Nigerian Buns with Pumpkin (Donut Holes)

Nigerian Buns (Best Healthy Donut Holes)! One of the recipes I love to make is Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts. It reminds me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Also, whenever I make these Nigerian doughnuts during the fall season, I would typically add pumpkin purée and other fall flavors. This would instantly catapult…

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Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée.

Nigerian Buns (Best Healthy Donut Holes)!

One of the recipes I love to make is Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts. It reminds me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Also, whenever I make these Nigerian doughnuts during the fall season, I would typically add pumpkin purée and other fall flavors. This would instantly catapult these Nigerian buns to what we all love and enjoy here in America – donut holes. And these are not your regular donut holes; these are healthier. Enough said, let’s get making this easy Nigerian buns with pumpkin!

With this recipe, I used one stone to kill two birds. First, I made my childhood delicacy; buns—and added pumpkin puree + other fall flavors. These Nigerian buns, aka pumpkin donut holes, is a win-win situation!

If you enjoy the fall season, aka pumpkin season, check out my healthy pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins with oats.

Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée. If you enjoy the fall season, aka pumpkin season, check out my healthy pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins with oats.

 Nigerian Favorite Snack – Buns!

Buns are one of the most favorite Nigerian snacks – pillowy, soft, flavorful, satisfying, and a crowd-pleaser! Plus, it is super-duper and easy to make! Growing up, I ate many African donuts (Nigerian buns), lol, a LOT. These days, my kids want me to make them every weekend! Whenever I make them in the regular season, I do not particularly add pumpkin purée, but it’s fall, and here we go!

You will also find that most Nigerian buns are not dusted in powdered or cinnamon sugar and are generally left as is or old-fashioned. However, be creative and try different flavors to see if you like it. 

Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée.

Difference between Nigerian Buns and puff-puff?

Generally, buns are very different from puff-puff; though both are usually fried, buns are rich in texture and a little dense than puff-puff. Additionally, puff-puff has fewer ingredients than buns. For instance, puff-puff does not need eggs and milk, while on the other hand, Nigerian buns recipe usually does not require yeast!

Ingredients You Will Need:

Optional Ingredients for Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ingredients for Nigerian buns recipe aka, pumpkin donut holes: Flour, Pumpkin Purée, Butter, Coconut sugar, Eggs, Milk, Baking powder, Nutmeg, Pumpkin spice (optional)

How to Make This Healthy Nigerian Buns:

Here’s how I made these healthy Nigerian buns with pumpkin purée! Traditionally, Nigerians do not typically add pumpkin puree to buns, aka African doughnuts. However, I am going to; it makes it healthier + autumnal.

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients

    Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and combine.

  2. Mix Wet Ingredients

    In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients with a whisk.

  3. Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients.

    Add the wet ingredients to dry; use your hands to combine until it forms a dough. Add extra flour if needed until it is no longer very sticky.

  4. Heat Oil

    Set a pan on the stove, add frying oil, and allow to heat up.

  5. Mold dough

    Use one tablespoon measure to scoop and mold the dough; if possible, scoop and mold all the dough before you start frying. (see the steps in this photo below)Easily and quickly make Nigerian buns using this easy step/instruction.

  6. Fry Nigerian buns

    Start Frying the dough when the oil gets hot, not too hot, though, because then the dough would burn on the outside and still uncooked on the inside. Fry the dough until golden light brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes on each side; insert a toothpick or skinny skewer, and if the dough is still raw inside, you see a raw dough pop out.)

  7. Cook in batches

    Fry in batches, and do not overcrowd the pot. This recipe made about 30 pumpkin buns; the serving size is two buns (I ate up to 4 of these 😂).

  8. Make cinnamon sugar

    Use the additional ingredients to make these buns even more flavorful! Combine the sugar and ground cinnamon, then sprinkle the mixture on the buns.Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée. If you enjoy the fall season, aka pumpkin season, check out my healthy pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins with oats.

WATCH HOW I MADE THIS RECIPE

Notes & Tips for Making Nigerian Buns:

  1. Add a pinch of salt if not using salted butter. 
  2. If the dough is trying to stick to your hands when you mold, dust your palms in flour to stop it from sticking. 
  3. Add more flour if needed until the dough isn’t too sticky to handle.
  4. This would be a “light” dough; do not expect a rock-solid dough, lol. 
  5. Instead of using your hands to mold the dough, you can use a spoon and scoop the dough into the frying pan.
  6. The amount of time you fry your dough will depend on how big or small your “mold” dough is. I used one tablespoon to scoop the dough.
  7. I add up to ½ teaspoon of salt, but ¼ teaspoon would be perfect if you are on a low-sodium diet. Also, you may get away without using salt at all if using salted butter.  
  8. I made almost 30 small buns using this recipe. The number of buns you make will depend on how big or small they are.
  9. If possible, mold all the buns before you start frying; that way, when you start frying, you just fry.🤣🙌🏾
  10. If you do not want to use pumpkin puree, that’s ok, but this recipe may change slightly.
Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts with pumpkin, are the easy pumpkin donut holes you need throughout the fall season! This Nigerian snack reminds me so much about growing up in Nigeria. The pumpkin puree adds unique fall flavors and turns them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier ones with less sugar and pumpkin purée.

How to Serve Pumpkin Donut Holes:

Serve with your favorite beverage or drink. I recommend my healthy pumpkin latte, Watermelon tea, or hot cocoa. Enjoy

This easy vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe is warm and nutty with pops of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon flavor. If you love those Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, you will also enjoy this homemade dairy-free pumpkin spice latte. This recipe tastes better as it is customizable, vegan, and healthy. Also, this recipe requires only a few ingredients - pumpkin purée or pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, almond milk or any dairy-free milk of choice, strong brew coffee, and sweetener of choice.

Nigerian Buns with Pumpkin FAQs

Can I Make Nigerian Buns without Eggs and Milk?

You can sure make Nigerian buns without eggs and milk; instead of adding eggs and milk, just add water. The eggs and milk make buns richer and nutritious, but they are not deal breakers for this recipe.

Can I Make Nigerian Buns without Yeast?

Yes, you can make Nigerian buns without yeast because it does not require yeast. Nigerian buns recipe calls for baking powder instead of yeast. On the other hand, if you are making puff puff you will need yeast!

How Many Calories are in this Nigerian Buns Recipe?

These soft, pillowy, African donuts are less than 180 calories per serving. You may not be able to keep your hands off of these because they go by very fast!

How Do You Store Leftover of Nigerian Buns?

You can store leftovers in a tightly-covered dry container on the kitchen counter, or you can put it in the fridge. Also, these freeze very well if you wish to keep them for a very long time.

Nigerian buns are one of the most favorite Nigerian snacks – crunchy on the outside, pillowy and soft on the inside, flavorful, satisfying, and incredibly delicious!
pumpkin buns without the cinnamon sugar sprinkle

HOW TO MAKE NIGERIAN BUNS WITH PUMPKIN:

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Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée.

Nigerian Buns with Pumpkin

  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 1012 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Nigerian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts with pumpkin, are the easy pumpkin donut holes you need throughout the fall season! This Nigerian snack reminds me so much about growing up in Nigeria. The pumpkin puree adds unique fall flavors and turns them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier ones with less sugar and pumpkin purée. 


Ingredients

Scale

Dry Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

Oil for Frying the Buns:

  • Peanut oil (up to 2 – 3 cups) or any other type of oil for frying.

Optional Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Instructions

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients. Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and combine. 
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients with a whisk.
  3. Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to dry; use your hands to combine until it forms a dough. Add extra flour if needed until it is no longer very sticky.
  4. Heat Oil. Set a pan on the stove, add frying oil, and allow to heat up.
  5. Mold dough. Use one tablespoon measure to scoop and mold the dough; if possible, scoop and mold all the dough before you start frying. Easily and quickly make Nigerian buns using this easy step/instruction. 
  6. Fry Nigerian buns. Start Frying the dough when the oil gets hot, not too hot, though, because then the dough would burn on the outside and still uncooked on the inside. Fry the dough until golden light brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes on each side; insert a toothpick or skinny skewer, and if the dough is still raw inside, you see a raw dough pop out.)
  7. Cook in batches. Fry in batches, and do not overcrowd the pot. This recipe made about 30 pumpkin buns; the serving size is two buns (I ate up to 4 of these 😂). Serve with your favorite beverage or drink. I recommend my healthy pumpkin latte, Watermelon tea, or hot cocoa. Enjoy
  8. Make cinnamon sugar. Use the additional ingredients to make these buns even more flavorful! Combine the sugar and ground cinnamon, then sprinkle the mixture on the buns. Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts, remind me so much about growing up in Nigeria. Add pumpkin puree during fall flavors and simply turn them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier donut holes with less sugar and pumpkin purée. If you enjoy the fall season, aka pumpkin season, check out my healthy pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins with oats. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW:

Notes

Add a pinch of salt if not using salted butter. 

If the dough is trying to stick to your hands when you mold, dust your palms in flour to stop it from sticking. 

Add more flour if needed until the dough isn’t too sticky to handle.

This would be a “light” dough; do not expect a rock-solid dough, lol. 

Instead of using your hands to mold the dough, you can use a spoon and scoop the dough into the frying pan.

The amount of time you fry your dough will depend on how big or small your “mold” dough is. I used one tablespoon to scoop the dough.

I add up to ½ teaspoon of salt, but ¼ teaspoon would be perfect if you are on a low-sodium diet. Also, you may get away without using salt at all if using salted butter.  

I made almost 30 small buns using this recipe. The number of buns you make will depend on how big or small they are.

If possible, mold all the buns before you start frying; that way, when you start frying, you just fry.🤣🙌🏾

If you do not want to use pumpkin puree, that’s ok, but this recipe may change slightly. I suggest you check out My Diaspora Kitchen Buns recipe here. She has a fantastic buns recipe that did not feature pumpkin purée.

Check out how I make my homemade puree recipe for pumpkin season recipes.

Keywords: Nigerian Buns, Buns, African doughnuts, healthy buns, African donuts, drop donut, donut hole recipe, pumpkin buns, pumpkin, Nigerian buns with pumpkin puree, beignets

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MORE NIGERIAN SNACKS:

Nigerian Meat pie. If you like these delicious buns recipe, you will hands down love this Nigerian Meat pie! This is a savory pastry filled with minced meat and vegetables. Meat pie so good! ⤵️

Nigerian meat pie is a savory, flaky pie filled with the tasty minced or ground beef cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. Also known as African meat pie, Nigerian meat pies are divinely delicious and easy to make at home.  Meat pies are perfect for snacks, breakfast, or brunch. They are a must-have on most Nigerian occasions.

Akara. Nigerian Black-eyed Peas Fritters. Also, know as kose, acaraje, in some parts of the world. Akara is a famous African street food! Below, I served it with pap – corn pudding.

Beans fritters and custard

Boli. Baked Ripe Sweet Plantains. Boli is another street food you will find in Nigeria. Ripe plantains are roasted on open fire and served with pepper sauce or peanuts. Here I served it with guacamole. YUM.

Healthy roasted ripe plantains in the oven. Baked plantains without foil

More Nigerian Recipes:

While you are still here, grab my FREE (5) spinach salad recipe bundle would be a great addition to your dinner table if you like salads or you are wanting to eat healthier. Get the recipes here.

Finally, let’s connect on social media, am on PinterestFacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. If you like video recipes, then be sure to head over to my YouTube Channel. Share this recipe post, and SAVE/PIN THIS IMAGE ON PINTEREST! ⤵️

Nigerian buns, aka African doughnuts with pumpkin, are the easy pumpkin donut holes you need throughout the fall season! This Nigerian snack reminds me so much about growing up in Nigeria. The pumpkin puree adds unique fall flavors and turns them into healthier pumpkin donut holes. These are not your regular donut holes but healthier ones with less sugar and pumpkin purée.

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! Stay well, safe and keep living your life to the fullest!

Nkechi Ajaeroh's blog nkechiajaeroh.com for healthy food recipes, and healthy living. tips.

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34 Comments

  1. Jessica Formicola says:

    I love that you used pumpkin in these! I can’t wait to try them, thanks for sharing!

  2. These sound delicious. I love pumpkin and haven’t tried this recipe before.

    1. Yay, Julie! We love pumpkin here, too! Isn’t that just the best? Please let me know when you do make it; I hope you will like it as we did.

  3. I’ve never heard of these, but now I want to try them. They look delicious and would be a perfect snack with coffee!

    1. I am glad you are hearing about this recipe for the first from me, Colleen! Thank you so much for stopping by; yes, Buns is very great with coffee!

  4. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says:

    These sound amazing, such a delicious snack! Might have to make some for the kids this week for half term.

    1. Thank you so much, Bintu! Yes, kids love Buns; let me know how it goes, and hopefully, your kids enjoy it as mine does.
      Happy half term to your kids!

  5. These sound so yummy! I love that you made an effort to make them a little more healthy too!L

  6. They look so yummy, the pumpkin flavor is interesting I would love to try it.

    1. I know, right? You can barely taste the pumpkin, though, but, kids said they tasted it.🤷🏾‍♀️ I wanted to use my leftover pumpkin purée wisely, and it worked! I hope you try it.👍🏾
      Hope you will enjoy this as we did!

  7. These buns look yummy. I love adding the pumpkin. I wonder it sweet potato would work?

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments!
      Yes, Ty, I believe mashed sweet potato should be a suitable replacement for pumpkin purée.

  8. These buns look yummy. I like the idea of adding pumpkin. I wonder if sweet potato would work.

  9. These were so fluffy and delicious. They are going to be one of my go to recipes.

  10. These were so good! I will be making them often! So glad I came across this recipe!

  11. These are perfect! My family loved these delicious buns!

  12. Such an interesting recipe. I think I never tried anything like this before. I love that you used coconut sugar here in this recipe. Yum! I must make this. Thanks!

    1. I am glad you are hearing about this recipe from me, Natalie! This recipe is easy peasy and delicious!
      Hopefully, you will like it as we did!

  13. Carrie Robinson says:

    These sound like the perfect sweet treat for fall! Yum! 🙂

  14. My family LOVES donuts so we made these this morning. They were delicious and full of fall flavor!

  15. I’m always looking for healthier alternatives to my favorite foods and this recipe was fantastic! I will definitely be making these again!

  16. Love these! They turned out fantastic. Super moist but lightly crisp on the outside.

  17. I love this healthier version! Thanks so much for the recipe!