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 26 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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88 Comments

  1. Thank you for the recipe ! We found it very helpful watching how you squeeze the batter into the oil.
    Our Puff puff came out very tough and chewy, and we had to keep adding water as we fried them the batter kept getting thicker. Is this correct ? My daughter was making them as a school project about the Congolese, and we wanted them to be correct but maybe we overmixed the dough because we used the electric mixer ??

    1. Hi Mary, Puff Puff is best mixed by hand or using a wooden spoon. Did you follow the measurements? The proportion of ingredients used is very important for the right texture. Hope this gave you some ideas as to what must have been the problem.

  2. I tried this recipe this evening and I LOVED it. SO simple and delicious. It reminds me of a chewier version of funnel cake. I used brown sugar instead of granulated sugar but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Precious

    Thanks for the recipe. Could you kindly assist in measuring the water in grams or mls just the way you give flour measurement in metric. I have noticed that size of cups differ, using cup to measure might not give me the accurate measurement. Thanks as you do this.

    1. Hi Teesweet, you need just under 500 ml of water for this recipe. The exact measurement is 473 ml. Hope this helps.

      1. It was perfect. Only substitution was brown sugar in lieu of white sugar and a reduction of the yeast; I had just 2 tspns in a sachet.

        Thank you! Will be making for Christmas

  4. Please I want to use 4 cups of flour(I used the empty milk tin for measuring). And 1 cup sugar (same tin used) the problem is I don’t have any measuring tools to measure my yeast and water.. I don’t know if yeast and water can ever be too small or too much in puff puff? I don’t want this not to come out well. Please help, how can I measure yeast and water?

    1. Hi Racheal, I am not sure how a milk tin compares to the measuring cups I used in this recipe so unfortunately I can’t answer that. If you watch the video, you will see the consistency of the batter then that can guide you on how much water to add. Hope this helps.

  5. This is the only puff puff recipe that has worked for me. Thanks Precious, I totally enjoyed my puff puff. Infact my husband and daughter too, and I had to make a full half tray that same night, after the trial serving 😆 😂.