Sweet & Soft Mandazi Bites Recipe: Literally Bite Sized

19 June 2023|Nairobi Fast Food & Snacks


Sweet Mandazi Bites
Sweet Mandazi Bites

Mandazi Bites, also known as mini mandazis are sweet, soft and  doughy treats that you cant have enough of, golden brown in exterior, slightly dense, but smooth, fluffy and pillow-ey on the inside like clouds.

These delicious bites are mostly prepacked and sold as a snack in Kenyan supermarkets by almost every major commercial bakery. They come in a variety of flavors; vanilla, banana, pineapple, milk, coconut, lemon and more. I say “and more” whenever i run out of examples.

In summary, any flavor or essences known to mankind will pair well with mandazi bites. Feel free to experiment. In this post we will be trying out lemon flavored bites, made at home. These mini mandazis are different from the classic ordinary mandazis, not only in size but also in sweetness and flavor intensity.

You can make mandazi bites without eggs and milk and everything will turn out just fine. However milk help with the softness factor and would be recommended if your mandazis turn out hard and dry. The other reason for dry mandazis is using excess flour. Note that yeast is not required in mandazi making

If you don’t want to use baking powder, you can use bicarbonate of soda(baking soda). For this case use half the amount of bicarbonate that you would have used for baking powder. 


Serves: 2      Cuisine: African(Kenyan)    Course: Snack      Total Time: < 30 minutes

  •  2 cups, Self Raising Flour
  •  1 cup, Hot Water
  •  1/4 cup, Sugar 
  •  1/2 cup, Milk (OPTIONAL)
  •  1/2 tsp, Cardamon or Cinnamon Powder(OPTIONAL)
  • 1/4 cup, Melted Butter(OPTIONAL)
  •  1/4 tbs, Lemon Essence(OPTIONAL), you can use fresh lemon juice instead or skip both 
  •  Lemon Juice from half a lemon(OPTIONAL)


  1. Begin by clearing your kitchen counters of all distractions, put on your chefs hat for extra points and confidence. Gather all the ingredients you are going to use, feel free to skip on the optional ones.
  2. In an absolute unit of a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them till everything is distributed evenly. Meanwhile warm your milk or water and in a separate jar, mix the liquid ingredients till homogeneous.
  3. Slowly pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture gently while stirring to incorporate everything, proceed to hand knead or use a hand mixer, till the dough is perfect, not sticky, but cohesive.This takes like 10 minutes
  4. Cover the mandazi dough in a bowl with a cling film and rest for at least 15 minutes
  5. Proceed to knead your dough for a good 5 minutes like a professional masseuse  then roll out to a circle or disk maintaining a thickness of 1/2”
  6. Once your dough is evenly rolled out, cut into any shape you want but maintain the small bite size, just go square for simplicity; life is too short for fancy shapes. Cut the dough along into strips and then across to form the square or triangles, make parallelograms and rhombuses if you please
  7. Add oil to about 1/4 full of your saucepan or sufuria, bring it to temperature then add your dough pieces in, reduce heat to low and cook till golden brown
  8. Once done, remove the bits from the oil and drain in a paper towel or in a draining rack. Optionally, sprinkle powdered sugar if you want extra sweetness and serve. Take pictures for Instagram and Snapchat stories; for your bragging rights
Sweet Mandazi Bites, Lemon Flavored
Sweet Mandazi Bites, Lemon Flavored


  1. You don’t necessarily need self raising flour, mandazi flour works equally good. You can even use all purpose flour but then you will need to add 1tsp of baking powder to the 2 cups of flour. It is good practice to sieve your flour for even smoother mandazi bites. Don’t use yeast for mandazi, you will end up with mahamri instead.
  2. Milk adds creamy richness so you can swap out water and use milk entirely, or if you don’t have milk, use just water, or use half of each like i did here. 
  3. Add any essence of your choice, vanilla, pineapple or whatever, don’t add too much of that. We want subtle flavors; and too much will overpower other tastes or even make the mandazi bites bitter.
  4. We mix dry ingredients separately for even distribution of ingredients, you don’t want a dough that is sweet in one bite and mild tasteless on the other bite. This helps in even concentration, mitigating lumping and blending flavors. 
  5. For the spices, Cardamon and Cinnamon use either or use half of each. You can add Nutmeg(kukumanga) for a more complex flavor, be mindful and use like a pinch-ful tho
  6. To know if your oil is ready drop a piece, if it starts bubbling instantly, then you are good
  7. If you want more color, deep fry longer but you risk burning your bites here, i know mine turned out pale but i love then that way
  8. Now for storage, store your mandazi bites in an air tight container or a plastic bag to preserve moisture and prevent drying out resulting to hardness. Your mandazis will keep just fine on the countertop for upto 2 days, or in the fridge for upto 4 days
  9. You can prepare your mandazi dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight or upto 12 hours and it will be just fine, just make sure it is covered with a cling film to prevent drying out

Nutritional Information

Per 2 Serving

Calories 571 

% Daily Value* 

Total Fat 48g 62% Saturated Fat 29.1g 145% Cholesterol 128mg 43% Sodium 408mg 18% Total Carbohydrate 250.8g 91% Dietary Fiber 6.8g 24% Total Sugars 59.7g   Protein 34.3g   

Vitamin D 29mcg 146% Calcium 340mg 26% Iron 12mg 65% Potassium 420mg 9%


The  nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary based on  ingredients, cooking methodology, and quantities used. This should only  be used for informational purposes and not for dietary advice. 

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Now that you’ve mastered the cooking, enjoy your well-deserved mandazi bites you can’t forget to emphasize the importance of a chef’s hat  and the unlimited power of a kneaded dough. 

2Kg of flour will generally make you at least 200 mini mandazi bites. Add margarine or butter to your dough if you want even extra soft mandazis. For margarine Prestige brand is recommended but if you have Blueband, it works as well

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