Food & Drinks

Christmas Cake for the Season


Guests prepare ingredients during the Annual Christmas Cake Mixing ceremony at White Rhino Hotel in Nyeri town. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU


  • Cake mixing is an age old tradition celebrating the harvest, just as the Christmas season sets in.

Decorative holiday lights and Christmas trees adorning buildings are screaming that it is December and the festive mood is setting in.

As such, hoteliers are capturing the spirit of Christmas through various activities to set the mood.

At White Rhino Hotel in Nyeri town, guests were treated to the annual Cake mixing tradition. It is a fairly uncommon tradition in the country, with only a handful of hotels celebrating the cake-mixing ceremony.

It dates back to the 17th century, and it usually marked the start of the harvest season.
Tables on the sixth floor of white Rhino were decorated with cake ingredients neatly arranged to form Christmas trees. As the red roses in white vases and white palms in clear vases brightened the room and gave it a homely feel.

“I think there was no better way to celebrate the start of this holiday than to have our guests take part in the Cake mixing. They had a lot of fun,” posed the hotel’s manager Michael Muturi.

The hour long session began with lead Chef Paul Kimingi handing out aprons and gloves to all in attendance. The guests were then divided into three groups, ensuring those who arrived together were not in the same team.

Next was the identifying of ingredients on the table followed by mixing. The ingredients included cashews, almonds and assorted dry fruits like red and green cherries and varieties of raisins.

After the fruits were properly mixed and put in clear bowls, the grounded spices were sprinkled on top.

Guests were then handed wine served in glasses, not for drinking but surprisingly, for pouring into the fruit and spice mix. Followed by addition of liqour and fruit juice.

“The cake we will cook from the mixture will be totally different from the normal cake you bale. We are walking into a season of happiness and the beauty of meal is sharing it together,” said Chef Kimingi.

Everyone got their hands dirty blending the mixture with their fingers. The aroma off fruit and spice in the air tantalising the tastebuds, tempting all to have a taste before the baking even began.

“It is simply process. First you gather the ingredients, mix them and then add alcohol. You give the mixture about three weeks to soak,” he explained.

The mixture will be used to bake cake for the holiday season.