Fonio coffee cake

Fonio coffee cake

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes, plus overnight chilling time
  • 40 minutes
  • Boplaas Cape Vintage

“This is my go-to dessert that celebrates the African continent. It uses amasi and fonio, an ancient West African grain that adds a crunchy texture to the cake.” – Lipato Shogole


  • 250 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 100 g fonio
  • 120 g flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3⁄4 cup milk
  • For the coffee syrup:
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • salt a pinch
  • For the strained amasi:
  • 4 cups full-cream amasi

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, smooth and airy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the coffee. The mixture may split slightly but don’t panic – it all comes together in the end.

2 Gently stir in the fonio. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through using a spatula. Stir in the milk. Grease a 24 cm loaf tin well.

3. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before slicing thickly.

4. To make the coffee syrup, place the coffee, sugar and salt in a saucepan
and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring a few times, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Cook to make a thickish syrup. Allow to cool.

5. To make the amasi, place a piece of muslin cloth over the top of a bucket, securing it with clothes pegs. Pour in the amasi and place the bucket in the fridge overnight. Once strained, dollop over the cake and drizzle with the coffee syrup.

Find more cake recipes here.

Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Khanya Mzongwana

Lipato Shogole Recipe by: Lipato Shogole
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Lipato Shogole is a food activist and the co-founder of Ukutya, a Gqebera-born Sunday lunch club that serves indigenous menus and innovative remixes using traditional dishes. Lipato's latest project Hae Mahaeng is based in the Eastern Cape and focuses on community and food.

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