Today I am going to ask you to trust me and go out on a limb. These little beauties are a South African favourite. They remind me of Friday nights at home as a child, when my dad would pick up the dough ready made from the corner shop. He’d prepare the little balls and I’d steal little bits when he pretended not to look. He’d make a huge big bowl full and we’d clamber around the big cream coloured serving dish eating these.

They are basically deep fried bread rolls, but honestly a flavour that needs to be experienced rather than explained. Traditionally filled with either savoury mince or sweet apricot jam. My favourites though are grated cheese and black pepper, cold meats or plum jam. For savoury meals make them large, but for sweet treats you can make small balls, make a hole in the side, fill with jam and roll in icing sugar. Or just with jam if you don’t want the additional sugar. They really are very versatile!image temporarily borrowed from

I use a bread machine to mix the dough, but feel free to do it the hard way if you prefer!

Makes about 6 vetkoek balls (and ideally you would want 2 – 3 per person, depending on filling)


  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fast-rising active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 7/8 cup (210 ml) water (room temp)
  • oil, for deep-frying


  • Measure water into bread machine pan.
  • Add dry ingredients.
  • Add yeast.
  • Set machine on ‘dough setting’ and start. If the dough is too dry add a tiny bit of water, if its too wet add more flour. You don’t want the dough too sticky
  • When done (usually after 1 1/2 hrs) remove and divide into 10 balls on lightly floured surface. Flatten slightly. (if
  • Let rise for 1/2 hour in warm place.
  • Warm oil in pan – about 1 inch deep – on medium heat setting (not hot!).
  • Fry vetkoek about 5 minutes a side (turn over when golden). Pack them quite close together in the pan: it helps with rising.
  • They should be the color of doughnuts when ready.
  • Drain on kitchen towels.
  • As soon as you can bear to touch them, slice open and fill.
  • Enjoy.

Want to be featured here?

If you make these, take a photograph and email it to me at diaryofafirstchild at gmail dot com and I will add it here. Alternatively leave a link to where you’ve uploaded it!


Just Have to Share – South African Vetkoek

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I like to make a different doughnut (usually baked or shallow fried) or muffin each Sunday for brunch. I think this will be my recipe for this Sunday – just finished off our apricot jam so it will depend on a trip to the grocery store . . .
    I’ll try to get a pic when I make them, but my camera is on the fritz.

  2. Hi there! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! You have a great blog here!

    Happy Mothers Day!

    Joined your site, and looking forward to following.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Corsage Tee and Purse Giveaway Winner!! =-.

  3. Yummmmm!
    Might have to try them sometime soon!!!
    .-= Urbanvox´s last blog ..The Long way to the Finals!!! =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.