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



39 thoughts on “Kenyan Sponge Cake

  1. That is refreshing. We use cardamon and cinnamon to cook things like rice and curry in Malaysia. Never thought of incorporate into cakes. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. admin

      You are welcome KP Kwan,
      Try it and you’ll be surprised how cardamom plays it’s part on this cake!
      Happy Cooking.

    1. admin

      Hello Monica,
      There is no need for any rising agent and no, the flour is not self raising, just the normal one.
      Happy Cooking.

  2. hello
    I m from India….
    actually there is a competition in my school where we have to make kenyan food….
    Can u suggest me some good n simple things that can be made..?

    1. admin

      Hello Mercy,
      There are no Liquids involved in this cake. Check the ingredients list.
      Happy Cooking.

  3. I’m gonna try to bake it this week, for my boyfriend, he’s indian from Kenya 🙂 I hope he will like it 🙂

  4. Looks beautiful! But what do you do with the seeds from the cardamon pods? I’d like to make the cake for my Sunday school children who are learning about Kenya.

  5. Hi,so easy and yummy looking!
    Can i do it without cardamom pods where i live is difficult to get it.

  6. Hi, my son would like to make this cake for his homework 🙂

    Sorry, but which flour is it? I know you’ve said you don’t use self raising, just normal. Does that mean plain flour? Sorry, I’m no great cook!

    Thank you.

    1. admin

      Hello Pamela,
      Yes plain flour is also what I use.

      All the best to your son on his homework.

      Happy Baking.

  7. Compliments…I wish to get your recipe in book let for,inquiring if possible. Rgds,Boniface

    1. admin

      Hello Boniface,
      Thank you for the compliments.
      I have an e-book with over 30 best of Kenyan recipes. Please check on main page.
      You can also subscribe with your email address for notification once a new recipe has been published!
      Best Regards and Happy Cooking..

    1. admin

      Hello Dee
      you can use any pan in any shape.
      All the best at the school project..

  8. Hi, if I can’t find cardamon seeds, can I use the ground version? If so, how much?

  9. Thanks so much for this recipe. My son baked this cake to offer with his school’s “World’s Fair” presentation on Kenya. He served over a hundred people, and everyone loved it!

    1. admin

      Hello Sarahjane
      Thank you to too for the feedback!
      Glad to hear people loved it.

      Best regards.

  10. Do you think it would be ok to double the ingredients and then bake it in a 9 by 13 inch pan? Or would it be better to bake 2 cakes? Can’t wait to try it.

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