Mkate wa Sinia (Rice and Coconut Cake)

Servings : Two 6" cakes or One big cake

This is a Mombasa delicacy which tastes wonderfully with tea especially in Ramadhan…anyone who's been to East Africa will probably know this dish, it's a delicious soft cake that has a wonderful silky sieve-like texture and tastes exotic and amazing.


  • 1 1/2 cups rice (the thick and stubby, broken pieces kind of rice is preferable)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar (you can use half cup if you want less sweetness)
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp. margarine/butter
  • cardamom powder
  • small non-stick frying pan (about 6 inches)


For serving, I prefer to make 2 small 6" cakes rather than on large.

Soak the rice overnight or for at least 5-6 hours

Drain the rice and pour half of it into the blender. Add the yeast and cardamom powder, half of the heavy coconut milk and half of the light coconut milk then add the remaining rice n the remaining milk so that the yeast and cardamon stays in between the layers of rice.

Grind for about 5mins, stopping at intervals.

For step by step instructions, please click HERE.

Pour out the mixture, stir it with a wooden spoon and then pour it back into the blender and grind again for another 5mins. This makes sure that the rice is completely smooth.

Pour into an airtight container, cover tightly and let it sit for about 20mins to half an hour. The mixture will have risen to about double the original amount.

Pour in the sugar and stir it in thoroughly until it all dissolves. You can stir it in with your hand or a wooden spoon, avoid using metal spoon.

Once you're sure that the sugar is completely dissolved, melt the 1tbsp of margarine in the frying pan you will be using to make the cake and pour this margarine into your mixture. Stir again with a wooden spoon.

Pour half the mixture into the hot frying pan, lower the heat to just below medium and cover the pan. If you have 2 same size frying pans then u can do both at the same time. If not you can make the second cake once the first one is done! Turn on the grill in your oven to maximum so that it gets ready for browning the top of the cake once it's done cooking on the stove. Keep checking your cake every so often. Once the top of it has dried and looks firm, put the frying pan under the grill to brown the top. Make sure you protect the handle of your frying pan by covering it completely with foil so that it doesn't melt in the oven.

Once done to a nice golden brown color, let it cool a bit before removing gently from the pan. Do not be tempted to cut into it until it is quite cool to the touch otherwise it will be a gooey mess.

You can then use the same pan to make the 2nd one.


47 thoughts on “Mkate wa Sinia (Rice and Coconut Cake)
47 Replies

Leave a Reply