Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Rest Time
1 hr
Total Time
50 mins
Yoyos (or youyous) are delicious donut-shaped Tunisian pastries, which are usually soaked in sugar syrup and sprinkled with crushed pistachios or almonds.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North African, Tunisian, Vegetarian
Servings: 25 yoyos
Author: Mike Benayoun
For the sugar syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • cups sugar
  • Zest of half an orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
For the dough
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • Zest of half an orange
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
Sugar syrup
  1. In a saucepan, pour the water, sugar, vanilla and orange zest.
  2. Bring to a boil then add the lemon juice and orange blossom water. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes without mixing.
  3. Add the honey, mix and continue simmering for an additional 15 minutes, or until the syrup is a little thick.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the oil, sugar, vanilla, orange blossom water, orange zest and eggs. Mix for 2 minutes until homogeneous.

  2. Pour the flour gradually and continue mixing at low speed until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
  3. Cover and let stand at room temperature, away from drafts, for about an hour.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour enough oil to deep fry.
  5. Pour some oil into a small bowl not far from the pan, to smear your hands during shaping.
  6. Take pieces of dough a little larger than the size of a ping pong ball. Shape these pieces into balls. Slightly flatten, then form a hole in the center by pressing the dough between your thumb and middle finger. Rotate the donut around the thumb and middle finger to smooth the yoyo.
  7. Dive the yoyos in the hot frying oil, without overloading the pan.
  8. Fry for about 2 minutes until they are golden, then turn the yoyos to brown the other side.
  9. Drain the yoyos on a plate lined with paper towels. With a toothpick, make a few small holes on the surface of the yoyos. This will allow the sugar syrup to penetrate the pastries.
  10. Reheat the sugar syrup on low heat for a few minutes.
  11. When it has reached the desired consistency, dip the yoyos and turn them over so that they are well coated with the sugar syrup.
  12. Drain above the pan to remove the excess syrup before placing them on a serving tray or a large plate.
Recipe Notes
  • Optional: Sprinkle with crushed pistachios or crushed almonds.