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Mince-Stuffed Fat Cakes

Savory mince-stuffed beignets, known as fat cakes or vetkoek, are eaten all over South Africa. These are stuffed with a plant-based mince.

Fat cakes are a popular South African street food enjoyed and claimed by locals. This deep-fried yeasted dough ball can be eaten on its own with coffee or tea, savory mince-stuffed, or served with polony and cheese. Fat cakes are delicious served warm.

Mince-Stuffed Fat Cakes

By Mokgadi Itsweng

1 hour to prep
45 mins to cook
Yields 46


Fat cakes

  • 24 1/2 ounces 700 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/3 cup 60 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 10 grams dried instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for bowl
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup 250 milliliters sunflower oil, for frying

Mince stuffing

  • 3 tablespoons 50 milliliters olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup 100 grams frozen mixed vegetables (diced carrot, peas, cut green beans, and sweetcorn kernels)
  • 3 tablespoons 50 grams tomato paste
  • 1 cup 200 milliliters vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Tomato relish
  • Hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped



    • 1
      In a large bowl, mix 2 cups (500 milliliters) warm water, flour, sugar, yeast, oil, and salt until combined. Add more flour or water, as needed.
    • 2
      Tip the dough onto a clean surface dusted with flour and knead it by hand until smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes.
    • 3
      Lightly oil the same large bowl and place the dough into it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
    • 4
      Punch the dough down once and knead for 30 seconds. Let it rise for 20 minutes.


    • 1
      Heat a large pan over medium heat and add oil, onion, garlic, curry powder, and turmeric. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • 2
      Add the Pea Protein Mince and brown for 5 minutes.
    • 3
      Stir in frozen vegetables and tomato paste and saute for 5 minutes.
    • 4
      Reduce heat to medium-low, add the vegetable stock, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
    • 5
      Season with salt and pepper to taste.


    • 1
      In a large pan over medium-high heat, add the sunflower oil. Check oil temperature by carefully dropping a small piece of dough into it. It should sizzle and bubble immediately. If the oil smokes, it’s too hot, which will burn the dough without cooking it through.
    • 2
      Divide the dough into 20 – 24 equal portions (about 2 ounces/60 grams each) and roll into a ball. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hands.
    • 3
      Scoop about 1 tablespoon of mince filling into the middle of the flattened dough. Enclose dough over filling and roll into a ball. The mince filling should not be visible.
    • 4
      Fry the dough in batches until golden brown, 5 minutes per side.
    • 5
      Serve warm with tomato relish or hot sauce and garnish with cilantro.


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