These easy beignets are made with self rising flour—no yeast necessary! They’re soft on the inside, lightly crisp on the outside, and delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
I was first introduced to beignets in (where else?) New Orleans, Louisiana. They were warm and crisp and coated with a mountain of powdered sugar.
These are not those beignets.
These are African Beignets, which are made with self-rising flour (so you don’t need to wait for yeast!).
They’re also made with more sugar than New Orleans-style beignets, so they don’t need a coating of sugar on the top. Instead of sugar, they are traditionally served with peanut butter for dipping.
The recipe is from my sister-in-law, who moved to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These are popular there, and my husband has fond memories of eating these as a child (he also moved to the U.S. from the Congo).
In other parts of Africa, they are known as “Puff Puff”.
They are delicious with coffee or tea for an afternoon snack, and guests devour them at gatherings as a dessert.
Ingredients for beignets (also known as puff puff)
- Self rising flour will cause the batter to puff up in the hot oil.
- Sugar adds sweetness (they don’t need a coating of powdered sugar like New Orleans beignets do).
- Eggs make the beignets light and fluffy.
- Water brings the batter together.
- You’ll also need oil for frying. Vegetable oil, canola oil, or corn oil are all good choices.
How to make beignet batter
Combine self-rising flour and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk together two eggs, then stir them and 2⅓ cup water into the flour and sugar to create a batter.
How to fry beignets
Heat oil to 400°F.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into hot oil using a cookie scoop. This ensures that you get nice round balls for the beignets.
After 2 minutes, flip the beignets using a spider tool. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and then remove using the same spider tool.
The spider tool is great for scooping up multiple beignets at once without also scooping up the hot oil. A slotted spoon will also work.
Place the beignets on a cooling rack over a sheet pan to catch an excess oil.
If you’re sensitive to the smell of fried food in your home, use a fryer with a lid. I have this fryer and the lid is super helpful in keeping smells to a minimum. It’s also really easy to use.
Can I freeze beignets?
Yes. Place the beignets in a single layer on any pan that will fit in your freezer. Freeze for one hour, then transfer the beignets to a zip-top freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly. The beignets will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How do I re-heat beignets?
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Place beignets in a single layer on a sheet pan. Heat for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and serve immediately. If heating from frozen, put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
Can I microwave beignets?
Microwaving beignets will make them tough and chewy. Follow the oven reheating method above instead.
How to serve beignets
Beignets are best served on the day they are made. You could sprinkle them with powdered sugar, or you could do it the African way: dip in peanut butter with honey.
If you’re interested in another African recipe, Pili Pili is an African hot sauce recipe from Koko, my husband’s grandmother. It is SUPER spicy!
- 5 cups self rising flour
- 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2⅓ cups water
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar.
- Whisk the eggs together, then stir the eggs and the water into the flour and sugar mixture. Stir gently just until combined.
- Use a cookie scoop to place the batter into the hot oil. I put about 5–6 spoonfuls into the oil at one time. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then flip using a spider tool or slotted spoon.
- Allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes, then remove using the spider tool or a slotted spoon. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with honey peanut butter.
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