Africa/ Dessert/ Nigeria/ Recipes

Nigerian Puff Puff Donuts


These Nigerian Puff Puff donuts are a great African dessert and snack you can serve with a cup of coffee or tea.

Nigerian Puff Puff Donuts

When I first read about African donuts, I knew I had to try out these Nigerian favorites.

Scented with ginger and nutmeg, these fried doughnuts are the perfect ending to any African meal.

So why are they called Puff Puffs?

These Puff Puff donuts get their name from the puffiness of the dough. And as you can see, these donuts pack a punch of puffiness!

You can just see the bits of air in each individual donut. So chewy!

African Doughnuts

The trick with making these donuts is in the dough, and most notably, the way you drop the dough in the oil.

First, you’ll start out making a very loose yeast dough, almost like a pancake batter. This dough has to sit to give the yeast time to multiply and rise, which produces little air bubbles.

Once the dough has doubled in size, heat up a heavy saucepan with about 3 inches of canola oil and heat to about 350 degrees. You can either use a thermometer or drop a tiny piece of dough into the oil. If it bubbles immediately you are ready to go!

To make the characteristic spherical shape of the puff puff, take the dough in your hand and press it through your thumb and index finger, squeezing out the dough.

Nigerian Donuts piled on a plate

Once the puff puffs are cooked through and nice and golden, drain the donuts on a wire rack. If you would like you can even sprinkle these donuts with a bit of cinnamon sugar– but I enjoy these just the way they are.

These puff puff donuts make a great ending to an African meal.

Try serving it with this Kenyan Kachumbari,


Or even as a sweet side to this Malian Peanut Butter Stew.

Peanut Butter Stew from Mali, Africa

Nigerian Puff Puff Donuts

Nigerian Puff Puff Donuts
Nigerian Puff Puff Donuts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

These African donuts are filled with ginger and nutmeg.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: African
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Lyndsay Burginger
  • 1 cup lukewarm water about 105F
  • 1 pkg Quick-Rise Yeast about 2 1/2 tsp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • canola oil for frying
  1. In small bowl combine water and yeast and proof until bubbly and frothy, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile in medium-sized bowl mix together flour, nutmeg, ginger, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir until a loose dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  3. Once the dough has doubled, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to come up about 3 inches. Heat until 350 degrees or until a bit of dough added bubbles immediately.

  4. Scoop out dough with your hand and making an "OK" sign with your thumb and forefinger, squeeze dough into oil to make spheres. Cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.

  5. Drain on a wire rack until cool. 

Learn how to make this traditional African donut, the Nigerian Puff Puff! This sweet dessert is deep fried and tastes of ginger and nutmeg. Learn more @





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