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Learn how to make Nigerian buns from scratch with this easy recipe! Crunchy outside and soft inside, these sweet fried dough snacks are simply irresistible!

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Nigerian buns recipe

Trust me when I say you NEED to try Nigerian buns.

There’s just something about them that is totally addictive. PLUS, they’re super easy to make!

Like the famous Nigerian puff puff, Nigerian buns are another favorite snack everyone loves buying on the streets of Nigeria.

A good portion of the change my mom gave us when she left for work every morning was spent on buns and puffs.

Nigerian buns offer just the right sweetness with an irresistible texture: soft and pillowy inside but crunchy outside. 

Apart from being on every street corner, Nigerian buns are enjoyed as a light snack before the main food at parties, picnics, family get-togethers, official meetings, and other great functions.

Intrigued and want to try them yourself? I got you!

This recipe is very simple to make, so prepare your hot chocolate, tea, a cold glass of Zobo drink, or Fanta Chapman

I mean, there’s a reason why adults and children alike flock to the tray of these rounds of goodness.

It’s seriously addicting! Lest you forget, you can also tweak the recipe to your desire!

What Are Nigerian Buns

What Are Nigerian Buns?

Nigerian buns are round, popular African snacks made of simple ingredients like flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and so on.

These deep-fried dough balls have a slight crunch on the outside and a soft, doughnut-like texture on the inside.

How to make Nigerian buns

If you can’t stand the chewiness of puff puff, you’ll love Nigerian buns!

These golden brown snacks are best enjoyed while hot. Although some Nigerians still love their buns at room temperature, arguing that you can taste the added ingredients better.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick And Easy – This Nigerian buns recipe is made of simple ingredients that can be mixed and fried within a few minutes. They’re the perfect option if you crave something sweet after a very busy day or when unexpected guests show up, a common occurrence in our Nigerian household.
  • Tasty – The flavorful ingredients, such as milk, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, orange, and coconut flakes, make these buns extra delicious. After following this recipe, you’ll be hooked on Nigerian buns!
  • Easily Tweaked – You can easily add, substitute, and even remove some ingredients from this recipe. See the ingredient additions and substitutions section below!

What Do Nigerian Buns Taste Like?

Nigerian buns are sweet and rich with an addictive texture: a crunchy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. 

So, if you need a quick, sweet fix, these dough balls will satisfy your cravings.

Their sweetness, made richer by the eggs and milk, plus the flavor added by nutmeg, vanilla, coconut flakes, and orange, makes every bite of this fried snack as addicting as the previous bite.

You’ll also appreciate how these fried dough snacks are not super greasy!

Nigerian buns recipe

What Is The Difference Between Puff Puff and Buns?

Texture

Nigerian buns have a crunchy exterior and a fluffy, soft interior thanks to baking powder.

how to make nigerian buns with eggs

Nigerian puff puffs, on the other hand, use yeast, so they are spongy and soft inside out. They’re also a bit chewy and not as dense as Nigerian buns. 

Flavor

Nigerian buns are typically sweet, rich, and filling. However, the exact flavor can vary depending on the recipe (ours, for example, has orange, nutmeg, vanilla, and coconut.)

Their sweetness is similar to that of doughnuts and less than that of cinnamon rolls.

Nigerian puff puff has a mildly sweet flavor. Due to the ingredients used, puff puffs generally have no variety in flavor compared to Nigerian buns. 

Oiliness 

Nigerian buns are not as oily as puff puffs. This is because Nigerian puff puffs tend to soak in a lot of oil during frying.

How to avoid this? Make sure your oil is hot enough!

Frying puff puffs in shallow oil can also cause them to soak up too much oil. 

Differences Between Buns And Puff puff

Difficulty

Nigerian buns require more skills and experience to get them perfectly. You want the buns to be crunchy outside and pillowy inside. 

However, don’t let this deter you. The more times you make them, the easier they’ll get. 

Nigerian buns recipe
Nigerian Buns
what is puff puff called in english
Puff Puff
Nigerian BunsPuff Puff
TextureCrunchy, semi-hard exterior and fluffy interiorSoft texture throughout
FlavorSweet and rich with different varieties of flavorSlightly sweet, less varieties of flavor
Oil ContentDon’t soak up a lot of oil while deep-fryingTend to soak up more oil while deep-frying
MasteryModerate-level culinary skills neededSome culinary skills are needed
Cooking TimeRight away after mixing the dough45-120 minutes after mixing the dough

Nigerian Buns Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – This is the main ingredient in this recipe on how to make Nigerian buns from scratch. Although we typically use all-purpose flour, self-rising flour can be used for that extra “puff.”
  • Baking powder – Unlike Nigerian puff puffs, which call for yeast, we use baking powder as the raising agent for buns. With baking powder, you do not have to wait for the dough to rise.
  • Granulated sugar – Sugar improves the sweetness of this fried snack.
  • Salt – Add salt to taste.
  • Nutmeg – Although not an absolute must-have, nutmeg gives your Nigerian buns a delicious, warm, nutty flavor.
  • Milk – Milk is added to the dry ingredients instead of warm water. It forms a nice, wet, smooth, and thick batter for better taste and texture of your buns.
  • Eggs – Eggs improve the batter consistency. They also impart richness to the Nigerian buns.
  • Butter – For soft and rich buns. 
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla gives your Nigerian buns an extra layer of flavor.
  • Grated orange – Grated orange or lime is nice to add but not essential. If you love fruity flavors, try this addition!
  • Coconut flakes – Just like the grated citrus, coconut coconut flakes can be added to give the buns a slight coconut taste. You can also use coconut flakes to garnish the cooked buns.
  • Vegetable oil – For deep frying the bun dough. 
ingredients for nigerian buns

Tools Needed To Cook Buns

how to make african buns

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Nigerian Buns

Vanilla and nutmeg

You can substitute vanilla and nutmeg with other flavorings like strawberry, almond, chocolate, and cinnamon!

Personally, I think vanilla and nutmeg in buns are always a hit.

Granulated Sugar

Honey is a very good sugar substitute. Because it’s sweeter than sugar, you can also use less!

Milk

You can use reduced-fat milk for less calories!

How to Make Nigerian Buns At Home (Step-by-Step)

Ingredients:

nigerian buns ingredients

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

step 1 - african buns

STEP 2: Add the rest of the ingredients to the flour mixture. 

step 2 - how to make nigerian buns recipe

STEP 3: Make sure the mixture is thoroughly combined. It should be smooth, thick, and easily scooped.

step 3 - african buns recipe

STEP 4: Pour enough oil into a large pot. It should come up to at least three inches. Then, turn the stove to medium, and let the oil get hot but not extremely hot where you see fumes.

step 4 - how to make african buns

STEP 5: Drop in a few dough balls at a time so they do not stick together. Fry until golden brown, then flip so the other side gets cooked. This should take about 3 minutes.

STEP 6: Place the cooked buns on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 

african buns recipe

STEP 7: Garnish and serve with a hot or cold drink like Fanta Chapman.

What To Serve With Nigerian Buns

Tips To Help You Make The Best Deep Fried Buns

  • Make sure your batter for the buns is not too thick or watery. The former can lead to tough buns, while the latter is also not ideal, as the buns won’t hold their shape well. 
  • If you are using powdered milk, mix it with warm water before whisking it in the other wet ingredients.
  • Fry the buns in oil at least 3 inches deep. Too little oil can make the buns flat, oily, or undercooked in the center.
  • Use medium heat, around 350°F, when frying the buns. You don’t want them to brown too quickly but not cooked all the way through.
  • Use an ice cream scoop instead of spoons when scooping the batter into the oil for more rounded shaped buns. And make sure your balls aren’t too big, or the buns might get undercooked inside.

How To Store Nigerian Buns

  • Fridge: The delicious buns can become stale if they’re exposed to air for too long. Wrap your Nigerian buns in foil, then transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, store the buns in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Reheating: Nigerian buns are best enjoyed warm, so pop them in the microwave, air fryer, or oven for a few minutes at a low temperature before serving. If frozen, thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating. 
How To Store Nigerian Buns

Why Are My Nigerian Buns Not Crunchy?

The secret to getting that perfect crunchy exterior to your Nigerian buns is deep-frying them in pre-heated oil. If the oil is not hot enough, the buns will just soak it. 

However, you also don’t want to fry the buns in super high heat.

This can cause them to brown too quickly outside but undercooked inside. 

Why Are My Nigerian Buns Flat?

When frying Nigerian buns, the oil should be deep enough. Otherwise, they’ll come out flat because there’s too little oil for them to float in. 

Another reason why your buns turn out flat is your baking powder. Keep in mind that baking powder loses potency after 6 months of opening. 

FAQ About Nigerian Buns

How long do Nigerian buns last?

You can keep your Nigerian buns at room temperature for a day or two. Just put them in an airtight container so they’re not exposed to air. 

Will self-rising flour work?

Absolutely! Feel free to use self-rising flour on your Nigerian buns. And because it’s already made with baking powder, you can leave baking powder out in the recipe. 

Can I use yeast instead of baking powder?

No. Use baking powder on your Nigerian buns to get the perfect texture. But if you’re making Nigerian puff puff, you’ll need yeast.

Can you make Nigerian buns without milk?

Sure. Feel free to omit milk in your Nigerian buns if you can’t tolerate dairy. Just swap milk with water. But to get the ideal batter consistency, pour the water slowly into the dry ingredients.

Can you make Nigerian buns without eggs?

Yup. You can omit eggs in your Nigerian buns. They’re just optional ingredients to make the buns richer. 

Nigerian buns recipe

Nigerian Buns

Yield: 15-20 buns
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to make Nigerian buns from scratch with this easy recipe! Crunchy outside and soft inside, these sweet fried dough snacks are simply irresistible!

Instructions

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the flour mixture.
  3. Make sure the mixture is thoroughly combined. It should be smooth, thick, and easily scooped.
  4. Pour enough oil into a large pot. It should come up to at least three inches. Then, turn the stove to medium, and let the oil get hot but not extremely hot where you see fumes.
  5. Drop in a few dough balls at a time so they do not stick together. Fry until golden brown, then flip so the other side gets cooked. This should take about 3 minutes.
  6. Place the cooked buns on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  7. Garnish and serve with a hot or cold drink like Fanta Chapman.

Notes

  • Make sure your batter for the buns is not too thick or watery. The former can lead to tough buns, while the latter is also not ideal, as the buns won't hold their shape well. 
  • If you are using powdered milk, mix it with warm water before whisking it in the other wet ingredients.
  • Fry the buns in oil at least 3 inches deep. Too little oil can make the buns flat, oily, or undercooked in the center.
  • Use medium heat, around 350°F, when frying the buns. You don't want them to brown too quickly but not cooked all the way through.
  • Use an ice cream scoop instead of spoons when scooping the batter into the oil for more rounded shaped buns. And make sure your balls aren't too big, or the buns might get undercooked inside.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

Move over donut holes!

Make these Nigerian buns at home and discover why these deep-fried buns are popular in West Africa.

If you’re a fan of puff puff, you’ll love its denser and less oily sibling.

how to make nigerian buns with eggs

Nigerian buns also use baking soda instead of yeast, so the batter is ready to go after mixing. 

Perfectly crispy outside but soft and fluffy inside, everyone should try these sweet African snacks at least once. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy these Nigerian buns as much as I do. Want to see more Nigerian recipes? Here are some recipe suggestions for you:

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