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Nigerian Doughnuts

January 23, 2013 | 32 Comments

nigerian doughnuts

Nigerian doughnuts are in essence, jelly filled sugar doughnuts made from a combination of yeast, flour, sugar, amongst other ingredients. They are not to be confused with Puff Puff or Buns, which use similar ingredients, as the batter and dough of those recipes have different consistencies, thus yielding different results. These doughnuts are not as soft as Puff Puff and are closer in texture to buns; the donuts while soft, are slightly firm owing to their density with a bread like texture.

My earliest memories of eating doughnuts in Nigeria are at Mr.Biggs. I loved that place, I should just buy stock in there, since I’m so enamored by them! Their doughnuts were simply doughy balls of  deep fried, sticky, sugary deliciousness, I didn’t eat them as much as I ate their chicken pies, but I sure did love those donuts.

They came with a light dusting of granulated white sugar and had a red jelly filled center, which sometimes didn’t go all the way through or you’d sometimes receive such a scant amount of jelly that you became annoyed. I mean, the entire purpose of getting the donut was to get to the jelly! I remember a friend that would nibble around the doughnut, so the jelly center would be the final treat, a mess, lol!

Instead of using jelly, I made a strawberry reduction sauce to fill the center and used some of the liquid from the sauce to glaze the doughnuts to help the sugar stick better. Sugar overload, I tell you and it does nothing for your waistline, but expand it *heavy sigh* it was delicious though ;0

These doughnuts are loaded with sugar, so if you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic or just health conscious, read the notes below on how to make healthier versions. (Is it weird that I love the smell of yeast once it starts to work its magic in dough? Yes? No? Oh well, I love it *inhales deeply*)

These are relatively simple to recreate, the only fussy bit is having to wait, not once, but twice, for the dough to rest. If you’ve ever attempted chicken pies, puff puff or buns, this should be a breeze for you, no lie!

To learn how to make Nigerian Doughnuts, here’s what you’ll need:

Recipe Cost: $12.60 Prep: 1 hr 45 mins Cook: 30 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Yield: 6-8 donutsnigerian doughnut ingredients

For strawberry filling:

1. Add flour, salt and yeast to a dry bowl

2. Stir together with a whisk or spoon. Add room temperature butter to flour

3. Use finger tips to work butter into flour till it looks crumbly. Add light brown sugar

4. Stir together with a whisk or spoon. Make a well/hole in center of flour, add egg in

5. Add warm milk to egg

6. Use a whisk or spoon to start mixing till it starts to stiffen

7. Switch to your hands and work dough till it starts to come together

8. Keep working dough until it becomes smooth with no lumps

9. Holding dough in one hand, rub around bowl with some butter, return dough to bowl, cover and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place

10. After 1 hour, dough should have doubled in size. Add some flour to a surface and rolling pin

11. Begin rolling out dough to the thickness of your smallest finger

12. Using a cookie cutter or water bottle lid (below), start cutting out circles in dough

13. Cut out as many circles as you can

14. As you cut out the circles, transfer them to a tray sprinkled with flour and sprinkle some flour atop dough

14b. Roll up any scraps you have and finish cutting

15. Cover tray with foil or cling film and let dough rise to almost double in size for 30-45 minutes in a warm place

16. While waiting for dough to rise, start heating up your oil and making the strawberry reduction sauce

17. One time has elapsed, start adding doughnuts to hot oil

18. Let fry up to a minute per side till golden brown

19. Finish frying all donuts and set aside on a paper towel to drain excess oil

20. Once strawberry sauce has cooled, pour into a piping/icing bag

21. Use a knife to create a center inside the doughnut

22. Insert icing tip into doughnut and fill with strawberry sauce, then set aside

23. Once filled, roll doughnuts in strawberry liquid (please see notes below ; apologies for the harsh yellow)

24. Roll glazed doughnut in granulated white sugar, set aside

25. You, my friend, just made some Nigerian doughnuts!

26. Texure shot


  1. To get the strawberry glaze, once the strawberries start boiling, the liquid will start turning red, before it starts to thicken up, spoon up some of the red liquid and set aside
  2. If you don’t have a piping/icing bag, you can use the edge of a ziploc/nylon bag. However, this method might not get sufficiently get enough of the sauce down the center of the donut.
  3. I used the British spelling (doughnut) and the American spelling (donut) interchangeably.
  4. Ensure the strawberries are mushy enough to pass through the tip of the bag or you might run into some difficulty there.
  5. You can add some vanilla or cinnamon powder to the sugar you roll the donuts in if you’d like.
  6. Have your butter/margarine sitting out so it becomes room temperature
  7. Try not to add too much sugar to the dough as there’s already sugar in the filling and it’s being rolled in more sugar!
  8. It’s fine if you don’t have a cookie cutter, just be sure to use a drinking glass or small bowl/lid that is not too small nor too wide.
  9. The dough rests twice, once after kneading and again, after cutting.
  10. The donuts were fried at 375 degrees F/190 degrees C.
  11. Be sure not to overcrowd when frying the doughnuts, 2-3 at a time till you’re done. This, depending on how big your pot or fryer is.
  12. As you insert the knife into the donut to create the center, wiggle it a bit to make enough room for the filling. Also ensure that the tip of the knife does not come out on the other end.
  13. All your doughnuts may not be the same shape and size, this is okay. Your filling might not go all the way through either, this is also okay, nothing to fret about.
  14. Glazing the donut is optional, I think it helps the sugar stick better, although you will have some that the sugar dissolves into the surface of the doughnut. I ran out of sugar towards the end, so some might look sparse on the sugar side.


  1. I used light brown sugar, but you can use dark brown or granulated white sugar.
  2. You can use any kind of oil you’d like, except peanut or palm oil.
  3. You can use confectioners/powdered sugar in place of granulated white sugar.

Healthy Nigerian Doughnuts:

  1. Bake instead of deep frying (you’d want more of a batter instead of a dough, for a lighter texture)
  2. Use coconut palm sugar to replace white or brown sugar
  3. Use refined coconut oil to fry
  4. Use whole wheat flour, whole grain flour or coconut flour

Serving Suggestions:

Honey, just eat it, like I did, standing at the stove once I was done, oohing and silently moaning at how good it was and bemoaning myself for eating something so sinful!


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Rating: 8.3/10 (21 votes cast)
Nigerian Doughnuts, 8.3 out of 10 based on 21 ratings

32 Responses to "Nigerian Doughnuts"

  1. Kemi says:

    Yetty, U!! never stop wowing me!. When i saw the post on facebook, i came here straight to see if it has bin posted and voila! here it is.
    I totally love dis and will try it soon. Not too sure about making the strawberry reduction sauce(except i lay hands on d ingredients easily) all d same, i’m definitely trying this very very soon.
    I want to know if it’s safe to store yeast at home and for how long? Most stores here sell the ones that has bin tied with nylon but i’m not comfortable with it. The ones that are probably packaged seems too much for me since i only bake for fun and not for commercial use. Looking at this now, i am begining to think of getting the packaged yeast but i want to be sure it’s safe.
    Kudos to you, my lil gal won’t stop asking for chicken pie. Thanks

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Kemi!

      Aww, thanks! It’s the grace of God o. The sauce is pretty simple to make and the packaged yeast in the envelope type satchets are the ones I purchase, although some are sold in jars/bottles. The packets should last a while, not sure about the nylon ones, so I’d just go with the packaged yeast.

      Keep me posted on how it turns out when you do try it! Yay, those are the type of success stories I like to read, keep it up! ;)

  2. This was the one thing that I loved about Mr. Biggs. After all this time, I might be able to reproduce it in my own kitchen. You’re just awesome, Yetunde!

    P.S. I am not sure I have visited your blog this year, so Happy New Year! (Better late than never, right?)

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey RB, what it do?!

      Yup, try it out! Happy new year to you too hun!

  3. kelsey says:

    Thanks so much for posting the doughnut recipe, i have been searching for so long. Can I form the dough as a ball then fry it like those tim bit from Tim Hortons? I don’t want to fill it

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Kelsey!

      You’re most welcome! I wouldn’t form the dough as a ball, to retain the doughnut shape, you’d need to roll it out and cut into it with a round object/cutter. There’s no Tim Horton’s in Chicago (none that I’m aware of!), but if you mean doughnut holes, all you need do is a get a round cutter or a large round cutter and a smaller one and cut out a hole in the center of the already cut out dough and fry as is.

      You don’t have to fill it if you prefer not to. For the doughnut holes, it would be easier to still roll it out and then cut out the smaller holes.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Oluyomi says:

    Tried out your doughnut recipe and the doughnuts came out picture perfect…..we all had fair share of the doughnuts….thanks for the detailed steps with pics….will try out the sausages….you make baking pretty easy….

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      Yay, glad for your success! Thanks, I’m so not a baker, but certain aspects of baking, I can manage ;)

  5. Oluyomi says:

    Tried out the Sausage rolls recipe and I am just loving this….feeling like a cook….my son is simply loving this new mum and my hubby….so, when are we making these sausages………is this what you do for a living???Thanks for sharing….deeply appreciated!!!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Oluyomi!

      Aww, I love your comment! I live for comments like yours. No, it’s not what I do for a living, just love to cook and write.

      You’re most welcome!

  6. Dee says:

    I saw this and I thought – Finally somebody attempted to make this !! Been looking for this recipe lately, missing Mr. Biggs! Its been so long! Definitely going to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Yetunde says:

      Oh, Mr.Biggs, it’s been far too long I tell you! Please do try and share how you like it.

      You’re most welcome!

  7. Omojadesola says:

    I made two weekd ago 4 my bday and every loved it! Infact my friend jes paid me to make him 60 pcs! Tanks Yetty!

    • Yetunde says:

      Awesome, awesome! I love success stories, keep it up hun! :)

  8. lmaobong says:

    Nice one! I’ve never been here. I just bumped into this site and voila,it’s worth it! Easy to understand and straight to the point. How can I get these strawberries to use for the doughnut?

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Imaobong!

      Thanks and welcome to our community! Strawberries are easily available, however, this depends on your location. If you are unable to find strawberries, you can use a sweet fruit, it might not be red in color, but it’ll have the sweetness strawberries provide. If that fails, then you can use strawberry jam instead.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Busola says:

    Good job Yetunde. Can I bake the doughnut instead of frying? Thanks.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Busola!

      Thanks love, yes, you can bake them instead of frying it.

  10. Sisian says:

    Wow these donuts are lovely and sooo easy to make this is the first straight forward recipe I’ve seen! Made it twice already! For my connect group members! You rock! ⌣̊┈̥-̶̯-̶̯͡»̶̥τ̅ђӑηks⌣̊┈̥-̶̯-̶̯͡»̶̥ a lot

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Sisian!

      Thanks love ;)

  11. Amina says:

    Wow.luv this.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Amina!

      Glad you love it :)

  12. Joa says:

    Woo! Incredible! Magnificent! dis is so fanimorus Yetty I give u hand

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Joa!

      Thanks love ;)

  13. Thank you for sharing your recipe and tips! I can’t wait to try this out myself and experiment with different fillings!

    • Yetunde says:

      Thanks, hope you enjoy!

  14. Jumskycakes says:

    I tried out the recipe yesterday, it was really good.Thanks for sharing

    • Yetunde says:

      You’re welcome love!

  15. Temi says:

    Hi yetty. Tanks for ur recipes. It really been of help.pls at Wat temperature can u bake da doughnut.

    • Yetunde says:

      You can bake at 350 degrees. You’re most welcome!

  16. Chinenye says:

    Wow! It came out really tasty thanks. I used granulated sugar instead of light brown sugar. I just want to know some of the donuts came golden but the inside was still a bit doughy. I wonder were I missed it for those ones

  17. Grace says:

    just ran across ur blog now and tried it out.the taste was awesome but i think i ve a little challenge on the texture.the outside was kind of dried and crunchy instead of the normal soft stuff.i dnt know where i missed it pls help

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