Tra-dish-ional Cuisine: South African Rusks

Tra-dish-ional Cuisine: South African Rusks

Rusks are a common South African breakfast food, snack, or dessert that is commonly eaten with a hot beverage, most often rooibos tea or coffee. Rusks are similar to Italian biscotti, a cookie-like food that is baked twice to create a crunchy bar. The best way to eat rusks is to dip it in the hot beverage and then eat. Below are three different recipes that are simple to make and are delicious!


Chocolate Chip Rusks


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 F.

  1. Beat the butter till it becomes soft and creamy. Butter should be at room temperature.
  2. Add sugar gradually and cream the butter and sugar together till it becomes smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in the eggs, one by one and beat the whole mixture till it comes to a smooth consistency.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and stir till it incorporates fully in the mixture.
  5. Now add the flour and baking powder slowly into wet ingredients.
  6. Beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes till it looks smooth. Add a cup or so of chocolate chips (optional)
  7. Pour the batter into an 8 x 8 square cake pan.
  8. Bake the cake at 325 F for 40 minutes.
  9. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then cut into thin slices. [Cut the cake once from the center and then into slices] The rusks will be soft at this point in time.

We will now bake the cake rusks again.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 F.

  1. Arrange the slices on a baking tray, leaving some space between them.
  2. Put the tray into the oven and bake at 300 F for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, take out the tray and flip the rusks to bake the other side. Put the tray back into the oven and bake again for 10 minutes. Each side should appear dark golden brown after the 2nd bake.
  4. Allow the cake rusks to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, the rusks will  be crunchy and crispy. Store them in airtight container.

Enjoy the cake rusks with hot cup of tea!


  1. Keep an eye on the rusks when you bake them for the 2nd time. They can take anywhere between 10-15 minutes to bake and after 10 minutes one should be very careful else they might also get burnt. If you think they are turning very dark brown or black, take them out immediately and flip over to bake the other side.
  2. Store in an airtight container. They should stay fresh for 2 weeks or so.


By: Lindsey Baker


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