Orange flavoured mandazis

I have a love hate relationship with mandazis. I would never be head over heels for them but I am not about to pass up a chance to stuff my face full of them.

I’ve been making mandazis ever since I was in primary school (seems like eons ago). I vaguely remember helping my mum cut mandazis into shapes using bottle tops and cups to so as to eat certain shapes.

I learnt how to make mandazis mainly because, in my primary school, boys were bullies and you’d be lucky to eat the mandazi you bought at break time without having millions of hands come from nowhere and pinch your 5bob mandazi into oblivion.

When I went to high school, I always enjoyed making them because for some reason they would serve as tea time snack for well over two  weeks. How this was possible only God knows as they had no preservatives and I stored mine in the same box and my soaps and shoe polish (don’t judge me, we survived).

Now I mainly make them for my dad and sister as they are the ones who mainly need a snack to carry on their way to work.

They are pretty simple to make especially if you’re patient with the proofing/blooming time.


  1. 1 kilo all purpose flour.
  2. 2/3 cup sugar (can add or reduce to your liking)
  3. 2 tablespoon yeast
  4. Zest of 1 orange
  5. Juice of 1 orange
  6. 1 cup lukewarm water
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  9. Pinch of salt


Add 3/4 of your flour, sugar, oil, eggs, orange zest and yeast  and salt in one bowl. Mix well.


Add the orange juice to the flour mixture and stir.


It should be a bit heavy at this point, add the water little by little so that the dough starts coming together. If you put in too much water, add more flour.


Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or countertop.

the zest can still be seen in the dough

Put your dough into a heat proof bowl, cover with a wet towel, and leave it somewhere warm to proof/bloom. Should take 20-40 minutes to bloom. if you do not have a heat proof bowl, you can leave the dough in a plastic bowl, but take care it doesn’t burn.


During the cold weather, it may be hard to get a warm place to proof your dough, so you can improvise using a sufuria with hot water.

Place the bowl with the dough on top of the sufuria and let it sit for a while.

The longer you leave it the more leavened the mandazis will be and this could have a fermented taste and smell because of the yeast. When proofing time is done, the dough will have doubled in volume, and will be really soft to touch.


Punch the center of the dough. It helps release the air that is in the dough.


Dust your surface with flour and roll the dough to your desired thickness.

the rolling pin pic never misses

If you roll the dough too thin, the mandazis will have a big hole in the middle. Personally I don’t like empty ndaos.

Thinly rolled dough
Cut into desired size strips
When frying thin mandazis, they get to swell up more in the oil
But they are empty on the inside

If you roll the dough too thick, you run the risk of not having the mandazis cook well. Many of my clients dislike fleshy mandazis because of fear that the mandazis are not cooked through.



Best served while they are warm.


Serve with a hot cuppa.


Blueberry cake

This is the cake that will leave your tastebuds feeling some type of way. You’ll want to give this cake some TLC when you are done baking it. It seriously is good.

I’ve had blueberry cakes in the past and some have been a bit disappointing. There’s a current trend of using food Colour on cakes as opposed to the natural fruit to make the cakes.

This recipe is simple to the core and it leaves your house smelling glorious. You will want to eat this cake as slowly as possible, so as to give your taste buds all the love in the world.

If you don’t believe me, try it. It will be a whole lot of bliss with every bite.


For the cake

  • 250 grams margarine/butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup blueberry puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour

For the cream

  • 200 grams melted white chocolate
  • 280 grams margarine or butter
  • 1 & 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons blueberry puree

For the purée 

  • 450 grams blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 cup sugar

To make the purée, add the blueberries, sugar and water in a sufuria and let simmer for five minutes whisking consecutively. It should start to thicken. Take off heat and let it cool.


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Grease and dust your baking tin.

In one bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. (refer to this for the importance of sifting them together.)

In a second bowl, soften your butter or margarine with your mixer or spatula. Add the sugar and mix until well incorporated.


The mixture will turn from yellow and heavy, to a pale white and fluffy texture.

From This

This step is important as it dictates the texture that your cake will have.

to this

Add your eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, until incorporated.

I am doing double the recipe

Add your Blueberry puree


Slowly add your flour and milk into the butter and eggs mix. This should be done alternating so as to incorporate air into the batter and make your cake lighter as opposed to dense. Starting and ending with flour.

Once everything is well incorporated, pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. If baking in 2 tins, bake for 25 minutes.

Should look like this

Making the cream

Mix together the margarine and the icing sugar in a bowl, until well incorporated.

Add the melted chocolate.

Add the blueberry puree now or later.


If you baked in one tin, slice the cake into two or three layers.

Put some frosting on the first layer, according to your preference.


When done layering, cover your entire cake with a bit of icing, this is the crumb coat. It ensures that the finished look is much neater without the crumbs showing.

Crumb coat

Pop the cake into the fridge for 10 to 30 minutes for the cream to set.

Remove cake from the fridge, cover with frosting and garnish as desired.

Isn’t she lovely?

Serves 8-15 people.

Isn’t she wonderful?


Gone in 4 Seconds


I may be a baker, but I’m not easily sold on sweet things. I recently quit processed sugars because it had become a bit of problem for me.

I am a pastry buff.  I was born to eat samosa or sambusa as some of us have grown up pronouncing 🙂 . Seriously. Life is much more beautiful when there’s is an abundance of these triangular pastries.

These beautiful golden brown babies.

If you’ve ever had a bad samosa , you know it could change your outlook on these majestic pastries, but its much easier to make your own to avoid the risk of a bad samosa.



  1. 500g minced beef
  2. 1 – 2medium sized Leek onion
  3. Spices (optional)
  4. Salt (to taste)
  5. Chillies (optional)


  1. 500g flour plus extra
  2. Water
  3. Oil


Start with preparing your meat. Cook the minced meat to suit your taste. If using spices, use them sparingly as the Leek onion gives a wonderful taste.


Once the minced meat is ready, slice the leek onion thinly and add to the beef. Remember. Do not cook the onions as they will end up losing their flavour upon deep frying.


Add your chilli (again the amount is based on your personal preferences)


I always separate my meat into two portions as my sister does not like too much chilli in her samosa.


Set aside.


Getting your manda ready 

In a bowl, mix together the flour and water, mix it well until it becomes a dough. You should be able to knead the dough without it sticking onto your hands or onto the surface. If still sticky, dust a little bit of flour onto the surface and continue kneading.


When the dough is ready, divide it into five (5) equal balls. A general rule I learnt from one of my students is that for every kilo of meat you use while making samosas, you’ll require a kilo of flour. (I was making more than 60 samosas)


Half a kilo of meat (500g) should make a minimum of 20 samosas.


Roll the balls into small equal circles. Stack them together using a small amount of cooking oil between the layers.


When all five are stacked, dust your surface with flour and roll into one piece of chapati. Flip it constantly to ensure both sides are evenly rolled. When the manda is thin enough and feels like One chapati, cut about half an inch off of the outer edge. You can use a plate or your pan size to cut it into a perfect circle.

Here comes the fun part

Heat up your pan. We use this heavy duty pan that my mother has sworn by and i also attest to.

Pan should be clean with no oil.

When the pan is hot, place the rolled layers onto the pan, rotating to ensure even heat distribution. Flip after ten (10) to twenty (20) seconds to ensure both sides are well heated. Don’t let them brown. Remove them from the pan and peel off the two pieces that you’ve heated, as shown below. Do this with all sides to ensure all are well done.

The heating of the manda ensures that it folds easily without tearing.

Place the heated pieces on top of each other and cut into four equal pieces (quarters). They should resemble triangles


Making the samosa pockets

Make a paste with flour and water, ensuring that the paste is heavy and not runny.


Take one leaf and apply the paste on half of the outer side.


Fold the side without the paste into half like so,


Bring the other half with the paste to close, pressing lightly to ensure it seals. You Can do this with all your quarters first, so as to ensure there is an even distribution of the stuffing. They should look like so:-


Stuff the pockets.


Tuck in the shorter side, where the two folds meet, into the stuffing,


Apply paste to the open side,


Seal the pockets.


When all the pockets are stuffed and sealed, you can freeze them for up to a month, or deep-fry them then freeze.


When deep-frying, ensure that the oil is hot and clean, before putting the samosas into the oil. The oil should bubble up when the samosas are dropped into the oil. They should turn golden brown on both sides before removing them from the oil.


Serve them when warm! Enjoy.



Lemon Cake

It’s been rather cold the past few days; temperatures are dropping to below 15

degrees Celsius. All Nairobi residents are wishing and longing for the January hot

weather, but July is expected to be even colder.

I wonder if I’m ready for what mother nature will decide to dish on us.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the cold weather more than the hot weather, but keeping warm

can be a hard task when the temperatures are too low.

A measuring cup with precise measurements gives better results.
I got these locally for less than Ksh. 200. Comes with the spoons.

On the upside of things, fret not, we’ve got you covered.

Just bake a cake.

A lemon cake to be precise.

The baking powder has to be levelled so as not to use too much and make the cake bitter
The flour has to be levelled so as not to use too much and make the cake too heavy and dry.

It will not only leave your house smelling like a little piece of heaven but, you’re

bound to enjoy the lovely fruits of your labour by indulging in some deliciousness

with a smile knowing that you worked hard to earn that cake.


The cake with a cup of tea or coffee will keep you warm, and you will thank me later.

I added some chocolate chips to mine because chocolate

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset
I added some chocolate chips to mine because chocolate

Trust me on this one.

Decorated with strawberries.



  • 250grams butter or margarine
  • 1 plus 1/2 cup white sugar (add or reduce to your liking)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and dust your baking tin.
  3. In one bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. Seiving the flour and the baking powder together is essential as it helps the leavening agent get incorporated into the flour will. Add the lemon zest.
  4. In a jug, mix together the milk and the lemon juice. It will curdle at this point but it’s fine.
  5. In a second bowl, soften your butter or margarine with your mixer or spatula. Add the sugar and mix until well incorporated. The mixture will turn from yellow and heavy, to a pale white and fluffy texture. This step is important as it dictates the texture that your cake will have.
  6. Add your eggs one at a time to the butter mixture and mix well.
  7. Slowly add your flour and milk mixture into the butter and eggs mix. This should be done alternating so as to incorporate air into the batter and make your cake lighter as opposed to dense. Starting and ending with flour.
  8. Once everything is well incorporated, pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  9. If making cupcakes, divide into 24 cupcake cases and bake for 18-25 minutes.

Do not open oven door before time is done. 

Decorate cake as desired.

*serves 8, or one that is too cold

Name day

The words ……can’t quite escape my lips. 

Is there a single day that is as cherished or longed for as ones birthday? 

Some people consider it as a milestone indicating that one is a year closer to meeting their maker, makers or simply eternal slumber depending on what you adhere to theologically.

  These are the same people who consider celebration of birthdays a thing of the past.

We happen to hold a different view. 

Birthdays are special and deserve to be celebrated.

Ones name day can’t quite be considered to be perfect if it isn’t coloured and centred around one of our mouth watering cake.

We’ll give you something good to celebrate. 

Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.

Buddy Valastro


Cupcakes will always hold a special place in my heart. 

They are moist, easy to finish decorating, and no one will judge you if you have 13 in a row. 

When I started baking, I mainly sold cupcakes, they are good practice. 

Easy for beginners. 

I offer baking lessons, and a select few are at first skeptical with cupcakes until you show them how easy to do they are. 

Once you bake your first batch, the house smells amazing, and the neighbours will definitely want to visit. 

Let’s have cupcakes. Place your orders today. 

I’ve never met a problem a proper cupcake couldn’t fix.

Sarah Ockler

I ruined Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day 2015 did not go how I envisioned it would, neither technically nor literally. I planned to wake early, go to church then come bake my mom a surprise cake.


I woke up at 4a.m, unfortunately not to bake. I was in excruciating pain to the extent I could neither feel nor move my entire right leg. I called my mom, crying. She came rushing in to my room, gave me mild first aid, said a prayer and woke up my brother and dad to help me out of bed and take me to hospital. 

That obviously meant no mother’s day cake. I also had orders for the day but had to give away the orders to trusted bakers, meaning no cake for my mom either.IMG_6265.JPG

Mother’s day is technically the day moms are supposed to take the day off and do nothing, but my mum had to sit with me in hospital for the better part  of the day and come back to take care of me the remainder of the day.


This year things are different. They have to be. Mother’s day will not pass without CAKE! It will both be a general appreciation for her being the mother she is and for always being there when we need her. When I needed her.


My mom loves tea. Like really loves tea. She farms as well, so naturally her favourite colour is green. 

So what better way to surprise her today, than to bake her a custom made teapot for Mother’s Day? I’ll also hand her a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

I wonder how many cups this has?

I woke up early today, She was going to find her goodies before she went to church.

Cupcake Bouquets that is.

My closest Aunties would also be getting their bouquets as well.

They are the best really and so they should.


Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mother’s out there! We appreciate you.