This Cape Malay mashed Pumpkin fritters recipe for Pampkoen koekies makes delicious pillows of comfort and is perfect served for breakfast, tea or with a steaming bowl of soup.
This mashed pumpkin fritters recipe is also suitable to make as a side with a roast lunch or dinner (see notes). The easy pumpkin fritters batter is also suitable for fluffy pumpkin pancakes that can be served with butter and syrup for breakfast. For pancakes the pumpkin batter should be cooked on a heavy bottom pan with only the tiniest amount of oil or butter.
My father, may Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him the highest paradise, loved pampoen koekies or mashed pumpkin fritters. He could eat it at any time of the year, but especially loved it during Ramadhan with a big bowl of soup. Curiously enough he didn’t like pumpkin any other way, especially not lamb and pumpkin stew.
After my father passed away, I stopped making many of his favourite items because they reminded me too much of him and how much we missed him… mashed pumpkin fritters, home baked bread and bread rolls, koesisters (spicy yeasted doughnuts), made from scratch home made pizza…
I was surprised to learn that most of the canned pumpkin sold in supermarkets and labelled pumpkin is actually butternut squash. It seems that pumpkin is too stringy and the color is not as vibrant when cooked as butternut squash.
For the past few weeks I’ve even seen recipes in my newsfeeds labelled butternut pumpkin something or other. I guess marketing ‘pumpkin’ this or that is too entrenched and butternut squash doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
We found some lovely small pumpkins that rendered smooth non-stringy flesh when cooked and give a beautiful texture to the pumpkin fritters.
How to make this mashed pumpkin fritters recipe
These are so easy to make you will kick yourself for not making it sooner. We never had access to canned pumpkin growing up and always cooked our own from scratch.
- The hardest part of cooking the pumpkin is making sure you cut and peel it without cutting off tips of fingers.
- When steaming the pumpkin add very little water as it tends to release a lot of it’s own. Preferably steam the pumpkin in a bamboo steamer or a colander set over a pot of water.
- If baking the pumpkin brush the pumpkin with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Place the two halves cut side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 190 celcius or 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until done.
- Drain the cooked pumpkin or butternut and mash finely then leave to cool.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla and sift over the dry ingredients and add the mashed pumpkin. Do not overmix.
- Leave to rest of at least 10 minutes. If it is too watery, the water will release and you can add some of the self raising flour to make a firmer batter.
- Voila! You have mashed pumpkin fritters recipe batter ready for frying into fritters or pancakes.
- Remove the cooked fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a tray or baking sheet lined with kitchen towel.
- Sprinkle or dip the fritters into the cinnamon sugar.
Try more pancake and fritter recipes
- Cape Malay Daltjies – Spinach and sweet corn fritters
- Sweet corn and polenta fritters
- South African Flapjacks pancakes
- Easy Banana pancakes with mixed berries
- Almond and Coconut breakfast pancakes
Cape Malay Mashed Pumpkin fritters recipe (Pampoen koekies)
Mashed pumpkin fritters batter
- 500 grams raw pumpkin cubes, steamed and strained approximately 500 ml or 2 cups mashed
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 45 ml light brown sugar approximately 3 tablespoons
- 5 ml vanilla extract approximately 1 teaspoon
- 140 grams cake flour or fine sponge flour, sifted approximately 250 ml or 1 cup
- 1.25 ml salt approximately 1/4 teaspoon
- 10 ml baking powder approximately 2 teaspoons
- 125 ml milk
- Oil for frying use as required
- up to 60 ml self raising flour if the batter is too liquid as a result of watery pumpkin
- 100 grams caster sugar or fine granulated sugar approximately 125 ml or 1/2 cup
- 10 ml cinnamon powder approximately 2 teaspoons
How to make pumkin fritters
- Mash the cooked pumpkin and strain off any remaining liquid that collects.
- Whisk the eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes until it is light and airy and add the vanilla extract.
- Sift over the salt, cake flour and baking powder, add pumpkin and whisk to combine.
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes before frying.
- Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and leave until required for sprinkling.
- Add the self-rising flour to the batter if batter is loose.
- Heat 1 cm oil in a pan over medium-high.
- Use an ice-cream scoop to measure out the pumpkin fritters batter into the oil
- When bubbles form on the surface flip the fritters and fry on the other side until done. About 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper then dip or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Serve warm.
- Butternut squash can be used if pumpkin is not available.
- This recipe can be made into savory pumpkin fritters by adding less or leaving out the sugar and adding any of the following:
- a cup of grated hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino and fresh chopped rosemary.
- a cup of crumbled feta and shredded mint leaves.
- a tablespoon of harissa paste
Disclaimer: Nutritional information for the recipe is an approximation and varies according to the ingredients and products used.
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