Kid-friendly Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts + New Year's Honey Drizzle + Kid-Friendly "Chapman" Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts + New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle + Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

Family Meal Plan: Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts + New Year's Honey Drizzle + Kid-Friendly "Chapman"

Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts + New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle + Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Primestock Photography/
prep time
27 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts

The story behind this sticky, sweet, and all-around delicious dish goes back to Chef Dylan's childhood. His priest discovered "puff puffs" on a trip to Africa and, on returning home, held a cooking class in the church basement. Dylan and his mom were lucky enough to attend!

These slightly sweet, deep-fried balls of dough—essentially doughnuts—are popular throughout West Africa and are an essential part of any celebration! Puff puffs are known by different names in other countries. In Ghana, they're called "boflots." In Angola, they're "bolinhos." Cameroonians call them "beignets." (We think Nigerians came up with the best name!) Enjoy them as a breakfast, snack, side, or dessert!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast, or 1 packet
  • 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**
  • 1 C granulated sugar/honey/agave syrup
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 can or 1 C sparkling water
  • 1/3 C grenadine or cranberry juice (optional)
  • 2 C warm water
  • 2 C cold water
  • ice (optional)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • combine :

    to merge two or more ingredients into one mixture, like a batter of flour, eggs, and milk.

  • drizzle :

    to trickle a thin stream of a liquid ingredient, like icing or sauce, over food.

  • fry :

    to fry in a pan in a small amount of fat.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • squeeze :

    to firmly press or twist a food with fingers, hands, or a device to remove its liquid, like shredded potatoes, frozen and thawed spinach, or tofu.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

  • zest :

    to scrape off the outer colored part of a citrus fruit's rind (skin or peel) using a metal tool with small sharp blades, such as a zester, microplane, or the small holes of a grater (avoid the "pith," the white, spongy lining of the rind that can be bitter).

Equipment Checklist

  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Zester (or grater with small zesting plate/side)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Large mixing bowl (2)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small pot
  • Wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula
  • Tray or plate
  • Paper towels


Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, or 1 packet
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar/honey/agave
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil

New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle

  • 1/3 C honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 lemon

Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C (from 1 can) sparkling water
  • 1 T lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 C cold water
  • 1/3 C grenadine or cranberry juice (optional)
  • ice (optional)

Food Allergen Substitutions

Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour in Doughnuts.

New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle

Vegan: Substitute agave syrup for honey in Drizzle.


Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts


As the name suggests, this is an extremely puffy, tiny doughnut. A honey glaze creates a crisp texture even if you don't achieve the ideal golden brown while frying. This Nigerian classic is so tasty, you will be making it all the time.

measure + combine

Measure and combine 2 cups warm water, 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. This will activate the yeast and make it become bubbly. Stir the mixture and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.

measure + combine

Measure and combine 3 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 tablespoon salt in a separate bowl. After the yeast is frothy, add all the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir. The resulting mixture should be a very tacky, sticky batter.

fry + flip

Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a small pot over medium high heat. (You can use more if you prefer to deep-fry.) Place a small drop of batter into the oil. Once the batter begins to bubble, start scooping 1 tablespoon-sized scoops of batter into the hot oil. Sizzle and fry the batter until it puffs and expands, then flip the small doughnut over and cook until golden brown. Each Puff Puff will take about 5 minutes to cook.

drizzle + serve

Place the finished Puff Puff onto a paper towel-lined tray (this will absorb any excess oil and help catch any drips of the sticky sauce) and drizzle with New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle (see recipe)!

New Year's Honey-Honey Drizzle

squeeze + whisk

In a small bowl, measure 1/3 cup of honey and the juice from 1/2 lemon. Whisk to combine. That’s it! Drizzle this tasty glaze over Puff Puff the Nigerian Doughnuts (see recipe) or any doughnuts!

Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)


A "Chapman" is a bitter cucumber drink that is popular in Nigeria. This kid-friendly rendition will be a blended, refreshing variation of the classic.

chop + zest

Roughly chop 1/2 cucumber and zest 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon of zest) and place them in the bottom of a blender (or pitcher + immersion blender).

measure + blend

Measure 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups cold water, add them to the blender or pitcher, and blend everything together.

garnish + serve

Top the drink off with 1 cup of sparkling water and add the optional 1/3 cup of grenadine and ice. Serve!

Surprise Ingredient: Flour!

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Photo by WiP-Studio/

Hi! I’m Flour!

"Happy Baking, Friends! I'm Flour, and I'm a VIP (Very Important Powder)! I'm really quite useful (and humble). You can use me to make breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, crumpets, doughnuts, muffins, pancakes, pasta, waffles, and more. (Which is your favorite?) I can coat vegetables and meats before frying them in oil, and you can combine me with a fat to make a roux to thicken sauces and gravies. You can even make play dough and glue with me. Can you see now why I'm a VIP?"


  • Around 8,000 to 15,000 years ago, people discovered that they could crush wheat seeds between simple grindstones to make flour. 
  • When you grind cereal grains, beans, seeds, or roots (like cassava), they become a powder, resulting in flour. Some of the grains besides wheat that can be ground into flour are rye, buckwheat, barley, corn, oat, and rice. Other foods used to make flour are potatoes, acorns, mesquite, cassava, soybeans, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), amaranth, and even bananas! 
  • Flour is the primary component of bread, and bread is a staple in many countries. Therefore, sufficient amounts of flour are critical, which has caused major economic and political issues at various times throughout history. 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Before grains are ground into flour, they are whole pieces taken from a plant. 
  • Each kernel of wheat consists of three parts: the coarse outer bran layer (which contains most of the fiber), the germ, and the endosperm. The endosperm stores the grain's starch, a carbohydrate that the body uses to create energy. Other foods that contain starch are potatoes, pasta, and rice.
  • Whole-wheat flour is the result of grinding or milling the whole grain. It contains all three parts of the kernel—bran, endosperm, and germ.
  • White flour has been refined or polished and bleached to remove the bran. As a result, white flour has less fiber than whole-wheat flour and fewer nutrients, too.  
  • The word "flour" is originally a variant of the word "flower." Both derive from the Old French "fleur" or "flour," literally "blossom," and figuratively "the finest" (of the milled grain). 

How Flour is made

  • Flour is made in nearly every country in the world. 
  • First, farmers plant wheat seeds, and plants begin to grow. Then, when they are ready to harvest, farmers collect them with giant machines called combines. 
  • Combines cut, separate, and clean the wheat at the same time. The grain must be completely dry before storing, so farmers don't harvest it when it's rainy. 
  • Then, they transfer the flour to a mill (a building where grains are ground into flour), where a miller will oversee the grinding of the wheat grain into flour.
  • One whole wheat grain makes over 20,000 particles of flour!


  • Flour contains protein and is a significant source of carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrates are a direct source of energy for the body. Our bodies first have to make some changes to the carbohydrates, but then they are quickly converted to energy by our cells.
  • Fiber helps to keep our intestines happy, feeding the good bacteria in our gut. Whole-wheat, unbleached flour is an excellent source of fiber.
  • Whole wheat contains essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
  • Organic, unbleached flour is the healthiest.
  • Wheat-free and gluten-free flours are vital to people who have celiac disease, wheat allergies, or gluten intolerance (or non-celiac gluten sensitivity). Varieties of gluten-free flours include those made from: almonds, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and teff. 


What is a Puff Puff?

Photo by Primestock Photography/
  • "Puff puff" is the Nigerian name for a fried doughnut-like dough eaten as a snack all over Africa that is similar to a "beignet" (ben-yay). In fact, they are called "beignets" in Cameroon, where they speak French.
  • Puff puffs are made from a dough of flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, butter, water, and salt. After the yeasted dough has risen for about an hour, a small amount is hand-rolled into a ball and placed in hot vegetable oil to fry. Before serving, they are sometimes rolled or dusted in sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

Let's Learn About Nigeria!

Photo by Riccardo Mayer/
  • Nigeria is a West African country officially called the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is made up of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the location of the capital city, Abuja. The largest city is Lagos.
  • The total area of Nigeria is 356,669 square miles. That is bigger than the US state of Texas but smaller than Alaska. 
  • Nigeria has the most people of any country in Africa, with over 225 million people. The population is very diverse, with more than 250 ethnic groups. However, the largest groups are the Hausa, the Yoruba, and the Igbo. They make up about 60 percent of the population.
  • The Nigerian government is a Federal Presidential Republic with a President, Vice President, National Assembly (legislature), and Supreme Court. 
  • Nigerian Independence Day is October 1, the biggest festival in Nigeria, when they celebrate Nigeria's independence from Great Britain in 1960. They had been a British colony since 1850, which explains why the country's official language is English. Their national languages are Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
  • The climate in Nigeria is usually hot—Nigeria averages around 90 degrees most of the year, and there are only two seasons: rainy and dry!
  • Zuma Rock is a natural monolith (a single massive stone or rock) that is 980 feet higher than its surrounding area. It is the highest point in Nigeria at 2,379 feet in elevation and is a 45-minute drive from Abuja, the capital. A picture of Zuma Rock appears on the 100 note of Nigeria's currency, the "naira." It is known not only for its size but for the face that appears on one of its sides.
  • The Sclater's guenon is a rare monkey that calls southern Nigeria home, living in swamps and forests. The African (or West African) manatee weighs about 1,000 pounds and lives in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.
  • The hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria contribute to the country's cuisine. Their dishes include "akara" (a fried bean fritter), "dodo" (fried ripe plantains), "jollof rice" (a one-pot dish of rice, tomato, onion, and meat or fish), "moin moin" (a savory bean pudding with onions, peppers, and black-eyed peas), and "suya," (skewered, smoked, and spicy sliced meat). 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Nigeria?

  • The school year in Nigeria runs from January through December. Typically, there are three semesters, with a month off following each one. Since English is the national language in Nigeria, it is spoken in schools.
  • Most schools have strict dress codes. There are required uniforms and rules about everything from hairstyles to shoes to jewelry. This can be difficult for kids because Nigerians are known for wearing colorful traditional outfits.
  • Many Nigerian extended families live in the same home or separate homes clustered very close together.
  • Age equals respect in Nigerian families. For example, an older sibling may be called "Senior Brother" or "Senior Sister" instead of by their actual name. 
  • "Ayo" is a fun board game found everywhere. You use seeds, pebbles, or dried beans and twelve cups to play. Checkers and hand-clapping games are also popular.
  • Soccer is a national obsession in Nigeria (like in much of Africa). Kids also enjoy volleyball and wrestling.
  • For snacks, kids may eat "puff puff," Nigerian doughnut balls, or "chin chin," crunchy fried pastry, like cookies.

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the lemon have no friends? 

Because she was a sour-puss!

That's Berry Funny

What do bakers give their moms on Mother's Day? 


The Yolk's On You

What did the cherry give to the chocolate cake on Valentine’s Day? 


The Yolk's On You

What do you call a pickle lullaby? 

A cucumber slumber number.

THYME for a Laugh

How does a cucumber become a pickle? 

It goes through a jarring experience!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the lemon stop halfway across the road? 

He ran out of juice!

Lettuce Joke Around

What did one pickle say to the other? 

"You mean a great dill to me."

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the honeybee go to the barbershop? 

To get a buzz-cut!

Lettuce Joke Around

What did the yeast confess to the bag of flour? 

I loaf you dough much!

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