Throwback Thursday: Crunchies

Throwback Thursday: Crunchies
Crunchies for the munchies

Nothing says I’m ‘home’ quite like a crunchie and a lovely cup of rooibos or honeybush tea. 

This recipe for traditional South African crunchies is from my paternal grandmother – she’s long dead, but in my family (and our wider farming community), Granny Enid’s baking skills were legendary.

It only takes about five minutes to assemble and half an hour to bake, which is why I’ve never bought crunchies in my life. If they’re so easy and inexpensive, why bother? Plus, when you’re making them yourself you can control what goes into them – especially the sugar levels, which commercially produced biscuits have far too much of, and butter: I simply don’t like margarine. 

If you like your crunchies really crunchy, take care to spread the mixture thinly in a larger pan, or you might have to increase the baking time. 

I like mine chewy and not too crispy, so spread the crunchie mixture about 2cm thick, and bake them for about 30 minutes, which is all they need.


Traditional South African crunchies


250g / 270ml butter (or margarine), melted

30ml golden syrup

2 cups of oats

2 cups of flour

2 cups of coconut

3ml salt

250ml raisins (can easily be left out if you don’t want raisins)

1 ½ cup brown sugar (not treacle)

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in a splash of milk

1 egg, beaten



Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a bowl.

Melt the butter in a small pot or a microwave, then add the syrup and sugar, and heat through.

Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix by hand. Add the bicarb mixture and beaten egg. 

Then, using a metal spatula or back of a spoon, spread the crunchie mixture into a greased or lined non-stick rectangular baking tray (about 33cm x 23cm), depending on how thick you want the crunchies.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C, then turn the oven down to 160°C to bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the pan before slicing into squares. 

Store in an airtight container. They should stay crispy and fresh for weeks but somehow never seem to last that long. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Anne M. says:

    Oh, my word, this brought back so many childhood memories. Crunchies were a staple in both my mom and granny’s biscuit tins. Theirs didn’t have raisins in. As an adult I am not overly fond of coconut. I might just make a batch to have one or two, and share and reminisce with a couple of cousins.

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