Celebrate National Vetkoek Day with this delicious recipe

Vetkoek, literally meaning fat cake, is one of the most loved traditional dishes in South Africa. Picture: Supplied

Vetkoek, literally meaning fat cake, is one of the most loved traditional dishes in South Africa. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 30, 2021


August 30 is National Vetkoek Day. “Vetkoek”, literally meaning fat cake, is one of the most-loved traditional dishes in South Africa.

Its popularity started in the townships where it’s usually served with polony or cheese or, even better, both, and later spread to inner cities.

For anyone who desires to make vetkoek and enjoy them with family, the South African Avocado Growers’ Association has shared with us an easy and delicious recipe that to make at home on this special day.

Amagwinya with avocado, bacon, and chakalaka

Makes: 8


250ml lukewarm water

1 x 10g packet instant yeast

500g cake flour

5ml salt

30ml sugar

About 2 litres vegetable or canola oil, for frying

1 ripe avocado, peeled and stoned

200g bacon, optional

45-60ml chakalaka


Pour the lukewarm water into a small jug and sprinkle over the yeast. Leave the mixture for a few minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Pour in the yeast liquid and stir to combine. If the dough is very stiff, a little more water may be required.

Add lukewarm water to the dough in small amounts, mixing after each addition, until a soft but not sticky dough forms – similar to bread dough.

Place the dough in an electric mixer and use the dough hooks to knead, until the dough starts coming away from the sides of the mixing bowl and has a slightly glossy, smooth surface. If you don’t have an electric mixer, knead by hand, until the dough forms a smooth ball with a slightly glossy surface, about 15 minutes.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap that’s been brushed with oil. Leave in a warm place until the dough has risen and doubled in size, about an hour.

Just before you start frying the dough, cook the bacon in the oven or in a frying pan, drain on a paper towel. Set aside while frying the amagwinya.

Brush your hands with a little oil and roll the dough into medium-sized balls.

Heat the oil in a large pot or deep heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. To determine whether the oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough into it. The oil is hot enough when the dough immediately bubbles and rises to the surface.

Fry the dough in batches, turning often until they’re golden brown, about 6 minutes a side. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

To serve, cut the vetkoek in half and fill with slices of avocado, a couple of bacon rashers, and a few dollops of chakalaka.

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