The Scent and Taste of Fynbos – Buchu Shortbread

For hundreds of years humans have made use of herbs and plants to enhance their food, or benefit medicinally. The region of the Cederberg is no different and we owe these unique flavour finds to the Khoi and San of our past. Bring the unique taste of Kagga Kamma, and the Cederberg, home with you, with this fynbos-inspired recipe.



Buchu has a herbal taste, described as a spicy combination between rosemary and peppermint which works wonderfully in this shortbread.

  • 200 ml sugar
  • 470 g butter (salted)
  • 5 cups flour
  • Powdered buchu leaves or a few drops of buchu essence
  • ½ cup castor sugar

To make the shortbread, cream the sugar and butter with the buchu powder or essence. Add the sifted flour and combine.
Press the dough into a baking tray, prick all over and bake in an oven preheated to 160C for about 35 minutes.
After removing from the oven, sprinkle the shortbread with castor sugar and cut it into squares or strips while it’s still hot. Allow it to cool and enjoy it with some tea.

Recipe adapted from


Buchu is one of the most well-known herbal plants in the Western Cape and was used by the local tribes for various purposes, from medicine to skincare and tea infusions. Today Buchu is cultivated commercially for the herbal tea industry, the cosmetic tea industry and a flavour enhancer in food 1.



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