My gran’s pumpkin fritters | Pampoen koekies

Light and fluffy pumpkin fritters (pampoen koekies) with caramel sauce. This recipe handed down to me by my grandmother is nostalgia on a plate and will become a family favorite in no time.

Pumpkin fritters

Whenever my Ouma (Afrikaans for grandmother) brought a tray of these delicious pumpkin fritters out after lunch, I jumped up and down like only a little girl in love with her gran’s cooking could. I was obsessed with the light and fluffy fritters covered in rich caramel sauce. And now, years later, I feel no different.

These phenomenal pumpkin fritters (or as we call them in Afrikaans, Pampoen koekies), really are all they are hyped up to be. I once cooked a fellow food blogger friend a batch and he proceeded to eat close to 20. In one sitting. They are rich, sticky, buttery and absolutely drool-worthy.

My gran used to serve these fritters with this caramel sauce and I remember it being a light coloured but incredibly rich sauce. I also added a pinch of salt flakes as the salty caramel works so well with the pumpkin.  These fritters are an absolute crowd pleaser and you’re guaranteed to love them.

Pumpkin fritters

Ingredients needed

  • Pumpkin. I make my own pumpkin puree but canned pumpkin will also work.
  • Flour. 
  • Baking powder. 
  • Sugar. 
  • Salt. 
  • Eggs. 
  • Milk. Coconut or almond milk can be substituted.

For the caramel sauce

The fritters can be served covered in cinnamon sugar but this caramel sauce is what my gran always served them with.

  • Sugar. 
  • Butter. 
  • Cream.
  • Vanilla extract. 
  • Golden syrup. Honey or maple syrup can be substituted.
  • Salt.

Caramel sauce for pumpkin fritters

How do you make pumpkin fritters?

The batter is incredibly simple and very much the same as a pancake batter. Flour (you can use 1:1 gluten free flour if you wish), sugar and baking powder are mixed with pumpkin puree, egg and milk to form a smooth, thick batter. Spoonfuls of the batter are fried until golden and crisp before being drenched in delicious caramel sauce.

Can you freeze pumpkin fritters?

The fritters will lose their texture when frozen so its not recommended. They are best served fresh and warm but you can make them a few hours ahead and keep them covered, in a low-heated oven for up to 2/3 hours. You can also pour over the caramel sauce ahead of time to allow the fritters to soak up the sauce. You can also refrigerate the fritter batter covered for up to 2 days ahead of time.

Pumpkin fritters

Pumpkin recipes

  1. Pumpkin sheet cake with Chantilly cream
  2. Soft Pumpkin Dinner Rolls with Sage Butter
  3. Spicy Miso Coconut Pumpkin Soup


Pumpkin fritters

My gran's pumpkin fritters | Pampoen koekies

Light and fluffy pumpkin fritters (pampoen koekies) with caramel sauce. This recipe handed down to me by my grandmother is nostalgia on a plate.
4.75 from 94 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Pumpkin, South African
Cuisine: South African
Keyword: caramel, pumpkin fritters, pumpkin recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 148kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 20


For the fritters

  • 1 cup pumpkin cooked and pureed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for deep frying

For the Caramel Sauce

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes


For the fritters

  • Combine all the ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry spoonfuls of the batter until golden brown and cooked throughout, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oil and allow to drain on kitchen paper.
  • Continue until all the fritters are cooked.

For the Caramel Sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and allow to cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy.
  • Pour the syrup over the fritters and serve.


Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 99mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 740IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.4mg


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  1. The best recipe I have ever used for pumpkin fritters, loved the Carmel sauce but they are just as good with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

  2. Hi, what is castor sugar and golden syrup? Do you have an alternative as we don’t (I believe) have that where I live?

    1. Caster sugar is also called superfine sugar. It can be substituted with granulated sugar. Golden syrup is available from most supermarkets but you can use honey or maple syrup instead.

  3. Hi! I‘m kind of late to the party but I was wondering if these can be eaten cold. My daughter wants to take them to school for the class brunch. we love these!

  4. Oh, this was fantastic!

    Everybody loved it, my uncle doesn’t like pumpkin, but he ate a lot of them.
    There was a little-bit of sauce/syrup left over, so we used it on dessert or cookies.

    Last night, I made baby sweet potatoes by baking them in a little vegetable oil in the oven (with their skin on), until they are thoroughly cooked, with a little bit of Himalayan Salt sprinkled over. Afterwards, I just fried them in a pan for a minute or so, just to get the skin crusty. I remembered the Pumpkin Fritter’s delicious sauce, so I made it quickly and it worked fantastically with it!

    It was ssooooooooo YUMMY! Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! It was awesome.

  5. I have 4 boys and a husband who don’t eat pumpkin This was the first time they all ate it and enjoyed it. Really good! But super sweet You can’t eat this regularly It is so much better than the American pumpkin pie type thing. Also it’s almost better when it cools down a bit

  6. This recipe was just what I was looking for! It turned out amazing and tasty! My husband was extremely excited about these fritters as he hadn’t had them like this since he was a young boy. I would’ve specified what sugar to use for the caramel. I used white sugar, and it came out fine, but I’m pretty sure it would’ve been even better had I made it with brown sugar.

    Thanks for an amazing recipe! Definitely going to use it again!

  7. Wow what a beautiful recipe. So tasty and delicious. The best Pumpkin fritters I have ever made. Thanks so much for sharing your granny’s recipe, she is an amazing chef

  8. Honestly so delicious, works really well and is super easy. I used coconut sugar instead. My 2 year old loved them! THANKS!