Classic South African Baking Ideas - Stork
Classic South African Crunchies - biscuits on a tray.

Classic South African Baking Ideas

With great diversity comes all the perks of learning about our various cultures through our differences. Not only are we a country rich in art, language, literature, history and music, but we are also greatly blessed with delicious homegrown recipes and baking ideas originating from our melting pot.

Vetkoek, Fat Cakes Or Amagwinya

They may be known by different names depending on what language you speak, but the heart of these golden-fried dough balls remains the same.

Yeast leavened dough is shaped into balls or patties and fried in hot oil until they inflate into crispy, golden parcels with pillowy centres. Essentially a kind of doughnut, fat cakes can be enjoyed with both sweet and savoury toppings. And they are often eaten with apricot jam, savoury mince, slices of polony or just on their own.  

Turn your traditional amagwinya into mielie bread vetkoek and add a rich flavour twist – the recipe uses amasi or buttermilk and frozen sweetcorn.


Koeksisters are a wonderful reminder of how something can evolve for the different pallets and traditions of the people who enjoy them. The pastry starts as a sweet dough formed into twisted braids and then fried. The cooled, fried dough is then steeped in a sugar syrup before being served.

Cape Malay variations of the koeksister are prepared with spiced sugar syrup and dusted with desiccated coconut. Although the spices vary, some of the traditional flavours included in the syrup are cardamom and cinnamon. The dough for this version of a koeksister is also often enriched with spices such as aniseed and ginger.


These aptly named morsels are somewhere between a biscuit and a snack bar. They are chewy, sweet, nutty, and salty while maintaining its signature crunch. They get most of their flavour from shredded coconut and oats while maintaining the balance between chewy and crunchy from lashings of golden syrup.

For a dolled-up version of this classic, try adding some flaked almonds or drizzling the final product with melted chocolate.


A localised version of the traditional English scone recipe – amakhekhe are the South African equivalent of those warm tea-time pastries. However, they are rarely served with jam or cream. These sweet and salty buns are the ideal on-the-go snack because they stay fresh for at least two days. They are satisfying and comforting when enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. 

If you want to enjoy a variation of these light and delicious cakes, you can add a handful of raisins or chocolate chips. It’s enough to add something extra to the recipe without completely changing the soul of what amakhekhe are.

There are so many great South African heritage foods to be shared and enjoyed from cake recipes to traditional breads. For more inspiration, baking ideas and recipes, download our Stork Heritage Bake Book.

Share your South African Classic bake with us on Instagram and Facebook, and you could win a Yuppie Chef voucher worth R1 000!  Simply post a picture and tag @ilovebakingsa to enter.

Leave A Comment

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

- Shopping List

Lost Password