Recipe by Fatima SydowCourse: DessertCuisine: Cape Malay

This delicious treat is basically a deep-fried thick vanilla cake batter that’s then dunked in sugar syrup and sprinkled with a light snowfall of desiccated coconut. Traditionally served during Ramadan, but they can be made throughout the year for a lovely Sunday afternoon treat.


  • 125 ml (1/2 C) castor sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 75 ml (5 T) oil

  • 15 ml (1 T) vanilla essence

  • 700 ml (2 and 3/4 C) cake flour

  • 15 ml (1 T) baking powder

  • 300 ml buttermilk

  • Oil for deep-frying

  • Syrup
  • 500 ml (2 C) water

  • 500 ml (2 C) sugar

  • 250 ml (1 C) dessicated coconut


  • In a large bowl, beat the castor sugar and eggs together until light and creamy. Next, add the oil and vanilla essence and whisk until fluffy. Sift in the dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk and mix until well combined. Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Once ready, use a tablespoon to scoop up the batter. On medium to high heat, deep-fry the bollas in the oil until golden brown on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on pieces of paper towel.
  • In a seperate pot, boil the water and sugar together for 15 minutes to make sugar syrup. Dunk the bollas into the warm syrup just once and remove with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with dessicated coconut and serve.


  • TIP:
    For a different flavour, you can add 10 ml (2 t) naartjie or lemon zest to the batter. You can also add 125 ml (1/2 C) raisins or currants.

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