How To Make Cream of Wheat Hot Cereal aka Mannaya Kasha

One of the most popular hot breakfast porridges in the Slavic culture is mannaya kasha (Манная Каша), which is known as cream of wheat in English. This creamy cereal is a favorite with children but is enjoyed by many adults too.

One of the first solid foods that I made for my babies was mannaya kasha. I definitely remember eating this throughout my childhood too and it’s still my boys’ favorite breakfast option. It has a smooth, creamy texture and is perfect with melted butter and a sprinkling of sugar.

Every time I’ve shared a picture or a quick video of this porridge on my Instagram stories, I was amazed how many direct messages would come my way, asking for the recipe. I was surprised how many people wanted the recipe, but I shouldn’t have been. It’s delicious and every spoonful is a nostalgic reminder of childhood.

Today I’ll share all about this tasty breakfast – where I buy it, how I make it and the best way to serve it.

What is Cream of Wheat or Mannaya Kasha? (Манная Каша)

Cream of wheat is a porridge or hot cereal that is made with ground wheat kernels, which is why it’s called “cream of wheat”. The tiny little wheat granules are cooked in water or milk, just for a few minutes, until they soften, thicken up and become a creamy consistency.

Mannaya Kasha (Манная Каша – labeled Манная Крупа on the package in Russian stores), that we are familiar with in the Slavic culture is actually a little bit different than the cream of wheat you can by in American grocery stores. It’s a little bit lighter in color and may be a little bit smoother, although it’s hardly noticeable when the cereal is cooked up and if you’re not comparing it side by side.

Russian Mannaya Krupa on the left, cream of wheat on the right.

Where To Buy The Cream of Wheat?

I prefer buying the Russian Манная Крупа at a local Russian store.

I’m not loyal to any particular brand, I usually just buy what is available.

However, if you don’t have one, there are lots of other options. Most grocery stores sell different versions of cream of wheat, sometimes called farina.

You can even buy it online. I bought this one by Bob’s Red Mill in bulk (4 of these packages in one box) on Amazon. *

Milk? Water? What Non-Dairy Alternatives Can You Use?

I personally use milk and water to cook the cream of wheat/mannaya kasha. You can use all milk or all water, if you want. In my opinion, it doesn’t taste good with just water, but it’s entirely up to you and your taste preferences.

You can also use any type of milk that you like – almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, goat milk, etc. However, use something you like the taste of in the first place.

How To Cook the Cream of Wheat

There are two ways of cooking the cereal.

  1. Mix the liquid with the uncooked cream of wheat/mannaya krupa in a saucepan or pot. Turn on the heat on medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently throughout that time. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for just 1-2 minutes, until the cereal starts to thicken. Keep in mind that it will thicken even more as the cereal stands and cools off. It will be thicker in consistency than what it is right after coming to a boil and simmering for a few minutes. OR
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil, THEN add the uncooked cream of wheat/mannaya krupa to the hot liquid, adding it gradually, whisking consistently, until it’s completely incorporated into the liquid. Cook for 2-5 minutes, once again, just until the porridge thickens.

Make sure to consistently whisk the cereal as it is cooking, or lumps will form. This is important to note.

Can You Cook the Porridge in Advance? How To Reheat?

Yes and no:). Technically, you can make a large portion and then just reheat, but it’s going to be much harder to have a smooth and even consistency. In most cases, it will become lumpy and thick as it stands and when you reheat it, it will continue to be lumpy. I suggest only making enough to serve and eat it all at once. It is so easy and quick to prepare, that it’s simple enough to make, even it you make it every morning.

However, if you happen to have a bit leftover, you can reheat it in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop. Add a bit of milk or water to thin it out, otherwise it will most likely be too thick. Use a whisk to mix it up as evenly as you can.

Serving the Cooked Hot Cereal

It is best to serve it warm and I usually just serve it with a bit of butter, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of sugar.

You can also add jam, crushed berries, fresh berries, fresh fruit, nuts, etc. to the porridge, just like you would to other hot cereals, like oatmeal.


How To Make Cream of Wheat Hot Cereal aka Mannaya Kasha

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One of the most popular hot breakfast porridges in the Slavic culture is mannaya kasha (Манная Каша), which is known as cream of wheat in English. This creamy cereal is a favorite with children but is enjoyed by many adults too.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Breakfast



1 cup liquid (milk and water – I use 1/2 milk, 1/2 water)

1 1/22 Tablespoons uncooked cream of wheat cereal or mannaya krupa

To Serve:

pat of butter

pinch of salt

sprinkling of sugar


Pour the milk and water into a saucepan or pot. Add the uncooked cream of wheat cereal or mannaya krupa, mixing to combine. 

Turn on the heat to medium high heat and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently, so keep lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the cereal thickens. 

Add the butter, salt and sugar to taste and serve warm. 


Adding 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cereal to 1 cup milk+water will result in a porridge that is thinner in consistency – the way it is shown in all the pictures. Keep in mind that it will look a lot thinner when you just turn off the stove and will thicken up even more as the porridge stands, cools off a bit and has a chance to expand a bit. 

If you like a thicker porridge, add 2 Tablespoons of cereal per 1 cup of milk. 

  • For my 2 boys (2 and 4 year olds) I usually use 3-4 cups of milk + 4 1/2 Tablespoons of cereal, depending on how hungry they are that day. They do have pretty healthy appetites for their age. 

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  • Oksana

    Ever since I got married, we’ve been serving this for breakfast every Sunday. Such easy thing to make, and takes all thr guesswork out of what we’re having got breakfast before church. I also use a little bit of water and the rest is milk. I like to add my salt during the cooking(for me it makes a huge difference), and a little sugar during cooking also. Although, sprinkling a bit of sugar on top, it’s such a treat.
    We love to mash up strawberries with sugar and sour cream to put over af a topping, in individual bowls, whoever wants to. My mom used to make really thick fruit keisel (кисель) and cook up the kasha very thick too. I rarely make it this way, bcz my family isn’t very fond of it that way.

  • Alina

    Thanks a lot for this recipe, I didn’t know u could buy manka in American stores I was buying it in russian stores and I don’t go there often so it wasn’t convenient. And now I get it at a regular market, my son loves it:)
    Thanks again
    We eat it with varen’e:)

  • Olya

    Great recipe! I wanted to mention that if you look at Russian store Manka label it has Zero nutrition % for about everything including iron. American version cream of wheat 3 tbsp will be 50% iron %daily value. I completely agree with you Russian store tastes best yet minimum nutrion. So when I cook mine I do half manka/ half cream of wheat to get taste and nutrion together.

  • Evalyn

    We are Americans living in Kyrgyzstan and my kids absolutely love the mannaya krypa served here. I only knew how to make the thicker American version that I grew up with so I finally got online to see if I could find the ratios for the thinner, creamier Russian type. Thankfully, I found your recipe right away! My kids were thrilled (they declared it “delicious!”) and I have been converted from the Cream of Wheat of my youth (sorry, Mom). It was exactly what we wanted on a cold, snowy morning.

  • Sophie Germanovsku

    As a small child, my ukranian great grandma would make me mannaya kasha after school everyday. She made it a specific way that I loved (and still love). It was the only way I liked it. While making it I got so many memories back from my choldhood and it felt as though I was making it with her. Thank you so much for helping me enjoy this moment of nostalgia! 🙂

  • Lauren

    I found an organic version for a very good price. It’s called Organic Suji (from Jiva Organics) – 2LB (908g) cost is $6.75 – 9.49). It’s very smooth and light in color unlike Cream of Wheat/Bob’s Red Mills brands I traditionally see.I love that it’s Organic! I just came across your site, will be checking it out some more soon! Thank you!

  • skye

    Hi Olga! We are in Mongolia and since my son was begging for some “kash” as we call it here, I found your recipe to check the proportions. Yummy! Thanks. 🙂

  • Marie

    My mother would put a scoop or 2 of vanilla ice cream instead of sugar and milk, one of my favorite childhood memories. I still treat myself with it sometimes!

  • Sherri

    My mother’s side is Russian Mennonite and they make a cream of wheat pudding that I modified somewhat, which I think has more flavour than the regular way. I do about half each milk and water to cook in, more cereal than you use, and just after it is cooked I stir in beaten eggs and sugar (one egg and one tbs sugar per cup of liquid). I also add blueberries, and if there is time I make a custard sauce with 1 cup milk, 1 tsp flour, 1 egg yolk, and 2 tbs sugar, boiled until thickened and cooled slightly. My children love it!

  • Tammy D

    I wonder if the difference between the two types you show is the type of wheat: summer or winter wheat. Here in Germany, I have a choice of ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. I just stared at them for ten minutes trying to remember what the ‘Cream of Wheat’ from my American youth looked like. I am going to give the ‘soft’ a try. So silly, but I haven’t had this stuff for about 20 years, so I am very happy to have found your site and ‘recipe’ and to learn just how widely enjoyed this simple porridge is! I’m going to try it now with oat milk and date paste. Thank you! 🙂

  • Irena

    I just made this for dinner because I was too hungry to wait for my beef stew in the IP. This recipe is absolutely delicious! Just like I remember from my childhood. I love the thinner consistency how your ratio is! I made with half milk and half coconut milk (the thin refrigerated kind) and you couldn’t taste the coconut at all. Yummm my new go to for a warm comforting breakfast

  • Joy Villalobos

    Hello Olga! This was my favorite breakfast but with instant oatmeal and my question is if it is also called “манная каша” or does it have another name?

  • Al

    This is the perfect wheat to liquid ratio. I used couple of recipes and they came out way too thick. This one looks runny at first but then thickens perfectly as it cools. I used 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, and 1/4 cup wheat. Brought to boil and slowly added wheat white whisking continously (to prevent clumping). Added 2 teaspoons of sugar, pinch on salt and butter to taste. Hope this helps someone.

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