Tamarind Tree Hotel, Nairobi ushers in the festive season in style
By Thorn Mulli
Tamarind chefs (From Left) Justus-Mulei, Robai Wamoto, Ronald Musee and Reuben Masinde during the cake mixing ceremony. [David Gichuru]]

It might be the worst year in recent history thanks to the raging Covid-19 pandemic, but there are always more reasons to be grateful and forge on. Cake-mixing is a harbinger of good tidings and happiness so to celebrate our resilience and usher in the festive season, Tamarind Tree held a spectacular cake mixing ceremony on November 12, 2020.

Tamarind Tree Hotel Chef, Gabriel Ngugi, leads fellow staff in a cake mixing session. [David Gichuru]

Christmas is no fun without the traditional Christmas cake. To mark the birth of Jesus Christ, swanky hotels organise cake-mixing ceremonies to spread the warmth of the festive season. It is a pickling process, sort of, when the mixed ingredients are allowed to marinate for 40 days before baking can begin. The ingredients include dry fruits and nuts like apricots, raisins, black currants fused with brandy, rum, wine, and whiskey

General Manager JohnMusau and Executive Chef Robai Wamoto all smiles during the ceremony that ushers in the festive period. [David Gichuru]

According to Tamarind Tree Hotel General Manager, John Musau, the stirring ceremony is part of an age-old Christmas tradition of cake mixing and making wishes for the New Year. Cake mixing dates back to 17th century in Europe where it marked the arrival of the harvest season. During this time, lots of fruits and nuts were harvested and used in the making of the traditional plum cake. The ingredients of the festive fruit cake are mixed with wine and liquor in advance so that the ingredients can develop aroma and taste. Originally a family affair, it is for many years celebrated within organisations to spread camaraderie and goodwill.

Radio Maisha presenter, Mwende Macharia, joins Tamarind Tree Hotel staff in the annual cake mixing ceremony. [David Gichuru]

 “This ceremony marks the beginning of the festive season. With the Covid-19 situation the world is tackling, we aim to put hope and life in our clients, friends, family and colleagues urging them to go out and celebrate while, obviously, observing the laid down protocols. The baked cake will be shared out with the less fortunate in the community, our clients and our staff to celebrate Christmas. Watch out for special festive deals for accommodation, lunch or dinner at Tamarind Tree Hotel”, Tamarind Tree Hotel John Musau explained.

Tamarind Tree Hotel Executive Chef, Robai Wamoto was kind enough to share the ingredients with Travelog for you to try at home. Customise the measure to your needs.

Mixing recipe for a 52.75kg cake


Sultanas 5kgs

Raising 7.5kgs

Cranberry 3kgs

Black berries 2kgs

Red Cherries 9kgs

Green Cherries 4kgs

Mixed peels 4kgs

Almond whole 3kgs

Almond Whole 3kg

Cashew nuts 4kgs

Macadamia 5.25kg

Walnuts 3kgs


Jameson 1.5lts

Bacardi 1.5ltrs

Viceroy 1.5ltrs

Malibu 1.4ltrs

Captain Morgan Rum 3ltrs

Vodka 2ltrs

Myers Rum 2ltrs

Gilbeys gin 0.75mls

Bombay gin1ltr

K. W. V Ruby 1.5ltrs

Red Wine 3ltrs

Kenya Cane 1.5ltrs

White Wine 0.75mls




Cinnamon 0.29grms

Nutmeg 0.39grms

Honey 3ltrs

Decanted coconut 1kg