How To Make Puff Puff

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Here is the ultimate guide on How To Make Puff Puff. Puff Puff is the quintessential Central and West African street food that is fluffy on the inside, slightly crunchy on the outside, irresistible, and made with 4 simple ingredients!

Puff Puff on a white tray.

The palatability of Puff Puff is proof that there are few things that rival deep-fried batter or dough! It is slightly sweet and can be eaten either as a sweet, or savory snack or as an appetizer!

I love making Puff Puff for breakfast, for a snack, as a meal together with Stewed Pinto Beans, or as a party food. It is always a hit at parties!

If you love deep-fried batter or dough (who doesn’t???), also check out these recipes for Banana Fritters, African Twisted Doughnuts, and Beignets.

Recipe For Puff Puff

If you would like a fool-proof recipe for Puff Puff that you can make over and over again, you’ve come to the right post.

We make Puff Puff every week in our home. I’ve made Puff Puff countless times for parties, sometimes even frying Puff Puff at the venue.

You know, the hot ones straight off the oil are just irresistibly good. And don’t get me started on the aroma that takes over the atmosphere as Puff Puff fries!

Puff Puff on a plate.

So here is the ultimate African Puff Puff recipe. It is the recipe that makes people request my Puff Puff over and over again. It is the recipe that I have made severally that I know unmistakably by heart.

If my 10-year-old can make it, you can make it. Just make sure you get some baking measuring cups (we use standard American measuring cups) and measure everything correctly.

Puff Puff on a tray with one cut to show texture.

When I moved to the United States about 10 years ago, I was determined to finally master making Puff Puff since it isn’t sold on the streets of America as is the case in Cameroon.

I am thankful to now be able to make Puff Puff whenever I want and enjoy it.

3 balls on a plate with one opened to show texture.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Experience: I have made Puff Puff countless times. Before, I couldn’t scoop the batter properly into the oil with my hands but with lots of practice, I finally mastered it. If there’s someone who could teach you the ABCs of making Puff Puff, it’s me!
  • Authenticity: This is a childhood street food from my country of origin, Cameroon. Puff Puff was part of my childhood and I have watched and mastered what goes into the perfect Puff Puff.
  • Ease: This website is all about simplifying cooking for you and this Puff Puff recipe is no exception. It is really so easy with just 4 simple ingredients.
  • Versatility: Once you have mastered the basic Puff Puff recipe, you could switch things up by adding other flavors to it (see ideas below!)
Puff Puff piled high in a bowl.

What Is Puff Puff?

Not to be confused with Puff Pastry, Puff Puff is a wickedly delicious form of deep-fried batter that is eaten in a number of African countries.

It is called Puff Puff in Cameroon and Nigeria. It is called Les Beignets in French. Ghanaians make something similar called Bofrot or Togbei. Liberians equally eat a form of Puff Puff called Kala and the Congolese call it Mikale. It is a common West and Central African snack.

The basic ingredients used in making Puff Puff include flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water, and oil for frying. In Cameroon where I come from, that’s mostly how Puff Puff is made. However, other ingredients can also be added to Puff Puff (see variations below).

2 small plates of African snack.

Puff Puff Ingredients

With just 4 simple ingredients you’ll be able to make this well-loved African snack.

Ingredients for Puff Puff on a board

Here are some important notes on the ingredients:

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour or bread flour.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar or cane sugar would work well.
  • Yeast: Use active dry yeast or fast-rising yeast if you want the dough to rise quickly.
  • Salt: Salt balances the sweetness and adds flavor. Don’t skip it.
  • Oil: Use any flavorless oil for deep-frying.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Puff Puff With Egg and Milk: Substitute the water for milk and add an egg for a richer batter.
  • Coconut Puff Puff: Use coconut milk instead of water for Coconut Puff Puff.
  • Chocolate Puff Puff: Consider adding cocoa powder for a chocolatey snack.
  • Stuffed Puff Puff: Consider filling the Puff Puff with chocolate spread or pastry cream for stuffed Puff Puff.
  • Warm spices: Add warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger for more flavor.

How To Make It

Step 1: Add warm water to a large bowl then add yeast, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix to combine.

Hand mixing Puff Puff in bowl.

Step 2: Once the batter is mixed. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size or bubbles form on top.

Puff Puff batter.

Note: Please check out the recipe video to see how the batter looks after rising.

Step 3: Heat up the oil and scoop the batter into the hot oil to make the balls. Place the fried Puff Puff on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Fried snack on paper towels.

Expert Tips

  • Use lukewarm water to mix the batter. The water should be slightly warm to the touch and around 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If the water is too cold, the yeast might not activate.
  • Don’t heat the oil for frying to be too hot. If the oil is too hot, the Puff Puff will burn on the outside without cooking through.
  • You know the batter is well-risen when bubbles form on top.
  • Let the batter rise to develop the right flavor and texture (it should be airy in the middle and not dense.)
  • Follow this recipe to the letter for the best results.
  • If you can’t scoop the batter into the oil with your hands, use a cookie scoop.
  • Puff Puff is not dessert so resist the temptation to make it too sweet. It should be slightly sweet so it can be eaten in sweet or savory meals.
  • To create a warm atmosphere for the batter to rise, turn on the oven for 1 minute, turn it off then place the batter in the oven to rise.
  • Serve Puff Puff with this African Pepper Sauce. They pair so well together.

Also, check out these recipes for Banana Puff Puff and Plantain Puff Puff.

Recipe FAQs

What is Puff Puff called in English?

The English word for Puff Puff is Puff Puff. There is no other word in English for the snack.

How do you make Puff Puff mix?

You make Puff Puff mix by combining flour, salt, sugar, and yeast and storing it in an airtight container.

How do you get Puff Puff to be round?

To get round Puff Puff, scoop the batter into the oil using your hands and shaping the batter as it drops into the oil. This technique requires practice. Watch the video to see how to do it.

Serving

Puff is great to eat as is or with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Here are some favorite recipes to pair with Puff Puff:

If you make this Puff Puff recipe, please take a moment to leave a star rating below.

Puff Puff on a white tray.

How To Make Puff Puff

5 from 17 votes
After making Puff Puff countless times in the past 10 years, let me teach you how to make the perfect Puff Puff. This West African snack will be your new favorite. Fluffy, slightly sweet, great flavor and the perfect breakfast or appetizer. Don't miss the recipe video.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups lukewarm water about 100-110 degrees F warm (43 degrees C)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons fast rising or active dry yeast (0.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup sugar *Note 1
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 40 ounces vegetable oil (for frying) or any flavorless oil

Instructions 

  • Add the warm water to a large mixing bowl and add the yeast. Follow by adding the sugar, flour and salt. Mix to combine using a wooden spoon or spatula until no dried flour is visible.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and keep in a warm place to rise for an hour or until doubled in size, bubbles form on top and it smells yeasty.
  • Pour oil into a wok or pan for deep frying up to 4-5 inches and heat up on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes.
  • Scoop the batter into the dough using your hands (watch the video to see how this is done) or scoop the batter into the oil using a small cookie scoop or even a greased teaspoon.
  • When one side of the Puff Puff turns golden brown, flip to the other side and continue frying until it is golden brown and there is no raw batter in the middle.
  • Remove the fried Puff Puff from the oil and place them on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  • Enjoy warm as is, with hot tea or any beverage.

Video

Notes

Sugar: Use only 1/3 cup of sugar to make Puff Puff that is less sweet. You could also increase the sugar to make Puff Puff that is sweet to your liking.
Flavor: Feel free to add flavors like grated nutmeg or vanilla to your Puff Puff.
Serving: Serve Puff Puff with hot tea for breakfast or African pepper sauce (hot sauce) as an appetizer.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: African, Cameroonian, Nigerian
Calories: 469
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.


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71 Comments

  1. First off….Thank you so much for sharing. I’m sure you can tell by my name where I’m from (haha). I love everything you do and please never stop. I always tell myself I’m gonna start cooking beignets and ndole but oh Lord.. with the help of these videos/blog I don’t have an excuse anymore! Anyways, this is the best blog EVER and I’ll be honest I never thought anyone could come up with such an awesome idea than to share and spread the food we culturally eat all the time and make it so simple. I really hope I can master this and hopefully share it here in the States for people to enjoy. Thanks again you’re a QUEEN!

    1. Awww thank you so much for these sweet words, Getraud! So glad you found me and glad that you feel blessed by my blog. Please let me know how it goes when you try a recipe.

  2. I just mixed puffpuff using your recipe. I hope it comes out like yours…. will let you know. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am making these for an International Luncheon to represent Nigeria. I know they are better fresh, but that’s not a possibility. What is the best way to prepare them in advance? Thanks in advance!? 😀

    1. Prepare them the same way then when they are cold, place them in airtight bags or containers and keep in the fridge. Lightly warm in the microwave to freshen them up before serving. It’s good to warm about 8 at a time for 1 minute on high. Note that if you heat up puff puff for too long in the microwave, it will become hard and basically inedible. Hope this gives you some ideas.

  4. I enjoyed this recipe. I love puff puff a lot. I used to buy it from mami Achombo back then in Bamenda. Pls Precious, what quantity of yeast is suitable for a 3kg flour?

  5. Previous, I’m a puff-puff diva now at home. Thanks for the recipe. I wish I could send you pictures!

  6. Wow!! I love your recipe. Please I wish to find out the average number of puffpuff that can be made from a kg of flour. Following the Cameroonian puffpuff size that is sold at 25F.

  7. I have tried this recipe twice and each time the puff puff never rises. I always end up making some pancake-like puff puff. I follow the measures strictly but always fail. Please what could be the problem

    1. Hi Celine, it looks like the yeast is not activating so the Puff Puff can rise. Try letting the yeast rest in the warm water for about 5 minutes. It should look a creamy and/or form bubbles. If this doesn’t happen, throw the water and yeast and try again. Also note that you need warm water for this recipe. Hot water will kill the yeast. Hope this helps.

  8. This is my first success with puff puff after a trillion tries. Yessssss!!!! Thank you so much 😊. Cheers to more recipes^^