Fried Half Cake

One of my friends who works at a local orphanage asked if I would be willing to cover for her and teach bible studies to the kids while she is in the states. I agreed to go along with her this week and see what she does and meet the kids. Bible study was great, but I quickly found myself distracted with a wonderful aroma coming from the little kitchen.

Below are pictures showing how to make half cake or a very sweet form of mandazi. Because most Kenyans do not have ovens, they have a creative way of frying batters to create breads and cakes. The charcoal grill below is called a jiko. It is the most common type of stove and is used to fry these sweet treats. I wasn’t able to catch the exact recipe, but I believe it is a sugar cookie made from self rising flour and a touch of milk.

8 Responses to Fried Half Cake

  1. LM says:

    Roll them in a little sugar and cinnamon and you have a doughnut~maybe. It makes me want to go look at your cooking blog. Love,Lilly

  2. Rebecca says:

    How fun, bet they are delicious. It sounds like there are a lot of orphanages in Kenya. I’m glad you can work with the little children again.

    • elizabeth says:

      Yes, it is very nice having many friends that own different orphanages. I’m saddened I didn’t spend time with them before I left Mattaw!

  3. Dave 107 says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I haven’t written much but I enjoy your site. So glad that things are looking up for you there. Those cookies look fantastic. I’ll bet the kids line up pretty quick when there done. What kind of oil do they use? All the best, Dave

    • elizabeth says:

      Yes, all the kids were lining up for samples. Not only were they frying cake but also roasting peanuts.

      They used vegetable fat (like Crisco) for the frying.

  4. Janet Chari says:

    Hi Elizabeth. Thank you for the work you do, in kenya. Am a kenyan. The half cakes are very delicious and are used for breakfast or tea time in the evening, very easy and cheap to cook hence most large households prefer them. The recipe is simple, flour, either all purpose or self raising, milk if available but water can be used instead, sugar, oil or margarine, baking powder. Others add an egg too. mix flour, sugar,oil,margarine,baking powder till no lumps. If using egg,add to milk, then add to flour, knead well. If just water, knead well,. Cover dough for 30min. Roll dough, cut to shapes,cook in hot oil.

  5. Kelli Taylor says:

    I love this I am a wazungu/white person who recently became a part of a Kenyan family. One of my family loves to tell storied and was raving about half cake and how they would offer to do just about anything for just one half cake. I can hear him tell it in my head now. (:

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