Kid-friendly Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

Recipe: Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Marharyta Kovalenko/
prep time
30 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

Honey + Rwanda!

"Muraho" (moo-rah-HO) or "Hello" in the Kinyarwanda language! With this recipe, we'll learn all about the amazingness of two things on Earth: honey and the country of Rwanda. Honey is incredible. Did you know it has an indefinite shelf life? Honey is the world's most ancient food, and insects make it! Honey is so tasty and so good for you! It has carbohydrates, water, and some protein. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. If you have a wound, you can apply medical-grade honey, or MediHoney bandages, to the inflamed area. Change the dressing daily, and it will assist in the healing process.

Wounds can come in all forms. In 1994 a horrific genocide in Rwanda began that killed 500,000 to 1,000,000 people. It left ten times more widows than widowers, making women an integral part of its recovery. Empowering Rwandan women to support themselves and gain essential skills for life, and as a way to get nutritious, protein-packed baked goods to local people, women opened bakeries in small rural villages. This story of rising through the ashes by way of empowerment, belief, and the gift of food is a beautiful example of the resiliency of the human spirit (just as bread rises in the oven under scorching heat). Food is our common language—a common ground—and the way we can connect as fellow humans no matter where in the world we live. Food allows us to learn, engage, share, and imagine we've traveled to a faraway place by tasting what the people of that place have tasted. Your kid chefs will enjoy traveling to Rwanda by cooking this delicious, traditional African spiced, sweet honey bread. There is no reason not to make this at home with your kids; they shake up the fresh butter and blend milkshakes as the bread bakes! Here's to the incredible food and incredible women of the world!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • knead :

    to work dough by pushing, pulling, and folding it by hand or with a stand mixer.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Dishtowel (clean)
  • Muffin pan
  • Pastry brush


Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T warm water—more info below)**
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/2 T ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C warm whole milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 3 C all purpose flour + more for dusting **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

  • Egg: For 1 egg, substitute 1 T of ground flaxseed soaked in 3 T of warm water for 5 min or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk for whole milk.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour.


Rwandan Spiced Honey Bread

preheat + combine + rest

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Combine 1 active dry yeast packet and 3/4 cup of lukewarm water in a large bowl. Let the yeast and water sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, stir and set aside to sit for another 10 minutes.

crack + whisk + mix

Crack 1 egg into a large bowl. Then add 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 tablespoon coriander, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk everything together. Next, add 1/2 cup milk, 4 tablespoons oil, and the yeast and water mixture and mix again until well combined.

add + stir

Little by little, add 3 cups of flour until the dough comes together. You want the dough to be soft, light, and not too wet, but you may not need all of your flour, so add it slowly. You may also need a bit more flour, so feel free to add as much as needed until the dough comes together.

knead + rest

Coat your hands in flour and turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and springy. After about 5 minutes of kneading, set the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a dishtowel to let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

brush + roll + bake

Brush the wells of a muffin pan with oil. Pinch off 3 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll by hand into a ball, and place into oiled muffin pan wells. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the dough has cooked through. Enjoy with a smear of Whipped Honey Butter!

Surprise Ingredient: Honey!

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Photo by Jag_cz/

Hi! I'm Honey!

"I'm a golden, thick, naturally sweet liquid made by honeybees! My flavor varies depending on the particular flower nectar that bees carry home to their hive. Did you know I can last indefinitely? That's forever! Try squeezing or dribbling me into tea, on biscuits, toast, or fruit, and add me to desserts."   

  • Honeybees make honey—they are one of the world's insects that makes food people can eat. An average bee makes about one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey during its whole life.
  • In Spain, an 8,000-year-old cave painting in the Cuevas de la Araña (Spider Caves) depicts a person gathering honey from a beehive. 
  • Egyptian hieroglyphs record the practice of beekeeping in ancient Egypt and honey's use as a sweetener and as a soothing ointment for wounds. Egyptians also buried their dead with honey or used it in mummification.
  • Ancient Greece had its beekeepers, and references to honey also appear in ancient Indian and Israelite texts.
  • Honey has an indefinite shelf life—it can last forever if well stored because it has natural preservatives. It may crystallize eventually, but the crystals will melt if you warm it by putting the jar in a bowl or pot of hot water or in the microwave on low power. 
  • People initially used honey as a culinary sweetener but now recognize it as a healing ingredient in medicinal treatment. For example, honey can help soothe a cough or sore throat and heal burns or cuts on your skin. 
  • Eating local honey, made from bees living in the same area where you live, may help you build up a resistance to pollen, thereby reducing your allergies. However, there is not sufficient evidence for this. 
  • Infants do not yet have any resistance to the bacteria in honey, so keep it out of their diet until they are over one year old. 
  • Honey consists primarily of fructose and other natural sugars and has insignificant amounts of vitamins and minerals, so it is wise to limit your honey intake as you do with other sugars. 
  • Honey soaks up moisture rapidly. To make cake and cookies last longer and retain their moistness, substitute half of the sugar in a recipe with honey.

Let's Learn About Rwanda!

Photo by sifkigali/
  • The country's official name is The Republic of Rwanda. It is a small, landlocked country in Central Africa, in the African Great Lakes region, and is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
  • Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Its total area is 10,169 square miles, and its population is close to 13 million. 
  • Rwanda's nickname is Land of A Thousand Hills because the whole country is at a high elevation. The lowest point in the country is the Rusizi River at 3,117 feet, and the highest is Mount Karisimbi at 14,787 feet.
  • Rwanda has two dominating seasons: wet and dry, with a temperate to subtropical climate.
  • Rwanda is home to a very large and beautiful freshwater lake called Lake Kiva, which sits on top of a volcano. The volcano releases gasses that are used for energy. 
  • Kinyarwanda is the language spoken by most Rwandans; however, you may also hear Swahili, French, and English.
  • The capital of Rwanda is Kigali, located roughly in the center of the country, and is home to a vibrant arts scene, cafes with some of the best coffee in East Africa, and tons of creative start-up companies. 
  • Also in Kigali is the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which tells the story of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi people by the Rwandan government. The wounds from this painful point in history are still healing, so much so that it is encouraged to avoid asking a Rwandan their ethnicity. 
  • Most people in Rwanda earn money by farming, and tea, coffee, and cotton are major exports.
  • Coffee is a significant export and source of income for Rwanda, and most locals do not drink the higher-quality, exported coffee. However, a handful of fair-trade cafes are changing that by roasting beans grown by local female farmers.
  • The Women's Bakery is an organization that trained women in Rwanda to become bakers and taught them how to run a bakery business. Since 2015, there are now three successful woman-run bakeries in the country, including their flagship store in Kigali. Product ingredients are locally sourced, so the bakeries also benefit the community.
  • Typical dishes that Rwandans eat are "ugali," a porridge made with maize and water; "isombe," a stew made with cassava leaves, tomatoes, onions, peanut butter, and seasonings; and brochettes, skewered and barbecued chunks of meat (goat or beef), served with grilled bananas. 
  • Also, people who live near one of the lakes in Rwanda often catch and eat "tilapia," an African freshwater fish.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Rwanda?

  • Many children live in rural Rwanda, although some also live in the cities. Kids are required to wear uniforms to school, and they often have to do chores before and after school. 
  • In rural areas, an important task kids often do after school is to walk or bike to a central place in their community, fill a large container with water, and take it home to their families.
  • In the first three years of primary school, kids learn in their native Kinyarwanda language. After that, classes are taught in English.
  • Rwandan kids may participate in the following sports: football (soccer), volleyball, basketball, athletics (track and field), cricket, and cycling.
  • A typical breakfast is a porridge and bread. Lunch or dinner may consist of beans and rice with potatoes or "ubugari," a porridge made with cassava or maize flour. For a snack, kids may eat "mizuzu," deep-fried plantain chips, or "mandazi," fried dough similar to a beignet but shaped into a triangle shape. 

Lettuce Joke Around

Why did the honeybee go to the barbershop? 

To get a buzz-cut!

THYME for a Laugh

Why do bees have sticky hair?

Because they use a honeycomb!

That's Berry Funny

Who is the honeybee’s favorite singer?


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