Buttermilk Rusks

I grew up in a house where coffee and rusks were part of our morning routine and it still is a tradition in many South African homes. Just think of the ‘boer-beskuit, anys beskuit’ and everyone’s all-time favorite, ‘karringmelk beskuit’ – it brings back wonderful memories of days spent with my ouma baking rusks in her coal stove.  

Store bought rusks have never been a favorite with me and for years I baked my own.  But then work, studies and school got in the way and our neighbor, Janet, who baked rusks every week for a home industry, became our supplier.

Buttermilk Rusks

After their move to Cape Town, I once again started baking my own. I have forgotten how rewarding it is to see my family enjoying my baking.

Here is the recipe for our family favorite. For a healthier option, I nowadays use bran rich self-raising flour for the buttermilk rusks. The result is just as good but somehow I do not feel as guilty when I indulge in a cuppa with a rusk, cuddled up in a chair with a good book.

Buttermilk Rusks


  • 1kg Self-Raising Flour (or Bran Rich Self-Raising Flour)
  • 5ml salt
  • 200ml sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 500g Cultured Buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 25ml oil
Ready for the oven


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a roasting pan or two bread pans.

Sieve dry ingredients together and rub butter in well. (I use the hook on my Kenwood Chef).

Beat egg and oil together, and then add in buttermilk and mix. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Form buns and place them close together in the pan.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately break into sections.

Place onto a rack, well-spaced apart, and leave to dry out in a warming oven overnight or leave at 110°C for 3 ½ hours. Leave to cool.


Coffee and Rusks