Vetkoek – which literally means ‘fat cake’ in Afrikaans – is a proudly South African pastry. The ‘vet’ part of its name probably comes from the fact that it’s deep-fried in cooking oil (‘fat’).

Vetkoek is a dough which is light and crisp on the outside, whilst soft and bread-like on the inside. It can be served with deliciously cooked mince (ground beef)…or turned it into a dessert with wallops of syrup, honey or jam and cheese.

In this version I have added chilli and chives. Feel free to make it plain and serve with mince, chicken or vegetables.



Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: South African
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 10gr pkt instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbles sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2-21/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbles dried chives
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Sieve flour and combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  2. Add the oil and then water bit by bit until you get the consistency of a soft bread dough. The mixture must still be quite sticky.
  3. Place the dough on a floured surface and gently knead for 5-10 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour to the dough to prevent it sticking to your fingers.
  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot until the dough is double in size.
  5. Divide dough into portions and mould into balls.
  6. Deep fry a few vetkoek at a time until golden brown over a medium/low heat.
Serve with Mince Curry (see link below)

P.S. Click here for the Mince Curry recipe.