If you love the fried buns that are popular in Nigeria and Ghana, you'll be pleased to learn that they're super easy to make at home! Unlike other popular African buns, these don't use yeast, so they come together really fast. Fry up a batch to enjoy buns that are crispy, golden brown on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside. Enjoy them with your favorite African meal or as a special treat.
How to Make African Buns
Part 1 of 2:
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Get out a large mixing bowl and pour in 3 cups (360 g) of all-purpose flour along with 1/4 cup (50 g) of granulated sugar. Add 2 teaspoons (8 g) of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) of salt. Then, whisk for about 10 seconds so the dry mix is combined.  X Research source Don't have granulated sugar? It's totally fine to use the same amount of brown sugar—your buns might just have a deeper caramel flavor with a hint of molasses.
Mix in cinnamon or nutmeg if you want to add a little spice to the buns. Although African buns are delicious on their own, it's easy to add extra flavor. Whisk 1 teaspoon (2 g) of ground cinnamon or nutmeg into the dry ingredients for warm, spiced buns.  X Research source Play around with different flavorings. Stir in the zest of 1 lemon or orange for a bright, citrus flavor, for instance.
Add 3 eggs, melted butter, and milk to the mixing bowl. Crack 3 eggs right into the flour mixture in your mixing bowl. Then, pour in 1/4 cup (56 g) of melted butter and 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) of milk. If you want a deeper flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of vanilla.  X Research source Feel free to substitute the same amount of margarine if you don't have butter. In a pinch, you could use the same amount of water instead of milk. The buns just might not be as flavorful.
Mix the ingredients to form a thick, stretchy batter. Stir vigorously to break up the eggs and combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Keep stirring until you don't see any pockets of flour and the dough looks thick and elastic.  X Research source Switch to a wooden spoon if your spatula isn't sturdy enough for the thick batter.
Part 2 of 2:
Pour vegetable oil into a skillet and turn the burner to medium. Set a deep skillet on the stove and pour in enough vegetable oil to come 2 inches (5.1 cm) up the sides. Then, turn the burner on to medium and heat the oil until it shimmers.  X Research source If you don't have vegetable oil, it's fine to use canola oil or sunflower oil instead.
Drop balls of batter into the hot oil using your fingers. Pull a golf-ball-size piece of batter out of your mixing bowl and use your thumb to roll it down into the oil. Hold your hand about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the oil so the ball gently drops into the oil without splashing you. Keep adding the balls to the skillet until it's full—you may need to fry the buns in batches.  X Research source If the batter sticks to your fingers as you're forming the balls, just dip them in cool water every once in a while. Use an ice cream scoop to form the balls if you don't want to use your fingers. Don't make the balls larger or they won't cook in the center before the outside browns.
Fry the buns over medium heat for 10 to 13 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to turn them over every few minutes so they cook on all sides. Keep frying the buns until they're a rich, golden brown color.  X Research source If the buns brown too fast, turn down the burner to medium-low. You don't want the outside burning before the center is cooked.
Transfer the buns to a paper towel-lined plate before you serve them. Turn off the burner and scoop up the fried buns with your slotted spoon. Set them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease. Then, eat the buns once they're cool enough to handle.  X Research source If you couldn't fit all of the batter in the skillet, heat the oil back up and fry another batch. Enjoy the African buns with a cup of hot tea, or sprinkle them with sugar and flaked coconut for a sweet treat!