Nigerian Puff Puff

I’m always seeing videos and pictures of puff puff…every time I see it, it looks so good so I wanted to try it. But I have no idea where to get it from where I live, so I just learnt how to make it instead.


It’s so warm and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, the flavour is nice and the recipe is pretty easy to make. Once again, I’ve learnt that I love puff puff!

The puff puff on a plate, after icing sugar was dusted on top.

Video Tutorial

What is puff puff?

Puff puff is a popular snack in West Africa. There are different names for it, but Nigerians call it puff puff.

It’s essentially a deep fried dough.

I would say the taste is similar to doughnuts, but way more crispy on the outside and so fluffy on the inside.

When I first learnt about it, I thought the taste might be a little plain. I wasn’t sure if it had a lot of flavour.

I WAS SO WRONG. The flavour is soooo good, the texture is so good…everything about it is so good.

One puff puff with a bite taken out of it.

The dough

We’re going to start by making the dough.

Here are the ingredients you are going to need:

  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Salt – just a little bit to help enhance the flavours.
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
  • Instant yeast
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Oil – any flavourless oil works but I like to use vegetable oil.
  • Water – you want this water to be slightly warm, NOT HOT, just warm.

All you need to do is mix all this together then leave the dough to rise.

WARNING this is going to be a very soft sticky dough. Don’t be alarmed, this is just how it is.

The ingredients needed to make the puff puff dough.

The instant yeast

For the dough, I used instant yeast, instead of active yeast.

Whenever I’m making something that needs yeast, I always prefer to use instant yeast, just because I find it easier to use. I don’t have to activate it, I can just add it into my bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

BUTTT use whatever you have, or whatever is easiest for you to find. 

If you are using active yeast though, you need to make sure to activate it first.

To do this, get your warm water and add a tablespoon of sugar into it. Take this from the sugar that you have already weighed out for the recipe.

Add your active yeast into this, give this a stir then leave this aside for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, it should be foamy, this means it is ready. Now you can add this mixture into your bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.

The puff puff dough before being left to rise.
The puff puff after rising.

Frying the puff puff

I feel like the only difficult part in making puff puff is the frying part.

From what I’ve seen, typically to fry it people grab some of dough with their hands and squeeze it into the oil.

Then they get these perfectly round balls,

I am confused.

I tried this a few times, I could not do it. My shapes were so bad.

So I gave up and used a small ice cream scoop instead, or you could also just spoon the dough into the oil. Do whatever you find easiest.

With that being said though, even with my ice cream scoop, I still didn’t get perfect round balls IT WAS DIFFICULT. 

But I guess it doesn’t truly matter, even if your puff puff end up extremely ugly, they will still taste great.

Anyway just fry them until they’re a nice deep golden brown colour, let them drain on some paper towels or a wire rack, then they are ready to be eaten!

The puff puff on a wire rack, after being fried.

Here are some other recipes I’ve posted recently, I think you should try these too:

Nigerian Puff Puff

5.0 from 3 votes


  • 300g plain flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 120g granulated sugar

  • 8g instant yeast

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 240ml warm water


  • Making the dough:
  • 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.
  • Frying the puff puff:
  • You want to deep fry your puff puff in oil that is around 170c-180c. Once your dough has risen, give it a mix, then start frying.
  • Drop small balls of dough into the oil. You can either do this using a spoon, small ice cream scoop or you can use your hands.
  • Make sure to fry the puff puff in batches, don't add all the dough into the oil at once, you don't want to overcrowd your pot.
  • Fry them until they're a deep golden brown colour, then take them out and leave on some paper towels or a wire rack, so the excess oil can drain off.
  • Repeat until you have fried all of the dough.
  • Now they are done, you can dust some icing sugar on top if you want, but then serve whiles warm. Enjoy!

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