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  • Makes 10 to 15
  • Easy
  • 30 minutes
  • 15 minutes


  • 480 g self-raising flour
  • 1½ t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1½ t ground nutmeg
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 3½ t sugar
  • 6 t butter, melted
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 200 g desiccated coconut, for rolling
  • For the sugar syrup:
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1 1⁄3 cups water

Cooking Instructions

1. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add the spices and set aside.

2. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar and butter until pale.

3. Add the dry ingredients in three batches using the beater attachment. Once combined, add the vanilla, milk and water. Add more water if the batter seems too thick. Mix well, then set aside for 15–20 minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a small saucepan (a bigger one means you’ll need more oil) over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add a little batter to the oil: if it rises to the surface quickly, the oil is hot enough.

5. Drop in tablespoonfuls of batter and fry until golden. Fry 2 T at a time to avoid overcrowding the pan. Drain on kitchen paper.

6. To make the sugar syrup, bring the water and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan until sticky (use the back of a wooden spoon to check). Soak one bolla in the syrup at a time, then roll in the coconut.

Cook's note: Get the frying temperature right and these bollas are foolproof.

Find more South African recipes here.

Photographs: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Production: Jacqueline Burgess

Zorah Booley Recipe by: Zorah Booley
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Zorah is a food Photographer, content creator, food blogger and Cordon Bleu Chef. Zorah shares her passion for clean eating and pastries in her blog called "In the Midnight Kitchen".

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