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These hollow Vietnamese donuts are super tender and coated with crispy sesame seeds! A classic snack you can find sold as a street food in Vietnam. Learn how to make your own Bánh Tiêu at home!

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

Here we go again with another Vietnamese-inspired recipe! And this time, it’s a sweet one!

Introducing these super soft sesame “donuts”! What is so special about these is that they have a hollow inside, making them perfect for filling with chocolate spread, caramel sauce, or even a salty filling!

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • A classic Vietnamese treat. Bánh Tiêu is a traditional snack you can find almost everywhere in Vietnam. It is usually sold by vendors carrying a cart and frying the donuts on demand.
  • Tender and chewy. These sesame donuts are super light and fluffy with a brioche-like texture! Plus, they are not overly sweet and slightly nutty, thanks to the addition of sesame seeds.
  • Simple to prepare. You will need just 8 pantry staples and about 30 minutes of prep time to make a batch of these delicious donuts.

📘 What is Bánh Tiêu

Bánh Tiêu is a type of Vietnamese donut often sold as street food and enjoyed as a sweet snack. It consists of a dough made of flour, salt, and sugar, coated with sesame seeds, and fried until golden brown. The donuts puff up like a balloon as they cook, creating a hollow inside.

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

🌾 Ingredient Notes

This recipe requires just 8 simple ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • All-purpose flour – Use regular all-purpose flour. I do not recommend making substitutions.
  • Milk – Any unsweetened plant-based milk will work. You can use almond, soy, cashew, or even oat milk.
  • Sugar – Preferably granulated white sugar. Brown sugar or coconut sugar work but would alter the color and flavor of the donuts.
  • Baking powder – This will allow the donuts to puff up during the frying step.
  • Instant yeast – To allow the dough to rise. I used instant yeast, but active dry yeast will work too. If using the latter, let it rehydrate in a couple of tablespoons of warm milk for a few minutes.
  • Salt – To enhance the flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – Optional. While authentic Bánh Tiêu rarely contains vanilla extract, I like to add half of a teaspoon for extra flavor.
  • Sesame seeds – Finally, sesame seeds are used to coat the donuts. Ensure you are using raw sesame seeds, not the toasted ones.

🥣 How to Make Bánh Tiêu

The method to make Bánh Tiêu is pretty simple. It consists of four steps: preparing the dough, letting it rise, flattening it into discs, and frying it.

Make the dough

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, instant yeast, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  2. Add the wet ingredients. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and mix using a spoon until it forms a dough.
  1. Knead. Using your hands, knead the dough until it is soft and smooth. Note: the dough should have the consistency of pizza dough. It should be soft and just slightly sticky.
  1. Proof the dough. Once your dough is smooth, cover it with plastic film and let it proof for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Let it rise at room temperature in a warm room or in an oven with the light on.

Coat it and flatten it

  1. Divide into balls. Once the dough has doubled in volume, punch it to deflate it. Divide the dough into 6 balls.
  2. Roll into sesame seeds. Working with one ball at a time, roll it into sesame seeds and slightly press it so the sesame seeds stick to the dough.
  1. Flatten into discs. Next, flatten each dough ball into thin discs using a rolling pin. The thinner your discs, the more hollow your donuts will be. You do not want them too thin, though. I usually go for about 3-4 mm thick.

Deep-fry

  1. Heat the oil. Heat about 2 cups of oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Dip a wooden chopstick or spoon to test if the oil is hot enough. If many small bubbles form around the chopstick, the oil is hot enough.
  1. Deep fry. Once the oil is hot, carefully add one disc of dough to it. Flip the disc using two wooden spatulas (or chopsticks) every 5-7 seconds. The disc will start to take a golden brown color and puff up like a balloon.
  1. Remove from oil. Once golden brown, remove the donut from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat with the remaining discs.
  2. Let cool. Let the donuts cool for at least 5 minutes before enjoying!
Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

📔 Tips

  • Adjust the amount of milk. Depending on the brand of flour used, you might have to use more or less milk. If the dough is too dry, add one extra tablespoon of milk at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  • Ensure the dough is slightly sticky. If the dough is too dry, the sesame seeds won’t stick.
  • Let the flattened dough rest for at least 10 minutes. This is essential to getting the donuts to puff up.

🍚 What to Serve It With

While these Vietnamese donuts are usually enjoyed without any filling, you can definitely fill them with:

Holding sesame donut filled with chocolate spread.

❄️ Storing and Reheating

  • To store: These donuts are best served on the same day but will keep for up to 2 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • To freeze: Let the donuts cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap. Wrap them again in foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw on the kitchen counter for 1 hour.
  • To reheat: Reheat the donuts in a 350°F (175°C) preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

💬 FAQ

What should the consistency of the dough be?

The dough should resemble pizza dough. It should be soft, smooth, and just slightly sticky.

My donuts are not puffing. What is happening?

There are two reasons your donuts are not puffing. First, you didn’t let the flattened dough rest long enough before frying. Try to let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, they won’t puff much. The second reason may be that you didn’t keep flipping the dough while frying. Flipping the dough constantly while frying is the secret to getting it to puff like a balloon.

Can I air-fry these donuts instead of deep-frying?

Unfortunately no. Your donuts would simply not puff up.

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

These donuts pack a tender and fluffy texture, the perfect balance of sweetness, and a crispy layer of toasted sesame seeds! Enjoy them alone, or elevate them with nut butter, chocolate, or a savory filling!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Note: This recipe was first released in May 2020 and was updated in October 2023 with new photos and process shots.

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)
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Recipe
Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Donuts!)

5 from 5 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
These hollow Vietnamese donuts are super tender and coated with crispy sesame seeds! A classic snack you can find sold as a street food in Vietnam. Learn how to make your own Bánh Tiêu at home!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 10 minutes
Resting Time : 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 6 donuts
Calories 342 kcal

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, instant yeast, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and mix using a spoon until it forms a dough.
  • Knead. Using your hands, knead the dough until it is soft and smooth, for 5-7 minutes. Note: the dough should have the consistency of pizza dough. It should be soft and just slightly sticky. If it's too sticky, add one tablespoon of flour at a time. If it's too dry, add more almond milk.
  • Proof the dough. Once your dough is smooth, cover it with plastic film and let it proof for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Let it rise at room temperature in a warm room or in an oven with the light on.
  • Divide into balls. Once the dough has doubled in volume, punch it to deflate it. Divide the dough into 6 balls.
  • Roll into sesame seeds. Transfer the sesame seeds to a small bowl. Working with one ball at a time, roll it into sesame seeds and slightly press it so the sesame seeds stick to the dough.
  • Flatten into discs. Next, flatten each dough ball into thin discs using a rolling pin. The thinner your discs, the more hollow your donuts will be. You do not want them too thin, though. I usually go for about 3-4 mm thick.
  • Heat the oil. Heat about 2 cups of oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Dip a wooden chopstick or spoon to test if the oil is hot enough. If many small bubbles form around the chopstick, the oil is hot enough.
  • Deep fry. Once the oil is hot, carefully add one disc of dough to it. Flip the disc using two wooden spatulas (or chopsticks) every 5-7 seconds. The disc will start to take a golden brown color and puff up like a balloon.
  • Remove from oil. Once golden brown, remove the donut from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat with the remaining discs.
  • Let cool. Let the donuts cool for at least 5 minutes before enjoying! These donuts are best served the same day but will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  • Adjust the amount of milk. Depending on the brand of flour used, you might have to use more or less milk. If the dough is too dry, add one extra tablespoon of milk at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  • Ensure the dough is slightly sticky. If the dough is too dry, the sesame seeds won’t stick.
  • Let the flattened dough rest for at least 10 minutes. This is essential to getting the donuts to puff up.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 donut | Calories: 342 kcal | Carbohydrates: 46 g | Protein: 6.1 g | Fat: 15.1 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Sodium: 117 mg | Potassium: 170 mg | Fiber: 2.2 g | Sugar: 8.5 g | Calcium: 122 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Course : Dessert, Snack
Cuisine : Asian, Vietnamese
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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5 stars
Can’t wait to try it 🙂 Tried your vegan gf fudgy brownies and they were amazing. So happy to have found your blog. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing these lovely recipes. Love to learn from you 🙂 Love from India

5 stars
Made this tonight! Fun, easy little treat for the kids. My dough was super wet using the amounts as above though. I probably should have added more flour, but wasn’t really sure if the dough was supposed to look like a traditional dough or if it was supposed to be a super wet dough. Either way, I was able to make it work after it proofed.

5 stars
These are great! I found that mine didn’t balloon like yours did, but they tasted so good anyway! Should I have made them thinner?

Hi Thomas, Another brilliant recipe, as always! I ahve 2 questions: can these donuts be made with all-purpose 1-to-1 gluten-free flour for those of us who can’t have gluten? Also, can they be baked instead of fried? If so, will they still puff up & be hollow inside, same as pita breads get when baked? Thanks very much & have a nice day! 🙂

I used to get these in Toronto Chinatown. I ADORE them!

Quick-rising yeast?

Thank you!

5 stars
Thought these guys would be doughy and stodgy.
NO. THEY WERE DELICIOUS.
Cooked and served from pizza oven.
Highly recommend. Thankyou x

5 stars
Looks amazing. I’ll try it. Thank you for sharing!

Better translation:
Bánh tiêu = Vietnamese Beignets, not Vietnamese donuts, c’mon!

Bánh tieu is not donuts in anyway shape or form. If anything it resembles beignets. Please get your translation better than this.