The Quick & Simple Vetkoek Recipe

I was  introduced to the South African Vetkoek, whilst studding to be come a field guide (safari guide) in the Limpopo region of  South Africa, but their history goes back to the days of the Voortrekkers who found it much quicker and easier to make than bread.

Pronounced ‘Fet Cook’, they are delicious alternative to bread and can be eaten as a savoury dish, served with a beef mince sauce, or sweet with golden syrup or apricot jam and a with a cup of strong black coffee.

Basically Vetkoek are deep fried dough balls (buns) and are similar to Dutch “oliebollen”, the main diference being that oliebollen are sweet and contains raisins.

The traditional way to make vetkoek is to use a yeast bread dough, but as with this quick and simple vetkoek recipe, you can use baking powder as the raising agent.

Vetkoek Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder

Or you can replace the flour and baking powder with self-raising flour

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ t (2 ml) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • Enough oil for deep-frying (about 12 cm deep)


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and the salt together
  2. Whisk the egg, milk and sugar
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add milk and egg mixture and mix to very soft dough. Add more milk if necessary.
  4. Heat the oil to between 180 °C and 190°C.
  5. Ladle level spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil (12 cm deep) and bake until brown on both sides, before removing from oil.
  6. Use towel paper to absorb the excess oil.

Done. It is as simple as that!

  • anneline

    These are the best served with a bowl of hot, homemade soup!


    best vetkoek receipt I have ever used. Quick and easy. Many thanks

  • Beverley Ann Swanepoel

    Fantastic easy recipe, thank you sp much for it, love it!!!!