Puff-Puff (Deep fried dough)

by ImmaculateBites on 14 November, 2012


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. The basic ingredient consists of: flour, sugar, yeast, water, salt and oil for deep frying.

It is an easy and quick recipe to make with different variations. This recipe is the one I have been making for years and the one that takes me back to my hometown. It brings back memories of late night snacking on the street. As a child, I would often watch in amazement how the women selling the puffs would grab the mixture with the tip of their fingers place it in the palm of their hands and drop the mixture in oil.

I was fascinated by this process, and would go home and practice this act with any mixture I had on hand, but it never came out in proportion or visually appealing like the women did. After years of practice, as an adult, I think I can proudly say that I finally got the hang of it.

Puff-puff is usually eaten for breakfast, as a snack or as a side dish. Regardless of when you eat them,  they are enjoyable with or without a side dish. A must-have for me – pepper sauce. Use a spoon instead to scoop the dough into the oil  if you do not want to use your hands. It still tastes delicious





















4.8 from 8 reviews
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: African
  • • 2 cups warm water
  • • 2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • • 3½ cups flour
  • • ½- 3/4 cup sugar
  • • ½ Tbs salt
  • • Oil for deep frying
  1. Mix salt, sugar, water, and yeast . Set aside for 5 minutes
  2. Add flour and mix.
  3. Let the mixture rise for approximately 1- 2 hours
  4. In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil into a pot, until it is at least 3 inches (or about 5 centimeters) high (too little will result in flatter balls), and place on low heat.
  5. Test to make sure the oil is hot enough by putting a ‘drop’ of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top.
  6. Using your hands grab a little bit of mixture at time and drop in the oil.
  7. When the oil is hot enough, use a spoon to dish up the batter, and another spoon or spatula to drop it in the oil, sort of in the shape of a ball.
  8. Fry for a few minutes until the bottom side is golden brown.
  9. Turn the ball over and fry for a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown.
  10. Use a large spoon or something like that to take it out of the oil. I usually place them on napkins right away to soak up some of the excess oil.
  11. If desired, you can roll the finished product in table sugar or powdered sugar to make it sweeter

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Bello December 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I can’t wait to try this out. Nice pictures and explanations, you can’t go wrong.


Lilian December 9, 2012 at 5:11 am

Yes!! Yes!!! I enjoyed the puff puff. This is the best recipes I have ever laid my hands on. Imma I followed it step by step. And it came out just right. Emmmmmmmm . Thank you Imma for this wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try more recipe. Thank you and may aged continue to shower you with more talent.


Lilian December 9, 2012 at 5:14 am

Yes!! Yes!!! I enjoyed the puff puff. This is the best recipes I have ever laid my hands on. Imma I followed it step by step. And it came out just right. Emmmmmmmm . Thank you Imma for this wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try more recipe. Thank you and may God continue to shower you with more talent.


Africanbites December 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Lilian am glad you enjoyed it!!!!! Linda, it is that easy


Judith Foyabo February 15, 2013 at 12:39 am

Hi Imma,
Thanks for giving me an authentic recipe for puff-puff. I have always done my puff-puff by eye-balling the ingredients and relying on my hands for the consistency when I mix… and of course each encounter is different. I thought about your website when I had to make it for my son’s 4th grade culture project. I was glad to find the well-documented recipe which will serve the class well. You may just have some Americans visiting your website for more!
Blessings to you and the business promo.

MaJu, Los Angeles.


Africanbites February 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

MaJu, Thanks for spreading the word!


Reet24 June 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Have our “adopted” son’s (student with us for 3 years) from Cameroon’s father visiting and will try them with dinner tonight!
One correction one packet is 2 1/4 tsps., not 2 1/4 ounces. I measure in grams and dough seems to be rising correctly. Keep my fingers crossed!


Africanbites June 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thanks for the correction, have made changes to it . Hope your “adopted” son enjoyed the puff-puff.


Fred July 27, 2013 at 8:40 am

Hi! What happens if I add eggs and milk to the puff-puff recipe?


Africanbites July 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Fred, adding eggs and milk to the puff puff would result in a rich tasting puff-puff, giving it a slightly different taste.You would need to making the following modification ; eliminate water and replace it with eggs and milk. Be mindful of the fact that, you have to replace equal amount of liquid in other to maintain the puff puff consistency.Thanks for stopping by.


Fred July 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Thanks! I tried it and it was great. Just that it burnt my hands since I’ve not been in the kitchen for a long while. It may just be time for me to start looking for a wife.


Chiko July 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Hi, I tried your recipe today, they taste good!! But unfortunately I couldn’t get the shape to come out right. Was the risen mixture supposed to be cakey or more like a dough because I had trouble figuring it out. And i’m not West African so I have no prior experience with puff puff. Thanks!


Africanbites August 2, 2013 at 3:48 am

Chiko,puff-puff consistency is suppose to feel more like dough- a light dough, that you can easily use your hands or spoon to drop into a sauce pan.Hope this helps.


suhshi August 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

awsome this blog helped me young lad so much cuz his wife learned to make his fave breakfast


Africanbites August 20, 2013 at 5:44 am

So happy you liked the puff puff Suhshi


Sarah September 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Hi Imma,

I’m gonna try this recipe this weekend!

I wanted to find out, can I replace the water with coconut milk instead? Would I need to warm the coconut milk just like how we need to use lukewarm water?


Africanbites September 12, 2013 at 6:45 am

Yes, you need to warm the coconut milk a little- Sarah have you tried this coconut puffpuff recipe ?http://africanbites.com/?p=2664( Deep fried coconut dough). It might be just what you are looking for.I have tried linking the recipe but there is a glitch in the system .Just search coconut puff-puff in my search box and it will come up. Let me know how you like it! Made the correction it works now.


Gemar October 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Thank so much imma. My sis wants puff as snacks on her wedding day I will do it for her that day


Africanbites October 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Gemar, that is tall order but with this recipe you will do just fine. Thanks for stopping by!


moffie November 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for the tips, made abt 20 puff puff for my friend’s naming and everyone liked it and asked for more.. thanks abunch


Africanbites November 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Moffie, am glad the tips helped .


jenny January 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Wow! How did you manage to press it out from ur plam like that? It looks magical. I want to make puff puff for 2 people only, what measurement shoul I use? I was thinking maybe dividing d ingredients into half?


Africanbites January 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Jenny, dividing your ingredient in half would definitely feed two people. Releasing the dough through my palm was something I practiced doing when I was growing up – watching the street vendors fry puff-puff got me hooked!


victoria January 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hi Imma,
I would like to know if I can prepare the mixture the night before and keep it aside. Wake up next morning and do the frying ? Will the time to leave the yeast rise be a lot or no problem ? Thanks for your answer.


ImmaculateBites January 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Victoria, you can do that however, the puff-puff would rise and deflate giving it a slightly sour, fermented taste. Your best bet would be to let it rise in the fridge overnight. Make sure it has risen before your fry( refrigeration can be a little bit tricky sometimes if your fridge is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).Let me know how the recipe turned out. Thanks


Maria January 27, 2014 at 6:28 pm

I made this and it came out perfect! Thanks so much for your excellent and simple to follow directions. I have tried 5 of your recipes so far and all have been a hit !


ImmaculateBites January 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

Thanks Maria for such a wonderful compliment! You are Awesome! So happy to here this.


Naomi January 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Best recipe for puff puff! I’m not nigerian so I’ve tried so many but this worked perfect. Especially putting them into the pan, the shape was almost flawless. Thanks a lot xo


ImmaculateBites January 28, 2014 at 8:52 am

Aw, thank you so much for this, Naomi! You totally rock!
Glad to hear you my puff puff recipe is a winner- just made my day!


Bomsylala February 17, 2014 at 4:56 am

Hi Immaculate, you are so wonderful ! I have struggled for a while to make this it just wasnt coming out right… so i tried this for a small carnival and it was awesome just one try and I got it ..shhh! i am going to start this as a small business for Africans around me … Thanks again Naomi you are amazeballs …


ImmaculateBites February 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Aww, thank you ! I won’t tell if you don’t. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


Ivy March 19, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Hi, I recently tried this recipe. The dough seemed very runny beforehand, and I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be or not. Also, after the puffs were done, they were very greasy in the middle. Do you have any idea what I did wrong?

Thanks so much for the recipe :)


ImmaculateBites March 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

Ivy, you must have added too much water or not enough flour. Make sure you are using standard measuring cups . Puff puff should never be greasy. Hope this helps.


Lulu March 21, 2014 at 3:02 am

This recepie is excellent. I made puff puff with other recepies and they never quite right. A lot never have you exact measures of ingredients. For my daughters harmony day (where you bring in food from your heritage or country to class for class lunch) I decided to make puff puff representing the one half of her heritage. It was a choice between another website recepie and yours – the comments here swayed me. I’m glad I decided on yours because the result was perfect and went down a treat with the Australian mums in Perth where I live. Even the hand method for droping them in worked first time. I directed a few of the mum’s to your site for the recepie. So you are reaching as far as Western Australia. Looking forward to trying out a jolloff rice recepie if you have one. Thanks


ImmaculateBites March 21, 2014 at 6:47 am

Lulu, thanks for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment. I am super excited that the puff-puff went well and you used your hand to drop the puff-puff. You go girl! It took me a while to do it perfectly. I have two Jollof rice recipe – one is stove top and the other is in the oven. The oven one is SUPER easy to make . Try that one first or just do both of them and see which one you like best. Here they are http://africanbites.com/?p=96 , http://africanbites.com/?p=7386. Let me know you like them.


Jennifer April 10, 2014 at 4:46 am

I tried the recipe weeks ago and it didn’t come out right. I followed all the instructions. The dough belt watery after it had risen.
Do you feel I should reduce the water next time? And not use two cups? I felt really bad.


ImmaculateBites April 10, 2014 at 8:43 am

Jennifer, so sorry to hear that your puff-puff then not turn out right. Don’t feel bad. Double check your measurements , make sure you are using standard measuring cups and/or spoons. The dough should not be watery after it has risen. Let me know if it works out!


Deborah April 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

Best recipe I’ve found on puff puff hands down!!!!! But I adjusted my salt and sugar for taste…It comes out sooooooo nice!!! Thank you so much ImmaculateBites for this wonderful recipe!!! Keep up with the recipes…Hopefully you have one for egg roll and fish roll and stuff….Thanks again for sharing your talent.


ImmaculateBites April 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

Thank you, thank you! your comment is much appreciated Deborah. I have one for egg roll here http://africanbites.com/?p=7522 and another for fish roll http://africanbites.com/?p=3377 . Let me know how you like these .


kelsey April 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Just wondering, do i have to double the yeast if i am to double the recipe?


ImmaculateBites April 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Yes, kelsey you have to double the yeast.


Peace Effiang May 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Please what can I do if I have left over puff puff batter, and where can I put it?


ImmaculateBites May 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Peace ,your best bet would be to fry the puff puff , let it cool and then freeze . When ready to use, reheat in oven and serve. This is the way I do! Thanks for the feedback. Now that you have overcome your yeast fear. You have to try out other more yeast recipes. Happy cooking!


Peace Effiang May 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

And I forgot to add, I lovee your recipe (I was scared at first but the craving overcame the fear), I tried it this evening here in hungary(although I’m nigerian) and it turned out great, exactly the way I like puff-puff, crispy outside but dense and sweet inside, and I am so glad my fear for yeast products has been overcomed!!!!!


Oneke May 26, 2014 at 11:03 am

Imma, you are a lifesaver. I have been making what I thought was puff puff for a bit. You know, the kind you only eat at home. I am so proud to say thanks to your recipe, my puff puff skills have been taken to another level. You are the best.


ImmaculateBites May 27, 2014 at 6:46 am

Aww, thank you Oneke. Glad you enjoyed it that much. You are the best, for taking the time to provide some glowing feedback.


Ana June 7, 2014 at 7:08 am

Hello I saw ur puff puff recipe tried it but it didnt come out right. So my qtn is wat cup sizes shd i use?…bc I used normal tea cups with e rest of e recipe. … am going to try it again tonite n c….thks


hanny June 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Pls what type of measuring cup r u referring to
Is it peak milk tin..


ImmaculateBites June 30, 2014 at 7:53 am

No, it is not peak milk it is standard measuring cup.


MF July 13, 2014 at 6:51 am

This recipe is a killer.Made this yesterday,it was a hit.The balls came out beautifully,and tasted soooo good…Guess my search for the perfect puff-puff recipe is over!Thank you,Imma!


ImmaculateBites July 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Yay! Happy dance for me. Thanks MF


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