Cooking Corner: Puff Puff

a plate of puff puff

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting a popular Nigerian snack recipe for puff puff from All Nigerian Recipes. Puff Puff is a soft, deep friend snack similar to doughnuts and easily a Nigerian favourite appetizer. You might eat it whenever as a snack with a soft drink or for breakfast with tea.

We’ve also provided ingredient alternatives so you can still enjoy this treat with what you have at home or at your closest supermarket.


For about 20 balls of puff puff, the size in the photo above, you will need:

  • 200g (1½ cups) pizza flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (or to your taste)
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • 1⅛ cup warm water
  • Vegetable Oil (for frying)


  1. Sift the pizza flour into a clean dry bowl, add the nutmeg, sugar and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add warm water and mix till everything is well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or plastic film and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes or till double in size.
  4. Pour some oil in a deep pot and allow to heat up. The oil should be at least 3 inches deep. This is to give room for the puff puffs to swim in the oil. It’s not advisable to use a deep fryer for Puff Puff because of the netting but if you want to use it, set the temperature to 170°C.
  5. Test that the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and comes up to the surface of the oil, then the oil is hot enough. If the oil is not hot enough, the batter will go down to the bottom of the oil and stay there.
  6. When the oil is hot enough, scoop some batter into the oil with an ice cream scoop. See video below.
  7. Put in more scoops of the batter, as much as the space in the frying pot will allow without overcrowding.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium.
  9. Once the underside of the puff puff has turned golden brown, flip the ball so that the topside will be fried as well.
  10. When the puff puff balls are golden all over, take them out and place in a sieve lined with paper towels.

Serve warm with a chilled drink or Nigerian Style Fruit Salad. Feel free to top it up with jam and other condiments you normally eat doughnuts with.

Ingredients Alternatives and Ideas

Pizza Flour

Pizza flour, or 00 flour, can be difficult (but not impossible!) to find. However, it’s often a lot more expensive than other types of flour. For example, Tesco Finest 00 flour will set you back around £1.60 and usually is even more expensive than that. A cheaper alternative is Bread Flour. Although it is not as fine as 00 flour, it has a similar gluten content so your Puff Puff should be comparable with that made of pizza flour. This is available at Tesco for £1.30. Beyond that, some recipes use all purpose flour (which costs as little as £0.58) and yeast.

Ground Nutmeg

As with most other spices, ground nutmeg can be a fairly expensive thing to buy if you’re only going to use it for one recipe, however it’s available for 95p from Sainsbury’s. Getting some spices might be the thing that gets you into baking! You can find other recipes and search by spice on BBC Good Food. Alternatively, you can flavour your puff puff with what you have in the cupboard as they can be sweet or savoury, for example, some people make them spicy.

Granulated Sugar

Granulated sugar is a fairly cheap ingredient, costing as little as £0.69 at Tesco, however we would like to add that you can substitute this with any sugar you have in the house. Particularly good substitutions are caster sugar or brown sugar.

Vegetable Oil

The price of vegetable oil is fairly comparable across the major supermarkets, costing £1.75 per litre at Tesco, Aldi and Sainsbury’s. This is another ingredient you can use for countless things, from banana bread recipes to frying an egg.

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