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Jugu cake cookie from Tanzania

Posted by on 28 April, 2018
Jugu cake cookie Tanzanie

Jugu cake cookie from Tanzania

This traditional jugu cake cookie from Tanzania is very similar to Italian biscotti. The word jugu means nut in Kiswahili and peanuts are the most important ingredient in this recipe. The peanut was probably brought to Tanzania from South America by the Portuguese and thrives well in the tropical climate. The peanut is not really a nut but a legume and grows underground. In Tanzania, this nutritious ‘groundnut’ is used in both sweet and savory dishes. Foreign influence has always been strong along the east coast of Africa. Arabs, Persians, Indians, Portuguese, the British and the Germans left their mark in all sorts of ways, including new ingredients and cooking techniques. How this Italian-style double baked cookie ended up in Tanzania is not exactly clear, but you can find it almost everywhere nowadays. The cookie is usually baked twice, but you can also find it baked only once resulting in a softer more cakey bite. I like the crunchy version best as it is perfect for dunking!





Jugu cake cookie

jugu cake cookie tanzania


For ± 30 cookies

165 g (1½ cups) unsalted,  peanuts
300 g (2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking powder
200 g (1 cup) sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
30 ml (¼ cup) peanut oil or sunflower oil
100 ml (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp) milk






jugu cake cookie Tanzania

chop the peanuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Chop half the peanuts coarsely and the other half finely.







jugu cake cookie Tanzania

the dry ingredients



In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and peanuts with a pinch of salt.






jugu cake cookie Tanzania

mix in egg, vanilla, oil and milk




Mix in the egg, vanilla extract,  oil and the milk.





egg with the vanilla extract, the oil and the milk

a soft dough






Quickly form into a soft dough. Add some flour if the dough is very sticky or some milk if the dough is too dry.




jugu cake cookie tanzania

two logs





Form logs of the dough (2½ cm/1 inch thick and 5 cm/2 inch wide) and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Leave some room for them to spread.



jugu cake cookie Tanzania




Bake 35-45 min. or until golden brown.




jugu cake cookie Tanzania

cool and cut





Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into slices of ± 1½ cm/½ inch thick.






jugu cake cookie Tanzania

spread out cut side up

Put them back on the baking sheet with a cut edge facing up. You might need an extra baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F and bake the cookies for another 15-20 min. Take from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

This post is also available in: Dutch

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