Namibian Fat Cakes (fried dough) Recipe

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Fat cakes also known as Vetkoek (in Afrikaans) or Oukuki ( in my mother tongue Oshiwambo) are sweet, fluffy and moist deep fried dough balls. Fat cakes are so loved in Namibia, especially in the northern part of the country. They also happen to be my favorite childhood snack.

The classic fat cake recipe uses only 5 ingredients, namely lukewarm water, salt, dry yeast, sugar and flour. But nowadays some add butter, milk and eggs. When making my fat cakes however, I always add a knife tip nutmeg to the classic recipe. Because nutmeg adds an amazing touch to the fat cakes. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have some home.

This recipe is simple, egg – and dairy – free and uses only a few ingredients. For starters it might take longer while making the fat cakes, especially the deep frying part, but I assure you, it is all worth it.

You can have the fat cakes for breakfast, as a snack, as a side dish to beef stew or as dessert with vanilla custard. You could also serve them as a starter with Namibian -style tomato sauce like I did few months ago when I took part in the German version of come dine with me ”Das perfekte dinner”.


Fat Cakes step by step photo recipe

Yield: at least 20 fat cakes
Prep Time: 15 min
Rising Time: at least 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 75 min

You’ll need:

– 370 g (13,1 oz/ about 3 cups) plain flour
– 80 g (2,8 oz/ 5 tablespoons) sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 knife tip nutmeg
– 250 ml (8,5 fl.oz/1 cup) lukewarm water
– 1 package dry yeast (7 g/ 0,25 oz) (2.5 teaspoons)
– 1 liter (34 fl,oz) sunflower oil to deep fry

You’ll also need:

– 1 bowl
– oil to grease the bowl and your hands
– kitchen paper
– cling film and clean kitchen towel
– skillet
– slotted spoon
– hand mixer, optional
– cooling rack/ cutting board

How to make fat cakes

Make the dough

Add 2 tablespoons flour ( from 370 g), yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar ( from 80 g(2,8 oz)) to lukewarm water.

Using a spoon stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the remaining sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. After 10 minutes pour the the yeast mixture to the flour – salt mixture.

Using a hand mixer with dough hooks or your hands mix well and knead until you have a smooth dough.

Grease the bowl by just moving the dough to one side of the bowl. Do the same to the other side. Pour a few drops of oil on the dough, so that it will not dry out. Cover with cling film and then with kitchen towel.

Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Deep fry the dough

In a skillet heat approximately 1 liter (34 fl oz) sunflower oil at medium high heat. Pour a small amount of oil to your hands and oil them. Take a bit of the dough with your finger tips

and deep fry them. Repeat the process until you have used up all the dough.

NOTE:

  • Greasing your hands is very important so that the dough won’t be too sticky.
  • You could also use a spoon or an ice – cream scoop, instead of using your hands

Put the fat cakes on a cooling rack/ cutting board lined with paper towels to remove the excess fat.

I served my fat cakes with homemade tomato sauce dip, but they also taste amazing like that.

Looking for more Namibian recipes

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Fat cakes (Namibian deep fried dough, vegan)

Fat cakes are sweet, fluffy and moist deep fried dough balls. This recipe is simple, egg - and dairy – free and uses only a few ingredients. A perfect treat for the whole family in no time.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rising Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: African, Namibian
Keyword: fried dough, kid-friendly, Magwinya, Oukuki, puff puff, Vetkoek
Servings: 20 fat cakes
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Ingredients

  • 370 g (13.1 oz/ about 3 cups) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast (7 g (0.25 oz) (2.5 teaspoons)
  • 1 knife tip nutmeg
  • 250 ml (8.4 fl oz/ 1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 80 g (2.8 oz/ 5 tablespoons) sugar
  • 1 liter sunflower oil to deep fry (34 fl oz)

Instructions

  • Add 2 tablespoons flour ( from 370 g (13.1 oz)), yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar ( from 80 g (2.8 oz)) to lukewarm water. Using a spoon stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile combine the remaining sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. After 10 minutes pour the the yeast mixture to the flour - salt mixture. Using a hand mixer with dough hooks or your hands mix well and knead until you have a smooth dough. Grease the bowl by just moving the dough to one side of the bowl. Do the same to the other side. Pour a few drops of oil on the dough, so that it will not dry out. Cover with cling film and then with kitchen towel. Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  • In a skillet heat approximately 1 liter sunflower oil at medium high heat. Pour a small amount of oil to your hands and oil them. Take a bit of the dough with your finger tips and deep fry them. Repeat the process until you have used up all the dough.
    Put the fat cakes on a cooling rack/ cutting board lined with paper towels to remove the excess fat. I served my fat cakes with homemade tomato sauce dip, but they also taste amazing like that. 

Notes

  1. Greasing your hands is very important so that the dough won't be too sticky.
  2. You could also use a spoon or an ice – cream scoop, instead of using your hands

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see! Snap a pic and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh wow! This is exactly what I have been looking for! Easy, fun, delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Christine Nyambe

    Easy to follow, thanks

  3. I assumed the rest of the sugar goes in the bowl with the flour for mixing – hope that is right but it isn’t clear in the recipe. Thanks for posting! 🙂

  4. I’m excited to make these for our kids at church next month as we talk about missions in Namibia. Could you please tell me what is in the homemade tomato sauce? I think the children might like to try that too.

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