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Soetkoekies with sweet wine and almonds

By February 23, 2024FinGlobal, Newsletter

Soetkoekies with sweet wine and almonds

February 23, 2024


South Africa, a country with a rich and diverse history and culture, is renowned for its mouthwatering traditional cookies that have delighted generations. Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating story and recipe of Soetkoekies, a beloved South African cookie that has a special place in the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike. Prepared with a unique blend of aromatic spices, these delectable treats offer a delightful combination of flavors and textures that are sure to transport you to the vibrant and flavorful world of South African cuisine.

Soetkoekies history

Soetkoekies have been a part of South African cuisine for centuries. The word “soetkoekie” translates to “sweet little cake” in Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Africa. These cookies were first introduced by the Dutch settlers who colonized the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. They brought with them their love for baking and traditional recipes, which were soon adapted and modified to suit the local ingredients and tastes.

Traditional Soetkoekies recipe: the ingredients

The key ingredients in Soetkoekies are flour, sugar, and butter. However, what sets them apart from other cookies is the addition of spices – particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. These spices represent the influence of Dutch and Malay cuisine on South African food. The use of almonds or almond extract also adds a unique flavor to these cookies.

The Soetkoekies recipe

Soetkoekies are relatively easy to make and require only a few basic ingredients. Below is an easy soetkoekies recipe:


  • 4 tbsp of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 to 2¼ cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of ginger
  • ¼ tsp of ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1¼ cups of dark brown sugar
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • ¼ cup of Port, Madeira, or sweet sherry
  • ½ cup of finely ground almonds (and optional almond halves for decoration)
  • 1 egg white + 2 tsp of water, beaten until frothy


  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and gradually add ½ cup of flour at a time, stirring well. Incorporate the wine and almonds.
  3. Add the dry flour mixture and knead the dough vigorously until well combined. Form the dough into a compact ball. If the dough is too soft, you may add up to ¼ cup of flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it reaches a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut into two-inch rounds and arrange them on a baking sheet. Apply a coating of egg white and water mixture on the tops.
  5. Reserve almond halves to press into the tops of the cookies before baking.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are crisp and firm to the touch.

Modern Twists

As with any traditional recipe, there are endless variations and modern twists to the classic Soetkoekies. Some people like to add dried fruits or chocolate chips to the dough, while others top them with icing or drizzle them with honey. No matter how you choose to enjoy these cookies, they will always remind you of the sweet history and culture of South Africa.

In Conclusion

Soetkoekies are more than just another South African cookie – they are a representation of the diverse influences and traditions that make up South African cuisine. Whether you are a local or a visitor, these spicy Soetkoekies will surely leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and heart. So why not give them a try and add a touch of South African sweetness to your life? Happy baking!

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