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Vietnamese Snowballs Banh Bao Chi Recipe

Welcome to the mystical world of Vietnamese cuisine and its delightful delicacies. Today, we shine a spotlight on one treasured dessert that has charmed palates across generations, the Bánh Bao Chỉ, or Vietnamese Snowballs.

This traditional sweet treat, with its elegant visual appeal and intricate flavors, offers more than just a dessert; it’s a beautiful representation of Vietnamese culture. Crafted with precision, Bánh Bao Chỉ features a snowy exterior made from glutinous rice flour that encases a heart of sweetened mung bean paste. Each bite is a crescendo of textures and tastes, leaving you yearning for more.

Join us as we explore the charm and culinary brilliance of Vietnamese Snowballs.


  • 70-gram desiccated coconut
  • 50-gram roasted peanuts
  • 60-gram sugar
  • 15gr black sesame seeds (or roasted sesame seeds)
  • 70gr rice flour (or cornstarch)
  • 20gr coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100gr glutinous rice flour
  • 20gr wheat flour
  • 130ml water
  • 130 ml fresh milk without sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cooking oil


  • 1 food gloves
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 pan
  • microwave
  • 1 egg beater (optimal)
  • 10-15 cupcake wrappers


Making a Mix of Flour for Stuffing Cakes

To make a mixture of flour for stuffing cakes, specifically Vietnamese snowballs (Bánh Bao Chỉ), follow these steps.

Add 70g of rice flour into a pan and toast it over low heat for about 8-10 minutes.

Alternatively, you can use cornstarch as a substitute. This flour mix is perfect for creating an easy-to-knead dough for the Vietnamese snowball cakes.

After that, pour this mix into a bowl, then move to the next part.

Making Cake Filling

When making Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ, the filling for the cake can be prepared by following these steps.

Start by combining half of the sugar with desiccated coconut, allowing it to sit for 15 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Finely grind roasted peanuts according to your preference using a mortar and pestle or a grinder.

In a pan, add 20g of coconut milk to the mixture of desiccated coconut and dissolved sugar, along with 1/3 teaspoon of salt. Sauté the mixture over low heat until it becomes dry. Once the coconut is dry and there’s no more liquid, incorporate the ground peanuts and sesame seeds, and sauté for an additional minute.

Next, add 1 tablespoon of roasted and well-cooked flour to the mixture to help bind the ingredients together. Stir until the flour is fully integrated into the filling.

Finally, turn off the heat and shape the filling into desired sizes for the cakes. Then move to the making cake crust part.

Making Cake Crust

Start by mixing 100g of glutinous rice flour, 20g of wheat starch, and 30g of sugar together. Add 130 ml of fresh milk without sugar and 130 ml of cold water (you can choose either all cold water or all fresh milk based on preference). Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the dough is fully incorporated.

Next, place the dough in a microwave and cook it for 3 minutes at 900 watts. Afterward, knead the dough to check if it’s cooked. Look for any signs of undercooked dough, such as uneven color with white patches. If needed, microwave for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the dough’s readiness.

Once the dough is cooked, knead it to achieve a smoother texture. Add 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil and continue kneading. There are two methods you can use:

Manual kneading: Use your hands or an eggbeater to knead the dough for approximately 1 minute until it becomes soft and smooth.

Plastic bag method: If you don’t have an eggbeater, you can use a plastic bag. Add a small amount of cooking oil to the bag and knead it to distribute the oil and soften the dough. To prevent your hands from getting too hot, wrap the bag with a cloth and continue kneading for around 3 – 5 minutes until the dough reaches the desired consistency for the cake’s outer layer.

Molding into Cakes

When molding Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ, the first step is to shape the cakes.
Ensure that you sprinkle a layer of previously toasted flour on your work surface, such as a chopping board. This will prevent the dough from sticking and will aid in shaping.

Next, place the dough portion on the floured surface and dust the top with another layer of toasted flour. Knead the dough again and divide it into portions based on the number of fillings prepared, usually yielding 10 fillings with the given ingredients.

Now, take each portion of the outer dough and place it on the previously toasted flour surface. Proceed to wrap the outer layer around the filling, ensuring it is properly sealed. If the dough becomes sticky during this process, lightly dip your hands in toasted flour to prevent sticking.

After wrapping the filling, gently roll and shape the cake to make it more visually appealing, evenly rolling it in the toasted flour. Be aware wearing food gloves or cleaning your hands thoroughly before molding into cakes.

Finally, line the bottom of the cakes with cupcake liners for serving.

How to Serve Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ

Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ can be served in many different ways. A simple and classic way is to sprinkle a light coating of sesame seeds on top of each cake for decoration. This adds an extra layer of texture, flavor, and visual appeal to the dish.

For a more creative presentation, you can serve the cakes as individual single-serve desserts. Top them with a dollop of ice cream and fresh berries for added sweetness and texture.

No matter how you choose to enjoy Bánh Bao Chỉ, its timeless flavors will always delight your palate. As the saying goes in Vietnamese cuisine – “An empty stomach is not good for any conversation” – so grab a bite and let the conversation begin.

Tips for Making Successful Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ

  • Making Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ requires patience and practice. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect cakes.
  • When making the cake filling, make sure to sauté it until all of the moisture is gone. This will ensure that your cakes don’t become soggy when molding cake.
  • Ensure that the dough is thoroughly cooked and kneaded until it becomes soft and pliable. If desired, add a bit of cooking oil to make it easier to work with.
  • Be sure to evenly roll your cakes in the previously toasted flour so that they don’t stick together.

Common Mistakes When Making Vietnamese Snowballs

There are a few common mistakes when making Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ.

  • Not sautéing the filling until it is completely dry, which can lead to soggy cakes after baking.
  • Failing to knead the dough enough or using too little oil when kneading can lead to a dough that is too stiff and difficult to work with.
  • Not evenly rolling the cakes in the previously toasted flour, which can result in them sticking together after baking.
  • Use too many roasted peanuts and black sesame seeds, which decrease the adhesiveness of the cake crust.

Final Thoughts

Making Vietnamese Snowballs – Bánh Bao Chỉ may seem like a daunting process, but with careful attention to detail and patience, you can create the perfect cakes in no time. With the right ingredients and techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy these delicious treats any time of year! So get creative, experiment with different flavors and fillings, and let your taste buds explore the wonders of Vietnamese cuisine. Happy baking!