Mabhanzi recipe

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All of you who are from where I’m from will know exactly what mabhanzi are and will need no introduction.  For those who do not know, they are sweet buns which can be eaten anytime of day with or without a hot or cold drink This is my take on them. I have finally found my ideal recipe. Believe me I have experimented a lot until I have decided to settle on this mabhanzi recipe. These ones are soft and fluffy on the inside and golden brown on top.

NOTE : Oven temperature should be 150 Celsius

I have made some mabhanzi using a few mabhanzi recipes before yet fail when I tried to recreate them. For some reason I just could not recreate my previous mabhanzi recipe so I had to ditch them. The following mabhanzi recipe never lets me down and it is the only mabhanzi recipe I go to over and over again.

This mabhanzi recipe makes 12 big ones or 24 smaller ones. You can also halve the recipe and bake 6 large ones or 12 small ones.


  • 120ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 2 packets yeast (14 grams)
  • 550 grams (4 and 1/4) cups plain flour
  • 300 grams (2 cups and 1/3 cup) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup)sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 350 ml (1 and 1/2 cups) milk
  • 113 grams butter (melted)


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

Mabhanzi : Method

  • Pour the water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it, stir and leave the mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • After the five minutes add the milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter and salt into the yeast mixture. Whisk together
  • Add the flour into the large bowl a cup at a time and mix until all the flour is used up and it begins to form a dough.
  • Using your hands, knead it in the bowl and then tip it onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, can take about 10 minutes.  Put some vegetable oil or flour on your work surface to prevent the buns from sticking.
  • Oil the inside of a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover bowl with cling-film and let it stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 2 hours). The rising time  will vary depending on how warm the place is.
  • Butter and flour a baking tray which is about 33cm (13 inches) by 22 cm (9 inches)
  • Once your dough has risen knock the air out of it and tip it onto a floured surface. Weigh the dough and divide by 24
  • Shape each ball into a bun (mabhanzi) shape and place them on the baking tray.
  • Let them rise again until double in size about 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 150C (ignore video temperature) about 5 minutes before the rising time ends.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes (the times may vary because ovens differ but be on the look out for a golden dark brown top.)
  • Prepare the glaze 2 minutes before the buns are ready by mixing the 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and bringing it to the boil. Remove from the cooker as soon as it starts to boil.
  • Brush the buns with the glaze mixture sugar whilst they are still hot.
  • Loosen the buns with a knife or spatula, around the edges of the baking tray
  • Using another cooling rack, turn the mabhanzi out of the tray so that they cool without having a wet bottom.
  • They can be served warm or at room temperature
  • I hope you find my mabhanzi recipe simple to follow like I do.

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