How to make muesli rusks with oats & raisins

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Muesli rusks with oats & raisins recipe

I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for a while now and I can finally share how to make these muesli rusks with oats and raisins are my best. I love a classic South African buttermilk rusk but a muesli one is so much better. I love that these are packed with so much wholesome goodness. From the oats to the three types of seeds and the generous dose of raisins and sultanas. They get baked in a tray and cut into rustic fingers to be dried in the oven. Perfect for dunking into your morning tea or coffee.

Muesli rusks with oats & raisins recipe , a classic South African bake

Ingredients for muesli rusks with oats & raisins:

Flour – I have used self-raising flour in this recipe but if you prefer you can use cake flour or all-purpose and add 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.

Oats – use old-fashioned rolled oats and not instant oats in this recipe.

Sugar – You can use 1 ¼ cup sugar (or 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup honey). Brown or white will work. 

Raisins – I have used a mix of raisins and sultanas but you can use all or one of the other. You could mix it up further and use cranberries or other chopped-up dried fruit such as apricot 

Seeds – I have used a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin and flaxseeds. Ensure you mill the husks of the flaxseeds in order to gain their nutritional benefit. Chia seeds or nuts could be added to or replace some of the seeds.

Buttermilk – You can make your own buttermilk at home by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to 250ml of whole milk.  Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. During this time, the milk will start to curdle and thicken slightly. After 10-15 minutes, give the mixture a good stir to make sure it’s fully combined and thickened.

Butter and oil – I have used a combination of butter and oil. 

Muesli rusks with oats & raisins recipe , a classic South African bake

You might also like these South African recipes:

The best buttermilk bran rusks

Buttermilk bran rusks with raisins & seeds

Orange malva pudding

Pear & ginger malva pudding

Malva pudding with cranberries & ginger

My grandmother Betty’s crunchy recipe

A classic buttermilk rusk recipe

Easy peppermint crisp pudding

What readers are saying:

Readers who have made this recipe are raving about it! Here is what they had to say after feeding their family:

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I have made this recipe a couple of times, but each time is different based on what I have in the house. I use recipes as guidelines as opposed to rules…;) I have added almonds, bran, and cranberries and reduced the sugar. Love chewy rusks! I realise most people who bake the best rusks are from a generation that does not blog recipes (e.g. my 65 yo Mom) so it is a pleasure to find good recipes online. Thanks for sharing!
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Lovely recipe and easy to adapt to what you have in your kitchen. I used chia seeds instead of flaxseeds, and cranberries instead of raisins and added in a large handful of chopped almonds. Also, I needed to make my buttermilk. Delish!


Muesli rusks with oats & raisins

A delicious wholesome muesli rusk recipe with oats and raisins. A South African classic.
Print Recipe
Muesli rusks with oats & raisins recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:8 hours


  • 500 gms self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar or 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1//3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup flaxseeds
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 125 gms butter melted
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  • Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl and then add the sugar (honey), oats, raisins, sultanas, all the seeds and mix to combine
  • In a jug measure out the buttermilk then add the melted butter, eggs and oil and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until you get a thick dough-like batter. If it is a bit dry, add a splash more buttermilk. It should be fairly sticky.
  • Empty the mixture into a rectangular baking tin that has been lined with baking paper and approx.23cm x 33cm with a 3 – 5cm rim. Spread it out evenly in the tin. Bake for 45 minutes and until golden brown. *loosely cover with tin foil from about 20 minutes in to prevent the top surface from over brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  • When the rusks are cool, remove the paper and place on a large board. Cut them into fingers the size that you would like. Then place these on a large flat baking sheet lined with paper allowing some space between each rusk
  • Dry out overnight (8 – 9) hours in a 60C oven or for 6 hours in a 100C oven Turn them over once if you can. If you cut your rusks very thick they might need a little more drying time.


These rusks can be stored in an airtight container or biscuit tin for a month.
Author: Sam Linsell


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  1. Beskuit! I was so excited when I saw this post pop up in Twitter – as a South African I love muesli and buttermilk rusks. Thank you for sharing this great post 🙂

  2. happycyclist says:

    I’ve never heard of rusks before. The classic buttermilk rusks look like dinner rolls/biscuits, and these yummy looking muesli rusks reminds me of biscottis. Are the muesli rusks soft or crunchy? They do look very good with coffee! Thank you for sharing.

  3. HI – rusks are very dry and hard and crunch. perfect to dunk into your tea or coffee or eat straight up. It is similar to a biscotti in that is twice baked although the second bake is more of a drying out process. You can cut the rusks into fingers whatever size you prefer. Muttermil rusks are rolled into balls and packed together in a tray and you break these apart hence the shape

  4. Its a pleasure and I hope you enjoy the beskuit 🙂

  5. Hi Sam, do you know if I can substitute the buttermilk with plain yoghurt? I’ve recently moved to Mauritius and can’t find buttermilk anywhere.

  6. Marguerite Janse van Rensburg says:

    Made this and loved it!! Thank you

  7. So glad you love them Marguerite

  8. Hi Sam, thank you for this recipe! They are absolutely delicious. I only used 1 cup of sugar and they were sweet enough. And added a sprinkle of cinnamon which was quite a tasty addition. So enjoy your blog – thank you for sharing your recipes with us X


    Thank you for this delicious recipe! Quantities and times are absolutely perfect x

  10. Hi Janis, I’m so pleased you liked this recipe.

  11. Wendy Carole says:

    Made these muie rusks they were so yummy.

  12. I’m so glad you enjoyed these runsks Wendy.

  13. Hi Sam thank you very much for sharing your recipe. I love it.

  14. Hi Isabella, I’m glad you like it and its a pleasure.

  15. Hi Sam. Thanks for this recipe. The rusks look delish and I’m about to try it. What ratio of cake flour & baking powder (and maybe some bicarb?) can I substitute for the self-raising flour? Thanks! Gina

  16. HI Gina – you could probably just swap it out. So whatever the flour is used SR instead and omit the baking powder. Rusks aren’t supposed to rise much like a cake so I have not tested this recipe out using SR flour. Always best to stick to the recipe as I have tested it.

  17. I tried this recipe yesterday. I didn’t have raisins and sultanas so I used dried cranberries instead. The rusks came out perfect – they were delicious! Thank you so much Sam for creating and sharing this recipe!

  18. Thank you so much and it’s a pleasure. I’m glad you enjoyed the rusks

  19. Absolutely outstanding recipe. Best muesli rusks ever. I am so pleased that I now don’t need to import them from SA and I think they are better than Oumas.

  20. Thanks for the comment Gill and I’m so glad you liked the recipe 🙂

  21. Haven’t tried it yet but am about to as I loved for many years in SA. Having read your reviews I’m a bit confused with one if your answers when someone asks about SR flour??? You reply that you weren’t sure because you’ve never done it with SR flour but the recipes says 500g SR flour … unless I’m going mad ?. Could you clarify this as I want to try them today. Thanks Jane

  22. Hi Jane. The recipe is correct as is and I used self-raising flour. I apologise that the comment was confusing. I think I meant to say I had only tested it with SR flour and no other. Thanks

  23. Hi Sam thanks for getting back re: SR flour debacle. I am busy making them right now, but put my oven on at 160 C FAN as I always assume that when people put recipes it usually means normal oven. Having watched them bake and putting the foil on as you suggested, they are still pale and not quite clean when a knife inserted. I have popped them back in for five more mins and turned up the oven realising that maybe you meant 180 fan. Can you let me know. This is always a confusion with recipes! I find it all the time. I’ll let you know the result! x Jane

  24. Hi Jane, I tested this recipe at 180C so I think 160 is too low for baking. I do mostly bake on a conventional setting but with both my fan ovens they are very similar temp wise fan forced or not. You would need to know your oven. If you normally bake at 160C fan forced for recipes requiring 180c then Im not sure why my recipe didn’t work. I myself have made them 4 times and have had several comments from people who have made these and the recipe worked out perfectly. My recipe is exactly as I have written it with self raising flour and baked at 180C. Im sorry it was so complicated for you.

  25. HI Sam, thanks for getting back and it’s a weekend too! I cooked them a bit longer and they seem to have come out lovely. I’m going to put them in to dry overnight – I’m thinking to just do the same temperature you suggested because quite frankly, I think my oven is the same either way (fan or convection). I’ll let you know the verdict 😉
    Best wishes Jane

  26. Roaring success, Sam. Had two with my coffee this morning. From now on I’ll just do them in a 180 fan. I wish you had a facility to send a photo especially the tin I’ve put them in. It’s one my daughter bought me and she always calls me “blom” instead of “mom” and it’s written on their. Thanks Sam, I’m going to try a few of your other recipes now!

  27. Deborah Fenn says:

    Your muesli rusks, with its and raisins, turned out amazing. Had to make my on buttermilk, an interesting experiment, and use nuts I place of seeds, but it still worked out perfectly. Thank you!

  28. Hi Deborah – Im so glad you enjoyed this recipe and thanks for the lovely comment

  29. How can I make this recipe sugar free? Tia

  30. Hi Alana – I have not tested a sugar-free version for this recipe so I would not know. Sugar plays a big role in terms of taste and texture in baked goods. I have never worked with Xylitol because I don’t really like it but I think you could substitute that with the sugar I just don’t know quantities. You would have to play around or Google a sugar-free rusk recipe that has been tested.

  31. Baked it today with the help of the kids. Great success! So excited to have beskuit in the house again. Miss it more than biltong when we are abroad.

  32. Hi Anneri and I hear you, I would miss rusks more than biltong too. I’m so glad you like hte recipe

  33. Hi Sam, I am yet to try this delicious recipe! It looks very yummy. Just one question, the pumpkin seeds is 3//3. Im assuming it should also be 3/4 cup as the flaxseed?
    Thank you

  34. Hi Carla – yes that is 3/4 sorry about the typo. enjoy!

  35. Kon Karatouliotis says:

    Excellent recipe thank you

  36. So glad you enjoyed it Kon

  37. I have made this recipe a couple of times, but each time is different based on what I have in the house. I use recipes as guidelines as opposed to rules…;) I have added almonds, bran and cranberries and reduced the sugar. Love chewy rusks! I realise most people who bake the best rusks are from a generation that do not blog recipes (e.g. my 65 yo Mom) so it is a pleasure to find good recipes online. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Lovely recipe and easy to adapt to what you have in your kitchen. I used chia seeds instead of flaxseeds, cranberries instead of raisins and added in a large handful of chopped almonds. Also, I needed to make my own buttermilk. Delish!

  39. So glad you loved the recipe Lara

  40. Julia Kazin says:

    I love this recipe. What is the nutritional facts for the recipe?

  41. Thanks Julia and I’m sorr I don’t have the nutritional info on this one. It will be high in calories due to the flour, sugar and butter but with loads of fibre.

  42. Hi Julia, can I add more oil instead of the butter because of lactose intolerance?

  43. Hi Fatima. I haven’t tested it out using only oil. I would go for margarine instead of butter

  44. Pravin Nema says:

    hi there Sam, I’m living in SW Ontario. A S. African friend of mine gave me this recipe and I’ve tried it with great success – we love it. Can you please confirm the quantities for the flax and pumpkin seeds? From the comments I read, there appears to be a typo. (3/4 cups of each). Thanks.

  45. Hi Pravin and thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed it. I’m a little confused as it’s listed as follows in the recipe:

    1/3 cup sunflower seeds

    1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

    ¼ cup flaxseeds

  46. Hi Sam, so happy I found your recipe! My cousin always brings me muesli rusks from SA, now I can have them when she’s not visiting the Netherlands 🙂 I’m in the midst of making them for the first time now. Just wondering about the oven: do you set it to 180 degrees fan or conventional oven? Thanks for your response!

  47. Hi Pascalle – so glad you have found me and the recipe. I use the same temp for my fan and regular oven. I know some recipes require you to lower it by 20C. If you have a very new and accurate oven I would bake it at 170C fan. With rusks, it doesn’t really matter as you are drying them out either way. I tend to do most of my baking not using fan. I also have a recipe for buttermilk bran rusks that are very nice too.

  48. Thanks for the quick reply Sam! I’ll keep it on 180 degrees. I put an old fashioned thermometer in the oven to check the temp as they’re drying now. And you’re right, they turned out fine from the first bake. I texted my aunt in Cape Town for more tips. She said to keep the oven door slightly ajar so the moisture can escape. I’ll let you know how the rusks turn out! Have been eyeing all the recipes and the beautiful photography on your website, looking forward to try more recipes!

  49. Conrad Louw says:

    My daughter lives in America, and I made it for her last year when I visited her in West Palm Beach. She is coming for a visit to SA in a week’s time, and ask me to please have some rusks ready. So, I have just made 2 batches… What a dad wont do for his daughter. These rusks are super delicious and easy to bake (I never bake). August 2023 – Conrad.

  50. So glad you like these rusks Conrad and thanks for letting me know. I hope you enjoy your daughter’s visits. I have a lot of ex pat readers of my blog and they always talk of missing rusks the most.

  51. I’ve made rusks all my life and only recently decided to try another recipe which is how I stumbled across this one. These are my new go-to rusks!! They are absolutely delicious and being so much joy all the way in Amsterdam- thank you!

  52. Hi Jana this made me so happy to hear and I am so glad you loved my recipe. Gosh, rusks are the best aren’t they?

  53. 5 stars
    Hi Sam,
    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. They make wonderful Christmas gifts for ex-South Africans and non-South Africans alike.
    I was wondering if you had any special technique or tips on how to cut the risks without it crumbling so much? I always end up with a bowl of crumble which is equivalent to about 1 rusk and wanted to see if I could reduce that amount of wastage.

  54. Hi Quentin. I’m so glad you enjoyed the risk recipe. They do sadly crumble a bit. I like to use a very sharp professional pastry bread knife which minimises the breakages. I have also used an electric carving knife in the past. Because the muesli rusks have quite a few bits in them it’s quite hard to avoid this using an everyday serrated knife. You should try my buttermilk bran rusk recipe as an alternative.

  55. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. Just made it and love the overall taste but, I subed SF to all purpose and added 2,5 tsp of baking powder as per ur suggestion. Unfortunately that didn’t give enough raise and the rusks came out very dence. In my other rusk recipe I usually use 20 gm! of baking powder and 1tsp of baking soda per 500gr/ flour. which gives a decent raise and a beautiful crumb. I still wanted to follow your recipe to see the difference. Thank you again!

  56. I can’t have gluten or dairy and one of the things I missed most was rusks. I’ve tried a few recipes with marginal success but this one works very well with gluten-free flour and dairy-free milk and butter, and is so easy to make. They’re a staple in my house now. Thank you!

  57. Mariette Benn says:

    Absolutely delicious. I used half oats, half granola and doubled the recipe.

  58. Im so glad you enjoyed the rusks Mariette

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