How to make amagwinya / vetkoek

How to make amagwinya / vetkoek

Make your own vetkoek or amagwinya with our easy step-by-step guide. Master this classic South African dish and get ideas for fillings and toppings.

Whether you call them amagwinya or vetkoek, there’s no denying that these fried treats are one of South Africa’s most treasured foods. Essentially a kind of doughnut, amagwinya is traditionally made with a yeasty bread dough that is shaped into balls (sometimes flattened slightly) before being fried in plenty of hot oil until golden brown and slightly swollen, with a soft, bread-like centre – heaven!

The traditional recipe using yeast gives you a light, airy vetkoek similar to a doughnut, but in a pinch, baking powder can be used. The dough can also be wrapped around a filling before you fry it.

The fillings can either be sweet or savoury, depending on what you feel like. Sweet fillings can include apricot jam, spiced chocolate ganache or even a butter sweetened and mixed with berries. Savoury options include aromatic mince, cheese and vegetables. Vetkoek can also be used to accompany soup.

Keen to try your hand at making your own? These are our favourite recipes.

amagwinya with sweetcorn and cheese fillingGet Mogau Seshoene’s recipe for amagwinya with sweetcorn-and-cheese filling.

mini amagwinya with grilled plumsGet Mogau Seshoene’s recipe for mini amagwinya with grilled plums

Vetkoek recipeGet Sam Woulidge’s recipe for feta-and-garlic vetkoek

Looking for even more inspiration? Find Hannah’s favourite ways with vetkoek and amagwinya here.


  1. Sift 4 cups flour, 10g yeast, 1t salt and 2t sugar into a bowl. Add the water and stir until well combined. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable. Cover and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

    Step 1

  2. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead for a minute. Divide into balls. Set aside on a tray in a warm place and leave to double in size once more, about 10 minutes.

    Step 2

  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Check the temperature from time to time by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. It should cook through without browning too quickly. When the oil is ready, add 2–3 dough balls and cook for 3 minutes, turning halfway. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the remaining dough in the same way. Place each ball on onto a small skewer.

    Step 3

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    May 14, 2023

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