Pumpkin Fritters with Rooibos Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Fritters with Rooibos Caramel Sauce

Welcome to the Marriage of Pumpkin & Rooibos (and Cinnamon)

Seriously, which South African does not like a good old pumpkin fritter? Or ‘pampoenkoekies’ as we call it in Afrikaans. Pumpkin fritters have ALWAYS been a staple food in Afrikaans households, as well as a favourite at Afrikaans weddings.  The flavours are a perfect match!

Winner, Winner, Dessert-Like Dinner!

My mom used to make us pumpkin fritters when there was leftover pumpkin from the night before. Oh, what a treat that was! Sweet and cinnamony (is that even a word?!) and almost like dessert for dinner!

The pumpkin fritters that we are used to eating are quite flat and round or oval shaped. But these fritters are shaped into little balls, or something close to that, depending on how gracefully you can spoon the batter into the hot oil. 😉
So not only is this a different shape that looks so much more appetising, but I have mixed up the taste to match another loved South African flavour – Rooibos Tea.

This wonderful recipe is adapted from Simply Delicious Food by Alida Ryder. The reason why the recipe is quite large is because I always feel like if I am going to heat up a large pot full of oil, I might as well go all out, as I don’t cook in oil all that often. I have made this beforehand and heated it up and then added the sauce to it and it works perfectly. So, go ahead and make this a day ahead of your function or dinner.

Pumpkin Fritters with Rooibos Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Fritters with Rooibos Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Fritters with Rooibos Caramel Sauce

Yield: 1 x large pumpkin fritter tower / many smaller enamel cups with pumpkin fritters or enough for a family of 8 or 10. Or just a smaller family if they would like seconds and thirds and still enough for the next day! 😉


  • 120ml Red Espresso (Rooibos Espresso)
  • 250ml Cream
  • 60g Butter
  • 150ml Caster Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 50ml Golden Syrup
  • 50ml Honey
  • Cinnamon (for garnish)
  • 2 Cups Pumpkin Puree (I made mine by steaming pumpkin and mashing it in the food processor)
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 60ml Caster Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 5ml Salt
  • Sunflower Seed Oil (for frying)


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a heavy base saucepan and cook (slowly boil) until the consistency is quite thick and the sauce glossy. This will take about 20 – 30 minutes.
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and mix with until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot. Line a large heat-proof bowl with kitchen towel and get all of the equipment for deep-frying ready.
  3. Once the oil is hot, gently drop spoonfuls of fritter batter into the oil and fry until golden in colour. I prefer using a teaspoon to scoop the batter from the bowl and by using a dessert spoon scraping it off into the oil. Most of the fritters will turn themselves over once they are done on the one side. If they don’t turn themselves around, carefully turn them halfway through the cooking process. I make about 10 fritters in one go.
  4. Once they are cooked, carefully lift them from the oil with a metal ladle or a frying basket onto the kitchen towel. Continue this process until the batter is finished.
  5. You can either build a tower with all of the fritters (as per picture) – sure to steal the show at the table! Or you can spoon them into individual small enamel cups for a canapé-style dinner or function.
  6. Spoon the hot rooibos caramel sauce over. Sprinkle some cinnamon over.
  7. Et voilà! This is definitely going to be a hit – be prepared to eat the leftovers all by yourself! 😉
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