Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds

Celebrate the Lunar Year with our delightful Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with sesame seeds recipe! Also known as Tang Huan, these crispy and golden treats, shaped as traditional symbols of good luck, will add a touch of sweetness to your festivities. Made with five ingredients, these fried crunchy delights require both creativity and technique to make. Don’t worry! We have you covered.

In this post, we’ll delve into the cultural significance and the art of making these sweet delights that have become an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Sugar Rings are also known as 糖环 Tang Huan in Mandarin

Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds

Let’s make them!

꩜⛩️Symbolism and Meaning of the Chinese New Year Sugar Rings

Sugar rings hold profound symbolism in Chinese culture, representing more than just a delectable dessert. The circular shape of the rings signifies unity and completeness, reflecting the cyclical nature of life and the hope for a harmonious year ahead. Many families shape these sugary delights into symbols associated with good luck, 🧧 prosperity, and happiness, adding an extra layer of meaning to the festivities.

Children are often seen enjoying these and sharing these sweet rings with their friends and families. Sugar Rings also look like golden coins, so they bring luck and money.

Regional Variations of the Chinese New Year Sugar Rings

Different regions of China contribute their own variations to the Sugar Rings, incorporating local ingredients and techniques. In the North, sesame seeds and nuts might find their way into the recipe, adding a nutty crunch to the sweetness. Meanwhile, in the South, coconut and tropical flavors may take center stage, reflecting the diverse culinary landscape of the region. Sugar rings are a traditional treat for Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. 

How to make the Chinese New Year ⭕☁️Sugar Rings

The recipe is not the easiest. It requires both creativity and technique, so you have to follow the recipe instructions as shown below. This recipe is not the typical Sugar Rings recipe as it uses sesame seeds for the extra crunch. We didn’t use any mold to make this recipe.

Sugar Rings dough with sesame seeds to make the Chinese New Year Sugar Rings

Traveling for desserts in the world? Check our travel shopping guide here

Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds

Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds

Celebrate the joy of the Lunar New Year with our delightful Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds recipe! Discover the traditions of this festive season as you create this sweet and symbolic treat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 35
Calories 77 kcal


  • 1 cooking pan
  • 1 frying pan
  • mixing bowls
  • serving plates


  • 17.70 ounces glutinous rice flour
  • 5.28 ounces granulated sugar
  • 10.80 fluid ounces water
  • 1.75 ounces black sesame seeds optional
  • canola oil as appropriate


  • Dissolve sugar in water by boiling it until the sugar is completely melted in a pan
  • Take approximately 2 ounces of glutinous rice flour and add it to the sugar water
  • Stir the added glutinous rice flour evenly and cook until fully cooked (commonly known as "fen tou")
  • Mix the sesame seeds with the remaining glutenous rice flour in a bowl
  • Pour the sesame-mixed glutinous rice flour into the sugar water all at once, stir well, and turn off the heat
  • Remove the mixture of raw and cooked flour into a mixing bowl using a spatula and press it while it's still hot
  • After cooling slightly, knead it thoroughly until it becomes a dough with a moderate and non-sticky texture
  • If the dough is too sticky or too hard, you can adjust the texture by adding a small amount of glutinous rice flour or hot water
  • The kneaded dough should have a moderate texture, thoroughly kneaded to a state where it breaks apart easily when pulled, as shown in the picture
  • Take an ounce of the dough and knead it into a length of about 20-22 inches
  • Connect the ends, fold it in half and arrange it side by side
  • Push inwards from both ends to divide it into 4 equal parts, then push each part inwards to divide it into 8 equal parts
  • Tidy up each portion's length, tightly twist the adjacent sides of the innermost circle evenly, and then tightly twist the adjacent sides of the outer circle
  • Gently lift and flip with both hands, repeat the process of twisting and securing the inner and outer parts connected at the bottom to prevent them from separating during frying
  • Arrange the finished sugar ring blanks neatly in rows (they can be stacked) and let them air dry slightly
  • Heat an oiled pan to approximately 300°F
  • Place the sugar rings into the heated oil, fry over low heat, turning them several times in the process
  • Fry until they turn golden brown, then lift them out and drain the excess oil
  • Seal and store the completely cooled sugar rings
  • Serve them as you go!


Calories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 0.1IUCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Chinese New Year Deep-Fried Sugar Rings, Chinese New Year Sugar Rings, Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with Sesame Seeds, Golden Lucky Sugar Rings
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You can make these Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with sesame seeds with a metallic mold but you will probably need to tweak the recipe. If you do so, the shape of the Sugar Rings will be similar to a flower. This mold is not largely available in the USA. See image below.

Metal Molds for the Chinese New Year Sugar Rings

Do you want to make the Nian Gao? Here is the recipe

Learn about the history of the Chinese New Year here

Other variations for the Chinese New Year Sugar Rings with sesame seeds

You can also use cocoa powder or cinnamon. You can play by mixing the dough with coconut milk for a more grown-up taste.

Learn more about popular Chinese New Year desserts and where to find them in the USA here

Did you make this? Follow us on Pinterest @wedesserts or using the hashtag #wedesserts on Instagram and Facebook. We can’t wait to see your creation!

Recipe developed and written by Jingnan

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