Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Banh Tieu Reinvented: Vietnamese Fried Hollow Donut with Cinnamon Sugar

If ever on death row, my last meal request will be a cup of Vietnamese iced coffee, a Vietnamese grilled chicken sandwich, and 1 or 2 ...who am I kidding... 10 Vietnamese hollow donuts (Banh Tieu).

In a previous post, I showed how to make a traditional Banh Tieu.  In this post, I thought it would be fun to reinvent the Banh Tieu recipe. Instead of the traditional sesame seed outside crust, I rolled the donut in cinnamon sugar. The result? Not surprisingly, sinfully delicious. I ran out of time and didn't get a chance to try a filling of ganache or nutella to take advantage of the hollow inside. But that didn't stop me and my family from consuming the whole unfilled batch. The filling will be a great experiment for next time. Until then, enjoy the modified Banh Tieu recipe with Cinnamon Sugar.

 Modified Bánh Tiêu Recipe: Vietnamese Fried Donut Holes with Cinnamon Sugar

Modified Bánh Tiêu Recipe: Vietnamese Fried Donut Holes with Cinnamon Sugar

Vietnamese Fried Hollow Dounut (Banh Tieu) with Cinnamon Sugar Recipe


Yeast Mixture

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for dusting
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying; amount varies depending on the size of your pot


  1. In a small bowl, lightly mix together yeast and warm water. Add sugar (1 teaspoon) and let it stand for 10 minutes until the yeast double in size. If the yeast doesn't double, the yeast is inactive and needs to be replaced before proceeding with rest of recipe.
  2. In another small bowl, combine sugar (1/2 cup) and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour (2 cups), sugar, salt and baking powder.
  4. In a stand mixer with a bread hook, add yeast mixture, flour mixture and water (a little at a time) and knead until the dough comes together and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can also kneed by hand on a floured surface. Transfer the dough into a well oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place (the oven with the lights on) for two hours. The dough should double in size.
  5. Once the dough has finished proofing, deflate it and knead the dough into a log. Dust your hands and surface with the extra flour to prevent sticking. Cut the log into 18-20 small equal pieces then roll them into balls and flatten them as thin as you can. The thinner the dough, the puffier it gets once fried.
  6. Fill a large pot with an inch of vegetable oil then heat to 350 F.
  7. Deep-fry as many as your pot can handle without overcrowding. Constantly flip the dough for even coloring and cooking. Once you get a golden color, remove from oil, and while still hot, dredge the fried donut into the bowl of cinnamon sugar until well covered on all sides. Allow the Banh Tieu to cool for 3-5 minutes before consuming.