Gerry’s Homemade Rusks

Gerry's Homemade RusksWhen I first arrived in South Africa I was completely unprepared for the local obsession with rusks. To my mind, and to most non-South Africans, a rusk is a dry, hard baby biscuit, designed to aid teething – not very appealing. Confused as to why everyone was eating baby biscuits, I soon discovered that rusks here are something altogether different. They are still slightly dry and hard, but they are all about comfort-snacking and dunking. Rusks are South Africa’s biscotti and to my mind nobody makes them better than my dear friend Gerry.

Always made with love, Gerry’s recipe strikes the right balance between comfort and decadence: this recipe is rusk perfection. Although traditionally served with hot coffee, these rusk are so good I can happily forgo the dunking altogether and eat them straight out of the tin!

As for South Africa’s obsession with rusks? Thanks to Gerry’s I get it now, I totally do.

For more Sweet Treats from The Muddled Pantry, please click here

If you would like to read more about South African food please follow this link or for more South African recipes, please click here

Gerry’s Homemade Rusks

  • 1.25kg self-raising flour
  • 5 cups bran flakes
  • 100g raisins or dates
  • 1 dssp. baking powder
  • 500g butter
  • 500ml buttermilk
  • Salt
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seed and flaxseed (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Melt the butter and sugar together
  3. Beat in the eggs
  4. Stir in the buttermilk
  5. Mix in all the remaining dry ingredients, except for the sesame/flaxseeds
  6. On a lined baking tray, shape dough into a rough rectangle
  7. If using, sprinkle the dough with the sesame/flaxseeds
  8. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour
  9. Reduce the oven to 100 degrees Celsius
  10. Once cool, cut/break the cooked rusk dough into pieces
  11. Dry in the oven for 8 hours


    1. This can often happen with rusks – raisins are also prone to drying out. Perhaps you could try soaking the dates for a few hours before adding them. Otherwise, you could also make the date chunks larger. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s