How to Make Amagwinya: Easiest Recipe

Embark on a culinary adventure as we unravel the secrets behind crafting the beloved South African street food – Amagwinya.

Also known as vetkoek or fat cakes, these deep-fried dough delights have become a staple in many households.

In this guide, we’ll explore the step-by-step process on how to make Amagwinya that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Ingredients: Gathering the Essentials

You need the right ingredients when learning how to make Amagwinya, below you will find everything you need.


Begin with the foundation of any good amagwinya – high-quality all-purpose flour.


Activate your dough with the power of yeast for that perfect rise. This also relates to another method on the amagwinya recipe with yeast.


A touch of sweetness enhances the flavor profile.


Balance the sweetness with a pinch of salt for a well-rounded taste.


Create the perfect dough consistency with the right amount of water.

How to Make Amagwinya

Equipment: Setting Up Your Culinary Stage

Mixing Bowl

Start by combining your dry ingredients in a spacious mixing bowl.

Whisk or Spoon

Whether you prefer a classic wooden spoon or a modern whisk, ensure thorough mixing.

Deep Fryer or Pot

Prepare for the magical moment of deep-frying – the heart of amagwinya creation.

Cooling Rack

Allow your amagwinya to cool gracefully before indulging.

How to Make Amagwinya: Step By Step

Mixing the Dough

Begin your amagwinya journey by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add warm water while stirring until a soft, elastic dough forms. Let it rest and rise for about an hour.

Shaping the Magic

Once your dough has risen, divide it into small, palm-sized balls. Flatten each ball to create a disc-like shape, ensuring even thickness for a consistent frying experience.

The Dance of Deep Frying

Heat your oil in a deep fryer or pot. Gently place your amagwinya into the sizzling oil, allowing them to dance to a golden brown perfection. Flip them to ensure even frying on both sides.

The Grand Finale

Remove your golden amagwinya from the oil and let them rest on a cooling rack. Witness the crispy exterior and fluffy interior – a testament to your culinary prowess.

Tips and Tricks: Perfecting Your Craft

Yeast Activation

Ensure your yeast is alive and kicking by dissolving it in warm water with a pinch of sugar before incorporating it into your dough.

Oil Temperature Control

Maintain the oil temperature at around 350°F (180°C) for that ideal crispy texture.

Experiment with Fillings

Elevate your amagwinya experience by experimenting with various fillings such as cheese, minced meat, or jam.

Portion Control

Keep your amagwinya portions consistent for uniform cooking times and a professional appearance.

How to make Amagwinya Soft with Baking Powder

Amagwinya, also known as vetkoek or fat cakes, are a popular snack in South Africa. They are made from deep-fried dough that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They can be eaten plain, with jam, cheese, mince, or any other filling of your choice. Amagwinya are traditionally made with yeast, which gives them a light and airy texture, but you can also use baking powder as a quick and easy alternative. Here is how to make amagwinya soft with baking powder:


4 cups of all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 cups of warm water

Oil for frying


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and gradually add the water, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands until a soft dough forms. You may need more or less water depending on the humidity and the type of flour you use.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest for about 20 minutes, or until slightly risen.

Heat oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. You can test the temperature by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. It should sizzle and float to the surface. If the oil is too hot, the amagwinya will burn on the outside and be raw on the inside. If the oil is too cold, the amagwinya will absorb too much oil and be greasy.

Divide the dough into equal-sized balls, about the size of a golf ball. Flatten them slightly with your palms and make a small hole in the center with your finger. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from bursting.

Carefully drop the dough balls into the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Amagwinya Serving Suggestions

Now that you know how to make amagwinya, here are some simple serving suggestions:

Sweet and Savory Options

Amagwinya’s versatility allows for a myriad of serving options. Enjoy them sweet with a dusting of powdered sugar or dipped in cinnamon. Alternatively, go savory by pairing them with minced meat, cheese, or a spicy chakalaka relish.

Tea or Coffee Pairing

Elevate your amagwinya experience by pairing them with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. The warmth of your beverage complements the comforting nature of these delightful treats.

See also: How to make Dombolo

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on How to Make Amagwinya

Q: Can I make amagwinya without yeast?

Yes, you can substitute yeast with baking powder for a quicker version of amagwinya.

Q: How long do I need to let the dough rise?

Allow the dough to rise for approximately one hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Q: Can I freeze amagwinya for later?

Yes, amagwinya freeze well. Ensure they are completely cooled before storing them in an airtight container.

Q: What is the best oil for frying amagwinya?

Use vegetable oil for frying amagwinya, as it has a high smoke point and neutral flavor.

Q: Can I bake amagwinya instead of frying them?

While not traditional, you can bake amagwinya in the oven for a healthier alternative.


Embark on your how to make amagwinya journey-making adventure armed with this comprehensive guide. From selecting the finest ingredients to mastering the art of frying, you are now equipped to create these irresistible treats in the comfort of your kitchen.

Gather your tools, set the stage, and let the aromatic journey of amagwinya creation begin.