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Spiced Kenyan Donuts (Mandazi)

Mandazi are delicious, crispy and fluffy Kenyan donuts, perfumed with cardamom and laden with coconutty richness. Enjoy with tea, coffee, or just on their own! 

mandazi spiced kenyan donuts

My mum was born in Kenya, so as a celebration of Kenyan street food I decided to make these delicious Kenyan spiced donuts, or mandazi. Many African countries have a variation on these street snacks, and you’ll find different flavourings, toppings and shapes throughout the continent.

Mandazi look very much like vetkoek or donuts, but are made with coconut milk, shredded coconut and cardamom. Yes, they do taste as good as they sound. Sweet, gently spiced and utterly addictive. Give them a try!

There’s really something special about sharing our unique (South) African flavours and culinary heritage. If you haven’t yet tried my South African pumpkin donuts, make sure that you do! They’re indulgent, sweet and fragrant. Perfect for teatime. 

View the cook-along video here and if you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this gluten-free?

We haven’t tested this with GF flour as yet, so if you make this using gluten-free substitutes, do let us know in the comments! 

How do I know when my donuts are done?

When properly cooked through, your donuts should float to the surface and appear golden and puffy.

Can I store the donuts?

Ideally, these should be eaten on the same day they are made – preferably warm! If you do need to store them, you can pop leftovers into an airtight container on the day you made them. For longer-term storage, freeze the mandazi flat in Ziploc bags, then thaw on the counter when you’re ready for a snack!


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mandazi spiced kenyan donuts

Spiced Kenyan Donuts (Mandazi)

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 20 Donuts
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Mandazi are delicious, crispy and fluffy Kenyan donuts, perfumed with cardamom and laden with coconutty richness. Enjoy with tea, coffee, or just on their own! 


  • 230g cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 8g instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 75ml coconut cream
  • 35g butter
  • 1/8 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 23 Tbsp water


  1. Add wet ingredients to a bowl and mix together until combined.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead the dough together until soft and sticky, then cover with a cloth and leave to prove for 1-2 hours.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut into squares.
  5. Drop the mandazi into oil preheated to 170 degrees celsius, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.
  6. Drain on paper towel, then dust liberally with icing sugar and serve!
  • Prep Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: African


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 77.48kcal
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 52.49mg
  • Fat: 2.57g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.75g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0,69g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.12g
  • Fiber: 0.26g
  • Protein: 1.34g
  • Cholesterol: 11.95mg

Keywords: Spiced Kenyan Donuts (Mandazi)

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