This recipe for Soetkoekies (traditional South African spice biscuits) is a national favourite!


4 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup (115 gram) butter
1/2 cup (115 gram) pork lard/pork dripping ).
1 2/3 cups (410 ml) granulated Sugar (brown or white)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon (7 ml) baking soda
1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot milk
3 tablespoons (45 ml) sweet wine – such as Hanepoot, Muskadel, sweet sherry or Marsala
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon (4 ml) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground nutmeg
Very finely grated orange zest, or the zest of a satsuma/mandarin/tangerine/naartjie

How to

Slightly soften the butter and lard, add sugar and cream together.
Add eggs, one by one and beat well.

Slightly warm milk, and dissolve the baking soda in it. Add to mixture.
Add the wine, salt, spices and zest. Mix thoroughly, there should be no lumps and the spices should be well distributed.

Add flour. If the mixture is too soft you can add more flour.

Allow the dough to rest (anything from 2 hours to overnight in a cool place – depending on when it suits you to bake).

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Roll the dough out between two sheets of glad wrap or baking paper until it is about 3 mm thick.

Cut out into forms with a cookie cutter or wine glass (a fluted round cookie cutter is a traditional form). Try not to over-handle the dough.

For best results, roll and cut small batches at a time and keep the rest of the dough in a cool place until you need it.

Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes until light brown.

Carefully move the biscuits to a rack to cool completely.

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This recipe and photo is from the Rainbow Cooking website, where you will find a collection of mostly South African recipes, both traditional and modern.