Baking in Malawi

So I’m back! I have been way for 10 weeks volunteering in Malawi, I was working with nursery school teachers and setting up a girls’ empowerment group. We were staying with host families in a rural village in the north of the country. I had a amazing time, it was hard work at times but great way to experience the culture of a different country.



girls group

Cooking-wise things were pretty basic, the families cooked for us in their outside kitchens over open fires or charcoal burners. The food in the host homes was simple, beans or meat usually served with rice and there was a town about 15 minutes away on the bus where we could get hold of more western foods. One treat we could get quite easily at the local shop was mandasi. They are like doughnuts and cost 20 Malawian kwacha, which is about 3p! One afternoon I had a mandasi making lesson from Mau, one of the Malawian volunteers.

malawian kitchen

They are very simple to make and will give you a taste of Malawi!






4 cups of plain flour

1 cup of sugar

2 cups of milk

1 egg

4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

vegetable oil to fry

Start by combining all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the egg and the milk. Stir together until you have a thick batter, don’t worry too much about lumps. Pour about 3cm of oil into the bottom of a pan and put it over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, it should sizzle when you add a small amount of the mixture, add large spoonfuls of the batter to the oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side until they are a golden brown colour.




Baking for Malawi

In two weeks time I will be in Malawi, I am going to be taking part in a 10 week volunteer project working with nursery schools in a rural part of Malawi. I am going with an organisation called Lattitude and it’s part of the ICS programme. I’ve had to do some fundraising and what better way to do that than make cake! My parents very kindly let me take over their house to hold a coffee morning and afternoon tea. Lots of people came along and supported me and I ended up raising over £200, thank you! It was great to see so many people and tell them all about what I am going to be doing over in Malawi.


I made cherry cake, lemon and poppy seed loaf, scones, flapjacks and four different types of cupcake (chocolate, vanilla, lemon meringue and bakewell tart)! I didn’t get to take many photos but I thought I’d share the ones I did take   on here, if you want recipes comment below and I will write another post with recipes.


If you would like to find out more about what I am doing in Malawi or donate you can go to my JustGiving page. If you’d like to find out more about ICS click here, my experience of the ICS programme has been great so far and if you are aged 18-25 and want to do some volunteer work I would definitely recommend it.


Bake Off update: no European cake this week I’m afraid because all of my baking time was taken up with the coffee morning and afternoon tea but you can see my Swedish Princess Cake I baked a few weeks ago here. I really enjoyed the pastry episode and I’m hoping to have a go at making kouign amann before this week’s episode. With me going away I’m going to miss the final but I will be baking and blogging up until I go. I don’t think there will be much opportunity for baking when I’m in Malawi so the blog will be taking a break but I will be back just before Christmas.