Why Everyone South African Should Celebrate With A Vetkoek On Heritage Day

Hayley Sutherland, who hails from Fish Hoek, has been a chef lecturer at the Cape Town Capsicum Culinary Studio campus for the past three years.
Sutherland, who is a pastry chef and loves all things sweet, talks about her perfect Heritage Day menu, explains why vetkoek should make a comeback and shares a plain vetkoek recipe.

How will you be spending Heritage Day?
With my family, and of course, we will be having a traditional braai!
What does the day mean to you?
Celebrating how culturally diverse our beautiful country is and the unique culture of my family.
How do you define South African cuisine?
It is diverse with many different influences; a melting pot if you will. Although simple at times, you can’t beat a traditional braai with braai broodjies and a potato salad.
What would be your perfect Heritage Day meal, why and who would you share it with?
A traditional braai with chops and wors. There would be various salad options – potato salad, coleslaw, mixed salad and braai broodjies. Not forgetting dessert which would definitely be a peppermint fridge tart.
What are your favourite three South African dishes and why?
Peppermint fridge tart – I am a pastry chef, but you cannot beat it, especially the next day.
Milk tart – So simple yet so satisfying.
Pumpkin fritters – My mother-in-law makes these and honestly – with cinnamon sugar – they are the best thing.
Are there any South African dishes that have fallen out of favour that you would like to see make a comeback?
The vetkoek as it is such a versatile product that can be enjoyed both sweet and savoury. It is about time that there is a revamp of it.

How To Make A Vetkoek


  • 125ml cake flour
  • 2.5ml baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ egg
  • 62.5ml milk
  • Oil for frying


  1. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk egg and add with milk, to dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough.
  3. Heat enough oil to cover the base of the frying pan.
  4. Pour spoons full of batter into the hot oil and fry to a golden brown on both sides.
  5. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Fill with a curry mince or enjoy with butter and apricot jam.