This is the best South African crunchie recipe you will ever find. It comes from my paternal grandmother Betty Linsell who was an incredible cook and baker. Sadly, she died when I was quite young, so I have few memories of these skills at work. One recipe that conjures up childhood memories of being in my grandparent’s Johannesburg home, is crunchies.
Crunchies are a local favourite and this particular recipe of Betty’s has been feeding four generations of Linsell’s and has stood the test of time.
My stepmother Marie Linsell, herself a legendary baker, makes these crunchies on a very regular basis and they always remind me of home.
Liz, my older sister, who is not much of a baker but loves crunchies, has this recipe firmly entrenched in her repertoire.
As I am on a baking mission to unearth, discover and divulge the best version of a variety of baked goods that I love, this recipe is the best one for crunchies that I have come across. This crunchie recipe has also been one of the most popular recipes on this site since 2010.
The comments have always been so heartwarming to read. Knowing that this recipe has been made and enjoyed all over the world for over a decade is very special to me. Keep them coming!
How to make traditional South African crunchies:
A note from a reader for non-metric USA recipe conversion.
Hello from California, Sam! My family and I just got back from our first trip to South Africa. We so loved the country, and the people, and we cannot wait to return. We were served crunchies on safari and everyone was crazy about them. Thank goodness I found your recipe. These taste just like the “crunchies” we had, and they are delicious!! My husband is eating them all, (he even found the ones I hid in the freezer), so I’m about to make a second batch. For US cooks, I thought I would share that I used a 9×13 baking dish, and I baked them at 350F (180C) for 15 minutes, lowering the heat to 320 (160C) for 10. When they cooled they weren’t quite crunchy enough, so I put them back in the oven at 300F for an additional 10 minutes and they were perfect. Many thanks to you and Grandma Betty!!
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The best South African crunchie recipe
- 230 gms butter
- 1 Tbs golden syrup
- 2 cups of oats
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350F
- Mix the flour, oats and coconut in a bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small pot and then add the syrup and sugar and heat.
- When the butter is bubbling add the bicarb (baking soda) and stir through and remove from the heat.
- Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir together by hand.
- Using the back of a metal spoon, gently press the crunchie mixture into a greased or lined baking tray (aprox 30cm x 20cm or similar depending on how thick you like the crunchies. A thinner layer will make crisper crunchies and a thicker layer will make them chewier.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C/350F then turn the oven down to 160C/325F and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the pan before slicing into squares.