Rice Cake (Macsharo)

This recipe allows you to have your gluten free and dairy free cake and eat it too!  In Somali, we call the cake macsharo.  In Swahili it is called mkate wa sinia, which means ‘bread of the platter’ because it is traditionally made using a large platter called sinia.

Serve warm. If eating later, warm the cake to soften the rice and enhance the flavours. This moist cake is absolutely delicious with a cup of spicy Somali shaah.

Incidentally, this same recipe can be used to make macsharo yariis (mini rice cakes) or golden pancakes called vibibi.

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Rice Cake (Macsharo)

Recipe by:


2 cups basmati rice (soak overnight)
¾ cup coconut powder (the Maggi brand is the most similar to freshly grated coconut)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp plain flour (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 – 1 ¼ cup water (substitute milk for water for a softer cake)


1. Blend all the ingredients together to a smooth batter.
2. Add ¼ cup water if the mixture looks too thick. You need a pancake like consistency. Let the batter rest until it doubles in size. This should take about an hour or so.
3. Brush oil over a baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes (180 degree Celsius fan forced oven = 400 degree Fahrenheit) or until golden brown at the top.
4. Remove from the oven, cool and cut into pieces for serving.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 - 10 people

12 Responses to “Rice Cake (Macsharo)”

  1. zamsam

    thanks for the instructions, i would appriciate a video tutorial for it


  2. the lady

    can I use the coconut milk instead of the powder?

  3. Katie

    Is the rice cooked? Or is it uncooked?

  4. Asha

    Salaams, thanks for the recipes. How many degrees or Fahrenheit should one use while baking in the oven?

    • Somali Kitchen

      Hi Asha, it is 180 degree Celsius fan forced oven = 400 degree Fahrenheit. This may vary depending on your oven. The best thing to do is to keep the oven moderately hot and check after 25 minutes to see if you have good colour and firmness and adjust timing to suit.

  5. Hu

    Hi, if I use coconut milk – should I omit the water then or split it with the required water amount? (2 cups water + 1/4 coconut milk). Also, are coconut flakes suitable or is there actually finer consistency like powder?

    • Somali Kitchen

      Best to use coconut milk which you can get in a can. Alternatively, you can use coconut powder and mix with water to make enough milk. Traditionally, we squeeze out the milk from freshly ground coconut but takes time to get right.


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