Easy Puff Puff Recipe: Delicious African Deep Fried Dough (2024)

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Are you looking for a delicious, crispy, and fluffy snack? Then you need to try this Puff Puff recipe! Also known as Beignets, Mikate, Bofrot, African Donut or just Deep Fried Dough, Puff Puffs are a delicious West African snack that can be found just about anywhere. They are just the most perfect little fried balls of deliciousness.

Easy Puff Puff Recipe: Delicious African Deep Fried Dough (1)

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What are African Puff Puffs?

Puff Puffs are one of the most popular West African snacks and you can find them just about anywhere in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana. They are also very popular in other parts of the world, including Jamaica and Haiti.

They are often served at parties or gatherings as an appetizer for people to nibble on while waiting for the main meal to be served. Puff Puffs are also perfect for breakfast, with a cup of tea or coffee…or even as an afternoon treat!

Puff Puffs are essentially made from sweet yeast dough that has been deep-fried in oil until golden brown and crispy. They have a soft and fluffy texture on the inside which makes them very different from just about any other deep-fried snack that you might have tried before.

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Puff Puffs are made from a very simple ingredient list. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you have all of these ingredients in your pantry right now!

Flour: Puff Puffs are traditionally made with just plain white flour but many people also use self-raising flour which has baking powder added into it and can help to make them more fluffy.

Yeast: Puff Puffs are made with yeast which makes the dough rise, giving them their deliciously fluffy texture.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in so many African dishes and it gives Puff Puffs a wonderfully warm and spicy flavor.

Sugar: Sugar is added to the dough for sweetness as well as to help activate the yeast.

Water – The water needs to be at a temperature of around 38-40 degrees Celsius in order to activate the yeast. Too hot or too cold and the yeast will not work.

Oil: Puff Puffs are deep-fried in oil, which gives them their crispy texture on the outside. You can use any type of cooking oil that you prefer but I recommend using an oil with a high smoking point like sunflower, grapeseed, or peanut oil.

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How To Make Puff Puffs?

The ingredient list is short and sweet, you’ll have them all in your pantry. And the best part is that Puff Puffs only require one rise so they are perfect for when you want a quick and easy snack.

In a small bowl, mix together the yeast and the water with a pinch of sugar, and wait for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the yeast and water mixture. Stir until everything is combined (if you are in a rush, you can just mix all ingredients into a large bowl from the beginning).

The Puff Puff dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it somewhere warm to rise until almost doubled in size (between 1 and 2 hours).

Pour oil into a deep saucepan or fryer and heat on medium-high heat until hot (170 degrees Celsius). Using your hands, drop little golf ball-sized pieces of dough into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Alternatively, you can use two spoons to shape the dough balls.

Fry for a few minutes until golden brown, turning them over occasionally with a slotted spoon. Transfer the Puff Puffs to a plate lined with some household paper to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Possible Variations & Tips

  • Puff Puffs can also be made with whole wheat flour or rye flour in place of the white flour.
  • You can add some variations to the traditional recipe by adding things like grated coconut, vanilla, or cinnamon to the dough.
  • They can be served with a variety of dipping sauces like chocolate sauce, honey syrup, or caramel sauce.
  • If you like it spicy, dip them in a hot pepper sauce made with Scotch bonnet peppers, vinegar, and onions.

How to store Puff Puffs

They are best eaten on the day that they are made but you can also store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat them by placing them in a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.

You can also put them in the freezer and they will last for up to two months. Defrost them overnight in the fridge and reheat Puff Puffs as mentioned above before serving.


Can I make Puff Puffs without yeast?

Yes, you can use self-rising flour or baking powder in place of the yeast. They will be denser but still taste delicious!

Can Puff Puffs be frozen?

Yes, they can be frozen for up to two months and reheated in the oven before serving.

How do I know when Puff Puffs are ready?

They are ready when they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. Turn them over occasionally with a slotted spoon while frying to ensure even cooking.

What are some other names for Puff Puffs?

They are also known as beignets in French and bofrot or togbei in Ghana. In Congo they are called Mikate, Gbofloto in Ivory Coast, Kaimati in Tanzania, Vitumbua or Fritahs in Zambia, or Kalmati in Swahili. In Kenya they are called Mandazi, and in other regions they are also called Kala. In English they are called “donuts” in some places and can also be called “African Doughnuts.”

Why are my Puff Puffs hard?

To make sure your they come out soft and fluffy, be sure not to overwork the dough and make sure that it has time to rise. Puff Puffs should also only be fried for a few minutes until golden brown.

Why are my Puff Puffs not round?

If you do them for the first time, you may not yet be able to form Puff Puffs into perfect round balls. But don’t worry, this will get better over time with some practice! In the meantime, you can use two spoons to form the balls as you can see it in the video below.

What are some good decoration ideas?

If you want your Puff Puffs to look special, you can for example use chocolate sauce with gold sparkles. You can also add different colored sugars to make them look more festive. You can also use caramel sauce with red sparkles, or honey syrup with white sparkles. Be creative and have fun with it!

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I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for trying this recipe, please feel free to share it with friends and family if you liked it! You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

More Dessert recipes

  • West African Chin Chin
  • Banana Puff Puff
  • Oven-baked chin chin

Easy Puff Puff Recipe: Delicious African Deep Fried Dough (6)


Easy Puff Puff Recipe: Delicious African Deep Fried Dough (7)Keesha

Puff Puffs are definitely one of my favorite African snacks and I hope that you will enjoy them too. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, plus they taste delicious with a hint of sweetness!

5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 2 hours hrs

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 2 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine African

Servings 20

Calories 128 kcal


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Yeast
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Water warm
  • ½ cup Oil for frying


  • Add the flour, nutmeg, yeast, sugar, and salt to a large bowl, and mix them well.

  • Add warm water in small quantities and mix everything together until it has a nice texture. It should be thicker than pancake batter.

  • Cover the bowl and leave it to rest for around 60 minutes. I personally like to put it in the fridge for another hour which makes the Puff Puff fluffier and easier to drop into the oil afterward.

  • Check if the dough has risen sufficiently, you should see small air bubbles. It should be at least three times the size it was before.

  • Heat up the oil, make sure to use a pan which is deep enough. The oil must be hot but not too hot, around 170°C. Test if the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will sink and stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top.

  • Use your hands to start shaping the balls. Grab a little bit of mixture at time and drop it into the oil (please see on the video below) You can also use a spoon.

  • Let them fry for a few minutes until the color turns becomes golden brown. Often, they will turn around themselves, otherwise, make sure they turn brown on both sides.

  • Put some household paper on a plate before taking them out to absorb the oil.


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Serving: 1 puffCalories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 60mgPotassium: 25mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Easy Puff Puff Recipe: Delicious African Deep Fried Dough (2024)


What is Nigerian puff puff made of? ›

The name "puff-puff" is from Nigeria, but many other names and varieties of the pastry exist (see below). Puff-puffs are generally made of dough containing flour, yeast, sugar, butter, salt, water and eggs (which are optional), and deep-fried in vegetable oil to a golden-brown color.

How to make Nigerian puff puff with yeast? ›

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. Combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg (if using), and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture gradually to the dry ingredients while stirring. Mix until you have a smooth, thick batter.

What makes dough puff? ›

Puffiness in dough is largely due to the leavening agent used. Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast are all common leavening agents used in doughs. Baking powder and baking soda create carbon dioxide bubbles as they react with liquid, causing the dough to rise and puff up during baking.

How long should puff puff be left to rise? ›

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until everything is combined. This will be a very soft wet dough, but don't worry. Cover and leave this to rise in a warm place until doubled in sized, this should take 1-2 hours.

What is another name for Nigerian puff puff? ›

This ball-shaped, deep-fried doughnut is a common breakfast and street food, and goes by many names across the West African diaspora: It is called togbei, bofrot or boflot in Ghana; kala in Liberia; beignet in Cameroon (though it's not the same as the French pastry); puff puff in Nigeria and Sierra Leone; mikate in the ...

What is the English name for puff puff? ›

Most West African countries are familiar with the popular street food Puff- Puff, which is known by different names depending on the country. Ghanaians call it Bofrot (togbei), Cameroonians and Nigerians call it Puff-Puff (Puff) or beignet in French.

Why is my puff puff soggy? ›

Crunchy, not soggy: Do not overcrowd the frying pan, as the puff puffs will absorb excess oil and sometimes get soggy. Hold the salt: You may cut back on the salt if you are watching your salt intake.

What to do when puff puff dough is watery? ›

Your puff-puff dough should not be sticky or water. You want to find a balance in the middle. If your dough is watery or too sticky, you have to add flour until you're able to scoop it and drop it into your oil.

What are the 3 types of puff pastry? ›

The terms full, three-quarter and half are used when describing the amount of fat in the pastry. Full has equal weight of fat and flour, three-quarter has three-quarters of the weight of fat to flour, and half has half the weight of fat to flour. More fat makes the pastry softer to eat but reduces its height.

What ingredient makes dough fluffy? ›

Yeast. I use instant yeast for my recipes as it is super easy and doesn't require activating, and the liquids don't necessarily have to be warm (it will just take longer to rise). Milk powder. Instant milk powder makes bread dough super soft and fluffy and also helps to give it a good rise.

What are the layers of puff dough? ›

It depends…if you fold the dough in half (like a book) it will be 2^6 layers or 64. The traditional way is folding in thirds (like a business letter), which results in 3^6 layers or 729.. A recipe for puff pastry calls for rolling out the dough and folding it, done 6 times.

Can I add baking powder to puff puff? ›

Baking powder is just perfect. If your batter is very heavy, add more baking powder. NOTE: Before frying the puff puff, use your hand to beat the batter to release air bubbles.

Where did Nigerian puff puff come from? ›

Image of Where did Nigerian puff puff come from?
Sub-Saharan Africa, Subsahara, or Non-Mediterranean Africa is the area and regions of the continent of Africa that lie south of the Sahara. These include Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa.

What is cream puff made of? ›

Light and airy cream puffs, filled with thick pastry cream, fluffy whipped cream, or velvety crème légère (pastry cream lightened with whipped cream), are a classic dessert. Composed of just two versatile elements—pâte à choux and the filling of your choice—they're also cinch to whip up.

What are the ingredients of Chinchin? ›

Chin chin starts with a soft sweet dough made from all-purpose flour, sugar, fat (such as butter, margarine, or oil), flavoring (nutmeg and vanilla are commonly used but Nigerian red dry pepper may also be present), eggs, and/or water or milk.

What are potato puffs made of? ›

  • 2 cups hot mashed potatoes, unseasoned.
  • 2 eggs, separated.
  • 1 cup milk.
  • 2 tablespoons butter.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • paprika, to make it look pretty.

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