Kenyan Sponge Cake

simple kenyan spongcake

A few weeks ago, my friend (and neighbor) came over at my place for an afternoon tea and a catch up session.

The last time we actually had a decent girly talk and a good heartily laugh was before she had her baby! And hey, that was 9 months ago!! Not that we live far from each other, but we seemed to be too busy with our daily life’s that we didn’t realise how time had passed by quickly.  Of course, we kept in touch through phoning and texting, but that is not the same as tapping it in the air in person after a good gossip.

Since my morning was busy and I happened not to have much time to do a lot of baking, I decided to go for the Kenyan sponge cake for the occasion. This cake happens to be so simple, easy and quick to prepare that it feels like cheating.

What makes the Kenyan sponge cake special is the use of my little exotic friend named Cardamom. Now, if you have never experienced the real taste of cardamom in food, this is just the right occasion to do so.  And I promise, you won’t look at it like you used to before. Cardamom has a very unique taste with an intensely aroma and fragrance and either used in sweet or savory dishes, it captures and delivers the real essence of exotic like no other spice. Though small in size, just a few pods are more than enough to give an ordinary dish that exotic taste.

In the Kenyan cuisine, cardamom is widely used and in some parts like the Kenyan coast and the Island of Lamu, cardamom, the queen of spice, is considered essential to a everyday pot of coffee, Kahawa chungu or tea, and it’s difficult to imagine dishes like biryan, pilau, mahamari and this sponge cake among others, without some cardamom pods nestled among them.

Eggs, cardamon and flour


1 cup flour

¾ cup sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground cardamom powder

4 – 6 cardamom pods, opened (only use the seeds)

A pinch of cinnamon powder

Extras; 1 tablespoon flour and butter for dusting

sponge cake batter in a baking tin


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Add eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix using an electric whisk or a hand mixture until thick and voluminous

In separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients and sift in gently into the egg and sugar mixture. Use a spatula to fold in the flour until there is no more lumps of the flour

Prepare a baking tin by lightly greasing it with butter and dusting it with flour then pour the cake mixture into it

Place it in the oven and back till golden brown ca. 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean

Cool completely on a wire rack before serving

simple kenyan sponge cake



Kaimati – Kenyan Fried Sweet Dumplings 3 Ways

Kaimatis are an indulgent Kenyan Coast specialty where by, gooey dough balls are coated with sensational syrup. In addition to tasting heavenly, they are also extremely easy to make.

In many Households, these delicacies are mostly prepared during the Holy Month of Ramadhan as a dessert or a delightful snack, but they can also be found on the humid streets of the Kenyan Coast as street food anytime of the year.

The first time I tasted Kaimati was when I was 6 years old. I had just came home from school and instead of finding my usual snack ready (coconut biscuits with a glass of milk) there was something new in our wooden bowl. Something have never seen before or rather tasted. The little golden brown dough balls looked extra ordinary harmless, but something in them was telling me; “I-dare-you-can’t-stop-me-at-ONE!

Well I picked one just to try…. what happened next is History!

Why don’t you make some and be the judge! Apart from the plain way of having them, I’ll also show you how to serve them in 3 different ways!!

Kaimati 3 ways

Below is the simple and easy recipe..

Enjoy 😉


1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup natural plain yoghurt

½ cup water

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Ingredients for the Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons ground cardamom

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Grated lemon rids (optional)


In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix very well till the batter becomes sticky

Cover and set aside for 1-2 hours to puff up (can also leave it aside overnight)

resting dough for kaimati

In the meantime, prepare the syrup by;

Adding sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add lemon juice (grated lemon rinds) and cardamom then simmer for about 5-8 minutes or till it’s sticky. The syrup should coat a spoon when ready

Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely

In a wok, heat 2 cups of vegetable oil and using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop dumplings in the hot oil and fry till golden brown

Drop in the ready dumplings in the syrup and coat them for one minute (the longer you leave them the more syrup they’ll absolve hence becoming very sweet)

Voila! Kaimatis are ready!

Another way of enjoying kaimatis is by coating them with powdered sugar

powdered sugar kaimatis

Or with melted chocolate
chocolate kaimatis
I served my 3-way kaimatis with a scoop of coconut ice cream and kahawa chungu!
kaimati 3 ways with coconut ice cream
kaimati 3 ways with coffee
Happy when eating kaimatis and sad when kaimatis are finished…..