish that holds a special place in the hearts and homes of many South Africans. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a curious foodie eager to explore new flavors, this recipe is sure to tantalize your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant streets of South Africa.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Stand Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Vetkoek, which translates to “fat cake” in Afrikaans, is a simple yet indulgent treat made from deep-fried dough. It’s versatile enough to be enjoyed as a savory snack or a sweet dessert, making it perfect for any occasion. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on this culinary adventure together!


To create the perfect batch of Vetkoek, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 packet of instant yeast (7g)
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter or vegetable oil
  • Oil, for deep frying

Cookware Needed

Before we get started, make sure you have the following cookware ready:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot
  • Slotted spoon or spider strainer
  • Paper towels for draining

With your ingredients and cookware at the ready, we’re all set to begin crafting these delectable Vetkoek. Let’s dive in!


Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast. Mix well to ensure the dry ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the lukewarm water and melted butter or vegetable oil.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gradually incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry until a soft dough forms.
  4. Once the dough comes together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Step 2: Shape and Fry the Vetkoek

  1. After the dough has risen, gently punch it down to release any air bubbles.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and shape each portion into a smooth ball.
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F (175°C).
  4. Carefully lower the shaped dough balls into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  5. Fry the vetkoek for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Once cooked, remove the vetkoek from the oil using a slotted spoon or spider strainer and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
  7. Allow the vetkoek to cool slightly before serving.

Step 3: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Vetkoek can be enjoyed hot or cold, and they pair well with both sweet and savory fillings.
  2. For a savory option, try filling your vetkoek with minced beef, chicken curry, or cheese and tomato.
  3. If you have a sweet tooth, fill your vetkoek with jam, syrup, or cinnamon sugar for a delicious treat.
  4. Serve your freshly fried vetkoek alongside your favorite toppings and enjoy this taste of South Africa!

Nutrition Facts

Here’s a breakdown of the approximate nutrition values per serving of Vetkoek:

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Total Fat8g
Saturated Fat2g
Total Carbohydrate38g
Dietary Fiber2g

Note: Nutrition values may vary depending on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used.

Conclusion: My Personal Experience

As I reflect on my journey through crafting this Vetkoek recipe, I’m reminded of the warmth and comfort it brings to both the kitchen and the table. Growing up in South Africa, Vetkoek was a staple in my household, often enjoyed with laughter and stories shared among family and friends.

There’s something truly special about the process of kneading the dough, watching it rise, and then indulging in the golden, crispy goodness of freshly fried Vetkoek. Whether enjoyed as a savory snack filled with flavorful mince or as a sweet treat drizzled with syrup, each bite is a nostalgic reminder of home.

Through this recipe, I hope to not only share a taste of South African cuisine but also evoke a sense of community and connection. So, the next time you find yourself craving a taste of something familiar yet exotic, I encourage you to give Vetkoek a try. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


Q: Can I make Vetkoek ahead of time and reheat them later?

A: Yes, you can! Vetkoek can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container once cooled to maintain freshness.

Q: Can I freeze Vetkoek?

A: Absolutely! Vetkoek freezes well. Once cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container. To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then warm them in the oven or toaster oven.

Q: Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

A: While you can substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, keep in mind that it will result in a denser texture. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid slightly to achieve the desired consistency.

Q: Can I make Vetkoek without yeast?

A: Yes, you can make a quick version of Vetkoek using self-raising flour instead of yeast. Simply omit the yeast and reduce the amount of salt, then follow the same steps for preparing and frying the dough.

Q: What are some traditional fillings for Vetkoek?

A: Traditional savory fillings include minced beef, chicken curry, or cheese and tomato. For a sweet option, try filling Vetkoek with jam, syrup, or cinnamon sugar.

If you have any further questions or need clarification on any aspect of the recipe, feel free to reach out! Happy cooking!

Hey there! I’m Christine, a nutritionist on a mission to make healthy eating fun, delicious, and totally doable for everyone. So, let me give you a peek into my world and how I ended up here.

Growing up, I wasn’t exactly a kitchen whiz. Sure, I knew the basics of eating healthy, but cooking? That was a whole different story. It wasn’t until I started my journey as a nutritionist that I truly began to appreciate the magic of food.

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