mandazis: a kenyan recipe

Hey everyone!

In Kenya one special treat to eat is called, Mandazis. The best way for us Americans to wrap our heads around it is to picture a cross between a funnel cake and a donut. Mandazis are a special sweet to our kids in Kenya that is usually only had on special occasions or if they have any extra pocket money they love to get one of these. Since we have been in quarantine new recipes have been popping up all over the place in our house so thought I would roll up my sleeves and see if I could take a stab at making some of these.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and let me tell you they were INCREDIBLE!!! So worth it and a really fun way to incorporate baking and introducing a different culture at home with something you and your kids will LOVE!


Follow these easy steps with photos or you can scroll to very bottom for the ingredients + recipe altogether! Enjoy!

  • Mix 5 cups of all purpose flour and 3/4 cups of sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Toss in 1 teaspoon of yeast and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. I used fast rising yeast but you can use whatever you have on hand. If you don’t have yeast just add in 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

  • Put 3 tablespoons of butter in. I used the Country Crock butter I had because it was a bit softer than stick butter but use what you got! Mix it into flour and get as even into there as you can. I used my hands to mix it in there real good and even.

  • Pour 1 cup of milk in slowly as you keep mixing. I only had skim milk because of a shortage at grocery so I added just a dash of cream to my milk to get it a little thicker.
  • Kneed the flour till it comes together. I started to do this with my hands and it was so sticky so be sure to flour your surface and your hands as you work the dough. I also ended up adding maybe half a cup of water to my dough because it needed a little more liquid to smooth out and come together. This took me about 10 minutes.

  • After it’s smooth/soft–leave in a large bowl. I sprayed my bowl lightly with cooking spray and covered the top of bowl with plastic wrap that I also sprayed with cooking oil. Some use a towel. You don’t want dough to dry out but whatever works for ya!
  • Leave alone to rise for min of 1 hour. I came back to mine 3 hours later.

  • Lightly flour a surface + your hands. Pull out your dough from the bowl. Tear off chunks to make balls that you will roll out to be about 1/4 inch thick then cut into 4 triangles, the size of triangles really doesn’t matter. I laid my cut out dough out on a greased surface near where I would fry them so they didn’t get stuck to the surface and so I could get them in fast because they cook quick! On other side of cast iron skillet I had another cookie sheet or whatever you have lined with paper towels ready to catch the cooked mandazis.

  • Fry them up! I used cast iron skillet with oil on medium heat. Try to get oil around 365. Don’t let them touch each other. Don’t let oil get too hot because it will burn outside and not cook inside. I used my meat thermometer (cleaned of course) to monitor oil temp to be sureI didn’t scorch them.
  • As soon as they starting puffing up in the oil and browning a bit- I would flip them. About 1 minute each side depending on how thick your triangles are- sometimes it would be a little more or less time or I would flip them a few times.

  • Let them drain and cool on paper towel and I lightly sprinkled salt on the fresh cooked onees. VERY LIGHT sprinkle because you will top with powdered sugar.

  • Top with powdered sugar! I poured mine through a strainer I had to get this look in the picture!

  • Last step- ENJOY!!