Bicho Bicho (Filipino Doughnut) Recipe

bicho bicho doughnuts or filipino style twisted doughnuts in cinnamon sugar
IMAGE Riell Santos

Doughnuts are a classic merienda meal. These long twisted doughnuts called bicho bicho are the Filipino version of the ring doughnuts that many of us are familiar with. 

What Is Bicho Bicho

Bicho bicho, also spelled "bitso bitso", is a yeasted and fried doughnut rolled in sugar. It's commonly twisted before frying to create doughnut twists but sometimes is left untwisted like cheese rolls. The sugar can be mixed with cinnamon to add more flavor to the doughnut, too. 

How To Serve Bicho Bicho

Would you believe these are excellent served still warm from the fryer? Since these are rolled in the sugar while still warm, the sugar sticks more readily to the doughnuts, creating a wonderfully flavored and still warm bread to bite into! 

How To Make Bicho Bicho

bicho bicho formed dough
These shaped and twisted dough will be fried and then rolled in sugar later!
Photo by Riell Santos

The bicho bicho starts off with creating a yeast doughnut dough. This recipe uses active dry yeast that normally needs to be activated before adding to the rest of the ingredients but if you have instant yeast, you can use that, too, with a big exception: you need to add instant dry yeast to the flour mixture instead of activating it in a warm liquid mixture like you would active dry yeast or fresh yeast. (We found it still works by simply adding to the flour mixture!) 

You'll need to proof the dough at least twice before forming it into shape and frying in hot oil. While frying, you should make the cinnamon sugar so this is ready to be rolled in when the doughnuts emerge from the oil still a little oiled up. 

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Once fried, roll these immediately in the sugar to help it adhere to the doughnuts better. Once cool enough, you can serve these immediately! 


Tips To Make Good Bicho Bicho

1 Check your yeast! 

Just like baking powder can lose its effectiveness, yeast meanwhile can die. Yeast is an organism that has been dried up and packaged for later use. However, time is your enemy since even dried-up yeast can die! If this happens, your dough will not rise. 

To check if your yeast is still alive, whether active dry yeast, fresh yeast, or instant yeast, just warm up some water (No hotter than 38 degrees C or 100 degrees F or you'll kill the yeast!), add a pinch or two of sugar, and add a pinch of yeast to a bowl. If the yeast froths up, your yeast is still alive and ready to use! If the yeast doesn't, it means your yeast has died and is no longer usable. 

2 Roll in sugar immediately. 

bicho bicho or Filipino doughnut twists
You need to act fast and immediately roll freshly fried bicho bicho in sugar so the sugar sticks!
Photo by Riell Santos

You really can't wait for the doughnuts to cool before deciding to roll these in sugar. While glazing these doughnuts in a chocolate glaze or even a matcha white chocolate glaze can be done after the doughnuts are all cooked and cool, the doughnuts need to be rolled in the sugar while warm and fresh out of the oil. The oil and warmth will ensure the sugar can stick to the doughnuts better than if cooled.

3 Flavor your sugar!

You can level up your basic sugar coating with ground cinnamon, but if you really want to make it extra delicious, make a cinnamon and cocoa powder sugar mix instead to give your bicho bicho a different kind of flavor boost! 

How To Store Bicho Bicho

Bicho bicho is best stored in air-tight containers since these are still a kind of bread and can be prone to developing mold. Keep these at room temperature on your counter, covered to keep pests away, so it's easy to grab one and eat on the go! 


Watch: Bicho Bicho Recipe 

Bicho Bicho Recipe 

Prep Time
2 hrs 
Cooking Time
5 mins 
Ready In
2 hrs 5 mins 
Cooking Method

Bicho Bicho (Filipino Doughnut) Ingredients

How to make Bicho Bicho (Filipino Doughnut)


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