Try chef Zakhele Ndlozi’s raspberry cinnamon brioche cake to spruce up your Easter spread

Zakhele Ndlozi’s raspberry cinnamon brioche cake. Picture: Supplied

Zakhele Ndlozi’s raspberry cinnamon brioche cake. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 25, 2024


This Easter weekend you might like to sprinkle the festivities with a bit of celebrity stardom – how about trying a raspberry cinnamon brioche cake recipe from Zakhele Ndlozi?

Ndlozi is the new executive chef at Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom.

He began his journey into hospitality after high school, studying hospitality management at Central Johannesburg TVET College and food preparation and culinary arts at Capsicum Culinary Studio.

Growing up in Alberton and Soweto, the former contestant of “The Taste Master SA” season 3 has risen through the ranks at Sun International after starting as a chef de partie at The Maslow in Sandton in 2016 and as a specialist Asian chef in Time Square Casino in Pretoria a year later.

Below is Ndlozi’s raspberry cinnamon brioche cake recipe.

Zakhele Ndlozi’s raspberry cinnamon brioche cake. Picture: Supplied

Raspberry cinnamon brioche cake

Serving: 10 slices



300g flour

4g yeast

1g salt

40g castor sugar

15g milk powder

150ml milk

100g butter (room temperature)

3 egg yolks


1 egg

2 tsp milk

200g fresh raspberries (crushed)

250g mascarpone (room temperature)

50g icing sugar

5g vanilla essence

350ml thick cream

80g white chocolate (chopped)

Cinnamon sauce

5g cinnamon

5g cornflour

50g sugar

200g water


50g fresh raspberries

White chocolate



To activate the yeast, combine the castor sugar and lukewarm milk in a bowl and leave aside for a few minutes. When the top becomes frothy, incorporate the beaten egg yolks into the mixture.

In the mixer, add flour, milk powder, and salt, then add the wet ingredients and mix for 10 minutes until a very wet, soft dough forms. Then mix in the melted butter in intervals until completely combined, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm location until it has doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Chef’s note: When preparing baked goods humidity plays a role in the product you are baking. You may need to use more milk in the highveld than at the coast.

Cinnamon sauce

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornflour, cinnamon, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5–10 minutes until the sauce becomes clear rather than cloudy. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

After the dough has risen, transfer it on to a lightly floured countertop. Roll it out to a thickness of 2cm, with dimensions of 35cm by 20cm, and shape it into a cylinder.

Using either string or dental floss (yes, dental floss), slice the cylinder into disks measuring 5cm each. Grease a cake tin lightly with butter and arrange the dough pieces inside, allowing them to rise for a second time, approximately 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 165°C, then brush the dough with a mixture of egg and milk.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Use a skewer as a cake tester. Insert it into the centre of the brioche, it should come out clean, then your brioche is cooked.

Chef’s note: Each oven has different temperature settings, so after 35 minutes check your brioche using the skewer.


While the brioche is baking in the oven, whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Incorporate the softened mascarpone, icing sugar, and vanilla essence, whisking until stiff peaks form. In a bowl, crush the raspberries with a fork.

Then, gently fold in the crushed raspberries and half of the cinnamon sauce to create beautiful swirls and set the mixture aside.

To finish, once the brioche has cooled, slice it into three layers. Spread one-third of the cream filling on to each layer, stacking them up, and finishing with the top layer. Garnish with raspberries and chocolate, then drizzle with cinnamon sauce.