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South African Traditional Vetkoek (pronounced as Fet-cook and literally meaning fat cake, fat cookie or fatty cake) is another traditional South African dish. It is very easy to make. It is bread dough deep-fried in oil. It’s easy to get it done in just a couple of steps. Let’s get started

South African Traditional Vetkoek (Fried Bread)

Vetkoek is a traditional South African fried dough bread. The vetkoek forms a part of South African culture. It is similar to the Caribbean Johnny cake, the Dutch oliebol, and the Mexican sopaipillas.[1] It is also known by the Xhosa and Zulu name igwinya (plural amagwinya).[2][3]
The word vetkoek literally means "fat cake" in Afrikaans. It is similar in shape to a doughnut without a hole, and is made with a yeast dough. Vetkoeks are also often made alongside a curry mince, which is stuffed inside. Vetkoek is commonly sold at family-owned takeaway restaurants and African festivals and cultural events.
Vetkoek is a popular meal for many people living in South Africa where it is served plain or with a filling and is hot and is sold by a wide variety of small trading businesses, hawkers at taxi ranks, roadside vendors, and fast food shops located throughout South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine South African


  • Skillet


  • lukewarm water

    white sugar

    active dry yeast

    all-purpose flour

    teaspoons salt

    cups oil for frying


  • Gather your ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, mix salt, sugar, water, and yeast to activate the yeast. Let it remain until the yeast softens and bubbles slightly about 5 minutes.
  • Using a sifter, sift your all-purpose flour in a bowl.
  • Add yeast mixture to flour and then mix the dough until everything has come together perfectly well.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let the dough rise until doubled in volume, about 50 minutes.
  • Turn dough on a floured surface, flatten to knock out air bubbles, and knead to make firm, you may add flour as and when needed.
  • Roll out the dough until smooth and cut it into your desired shapes or use a larger cookie cutter to cut the dough.
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan.
  • Fry until golden brown about 3-5 minutes depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper napkin or towel.
  • Repeat for the remaining ones.
  • Let it cool
    Split in half and fill with mince meat or your preferred meat and enjoy.



Vetkoek can be served as a small snack, for breakfast or lunch. The ball-shaped dough is made from salt, yeast, and flour. When served at a South African braai, vetkoek is often served with boerewors, a traditional sausage. You can also serve them as they are, or with a cup of tea on the side.


Serving: 50g
Keyword vetkoek recipe
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