These Chinese language coconut buns use a simple milk bread dough to create an additional gentle and fluffy texture and are full of a wealthy buttery coconut filling that is rather like those made by Chinese language bakeries. They’re an ideal weekend mission to boost your afternoon tea. These coconut buns are freezer-friendly, too, so you may make them forward and serve them later. {Vegetarian}

Coconut buns close up

After shifting out of town, one of many issues I’ve missed most is the entry to Asian bakeries. I always crave tasty baked items akin to Scorching Canine Buns, Hong Kong Egg Tarts,Pineapple Buns, Egg Desserts, and naturally, coconut buns.

Coconut buns, or cocktail buns, are a light-weight but indulgent bread that contains a very fluffy texture and a buttery filling. There are various approaches to creating coconut buns. Some bakeries use a dryer filling with loads of shredded coconut. Some are extra beneficiant with the butter, which makes the buns extra decadent. I choose the extra buttery filling, myself.

Breaking apart a coconut bun

New Cookbook – Mooncakes and Milk Bread

I’ve tried out a couple of coconut bun recipes however most of them are not so good as I anticipated. Till I noticed the coconut bun recipe from the cookbook Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho. It’s a ebook targeted on baked items from Chinese language bakeries. Inside you’ll discover candy and savory baked buns, steamed buns, Chinese language breads, distinctive cookies, whimsical desserts, juicy dumplings, and extra. 

Her coconut bun recipe caught my eye instantly. It makes use of loads of butter, dry milk powder, and a little bit of flour to create a thick buttery coconut filling, simply as I anticipated. I used to be so pleased with the results of these buns and couldn’t wait to share them with you.

I additionally extremely advocate Kristina’s cookbook in the event you’re curious about Asian baking recipes. I’ve fairly a couple of recipes from the ebook which can be on my to-cook listing: taro leaf buns, Miso Corn Buns, Scorching Canine Flower Buns, and Matcha and Jasmine Swiss Rolls.  

The way to make coconut buns

Put together the dough

I put collectively this tremendous easy milk bread dough recipe utilizing an ordinary mixer. It’s a very moist dough, so a mixer is very really helpful. If you happen to resolve handy knead the dough, you would possibly want so as to add extra flour to make it workable.

  1. Add each moist and dry components into the blending bowl.
  2. Combine on low till the dough simply comes collectively.
  3. Combine on medium velocity. Cease to scrape down the perimeters if wanted.
  4. As soon as accomplished, the dough ought to be very comfortable and elastic. You possibly can stretch out a chunk of dough to type a semi-transparent sheet with out breaking it.
  5. Cowl the dough and let relaxation.
  6. The dough is able to use as soon as it has doubled in dimension.
How to prepare dough for coconut buns

Make the coconut bun filling

Whereas the dough is resting, you may put together the filling. Merely combine up the components and you’re going to get a dry mass. I actually like this filling as a result of it often doesn’t require chilling and it’s simple to work with. 

NOTE: in case your room temperature may be very low, the butter will solidify and make the filling crumbly. In winter, I choose to place the filling bowl over my radiator to maintain the filling heat. So it will likely be simple to form later. 

Make the coconut bun filling

Coconut bun topping

To imitate the Asian bakery type, this recipe makes use of each an egg wash and a topping to create the strains (each from Mooncakes and Milk Bread). 

For the topping, you may place the paste in a ziplock bag and reduce off a nook and use the ziplock as a piping bag. Nonetheless, do be happy to skip it in the event you like. It’s extra for ornamental impact and doesn’t have an effect on the style of the buns a lot.

Coconut bun topping

Assemble the coconut buns

As soon as your dough has doubled in dimension, you can begin assembling the coconut buns. 

  1. Divide the dough, then pinch every bit of dough collectively
  2. Use your fingers to type a dome to softly roll and press the dough to form it right into a ball
  3. You need to at all times cowl the dough with plastic wrap to forestall it from drying out
  4. Roll out the dough into an oval form, with a thicker middle
  5. Add the filling within the middle
  6. Wrap the dough across the filling and seal the dough
  7. Pinch the dough tightly so it gained’t crumble
  8. Cowl the assembled coconut buns and relaxation once more
  9. Brush with egg wash
  10. Beautify the buns with the topping
  11. Sprinkle with sesame seeds 
  12. Bake till golden brown
How to assemble coconut buns step-by-step

Baking sheet vs casserole dish

I’ve tried baking the buns on an everyday baking sheet and in a casserole dish. If utilizing a baking sheet, you’re going to get oval buns which can be largely separated with a small half connected collectively. If utilizing a casserole dish, the buns might be squeezed collectively. If you happen to aren’t searching for excellent buns, the casserole dish technique is kind of forgiving and simpler to work with. 

Homemade coconut buns in a casserole dish


After I was testing the coconut bun recipe, there was one time I unintentionally made a dozen buns with twice the quantity of filling. As a result of I halved the dough however forgot to halve the filling. The outcome was SO GOOD! It felt like a decadent dessert and I liked how buttery and candy the filling was. If you happen to’re searching for a extra balanced outcome, comply with this recipe as it’s. It makes a pleasant fluffy bread that I might eat for breakfast. If you happen to’re searching for a dessert, attempt double the filling for a richer style 🙂

I hope you get pleasure from these coconut buns as a lot as I do!

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These Chinese coconut buns use an easy milk bread dough to create an extra light and fluffy texture and are filled with a rich buttery coconut filling that is just like the ones made by Chinese bakeries. They are a perfect weekend project to spice up your afternoon tea. These coconut buns are freezer-friendly, too, so you can make them ahead and serve them later. {Vegetarian}

Chinese language Coconut Buns (Cocktail Buns)

These Chinese language coconut buns use a simple milk bread dough to create an additional gentle and fluffy texture and are full of a wealthy buttery coconut filling that is rather like those made by Chinese language bakeries. They’re an ideal weekend mission to boost your afternoon tea. These coconut buns are freezer-friendly, too, so you may make them forward and serve them later. {Vegetarian}

Course: Bakery

Delicacies: Chinese language

Key phrase: Chinese language bakery type

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 20 minutes

Inactive time: 2 hours

Whole Time: 3 hours 50 minutes



  • 260 ml (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) milk , heated to 110°F / 43°C
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) energetic dry yeast
  • 400 g (2 3/4 cups) bread flour
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 g (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 40 g (3 tablespoons) butter , melted
  • 1 massive egg


  • 40 g (2/3 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 85 g (6 tablespoons) butter , melted
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) dry milk powder
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 20 g (2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 1 g (1/4 teaspoon) salt


  • 21 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter , soften
  • 18 g (2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 10 g (1 tablespoon) confectioner’s sugar

Egg wash

  • 1 massive egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (Optionally available)


To make the dough

  • Mix the nice and cozy milk, a pinch of sugar (from the sugar you intend to make use of within the dough), and dry yeast in a small bowl. Put aside for five minutes for the yeast to activate. When it’s prepared, the yeast ought to be bubbly.

  • Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and create a nicely within the middle. Pour the activated yeast, melted butter, and egg to the nicely. Connect the dough hook. Combine on low till a shaggy dough begins to type. Throughout mixing, cease the mixer and scrape the flour from the wall of the bowl if wanted.

  • Flip the velocity to medium (setting 4) and knead for 15 to twenty minutes, till clean and elastic. Observe the dough throughout the course of. If the dough is just too moist and can’t be gathered by the dough hook, sprinkle some flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, till the dough comes collectively. If it’s too dry, you may add a bit extra milk. It is a moist dough. And it’s regular to have a small quantity of dough keep on with the underside of the blending bowl the entire time.

  • Spray or grease a big bowl with a skinny layer of oil (or butter).

  • As soon as the dough is prepared, collect it right into a ball and place within the oiled bowl. Cowl with plastic wrap. Relaxation till doubled, about an hour or so (It will probably take wherever from 45 to 90 minutes relying on warmth and humidity).

To make the filling

  • Add all of the filling components right into a medium-size bowl. Combine with a spatula till crumbly. You need to be capable to raise and form the filling utilizing your fingers. If it’s too crumbly and dry to type, add a little bit of melted butter. Put aside. (*Footnote 1)

Roll out the dough & 2nd rise

  • Punch the totally risen dough right down to deflate it. Switch it to a clear working floor and knead briefly, till it returns to its unique dimension.

  • Reduce the dough into 12 or 16 even items (*Footnote 2). You need to use a scale to weigh every bit of dough so the buns will come out completely evenly sized. For 12 buns, it’s 65 g per piece or 49 g per piece if making 16 buns. Instantly cowl all of the dough with plastic wrap to forestall it from drying out.

  • One piece at a time, pull and pinch the dough collectively on the high till the dough is rounded. Flip the piece in order that the pinched a part of the dough faces down on the working floor. Place your palm and fingers over the ball forming a domed cage. Roll the dough in small round motions whereas making use of gentle strain to the dough. Put aside and canopy once more. As soon as all of the dough is shaped, let relaxation for 10 minutes earlier than assembling.

Assemble the buns

  • Line a 9” x 13” baking dish (*Footnote 3) with parchment paper.

  • Flatten a chunk of dough. Roll with a rolling pin right into a 3”x5” (7cm x 12cm) oval form, with thinner sides and a thick middle. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of filling (if making 12 buns, use 1 scant tablespoon if making 16 buns). Place it in the course of the dough (*Footnote 4). Carry up all the perimeters of the dough to assemble within the middle, across the filling. Pinch all of the dough collectively to seal the bun, forming an oval-shaped bun. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and canopy with plastic, repeat with the remaining buns.

  • As soon as all of the buns are shaped, let relaxation for one more 30 to 40 minutes. Whereas the buns rise, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and put together the topping.

Put together the topping

  • Mix the topping components in a small bowl. Combine till it kinds a clean paste. Switch it to a small ziplock bag and press it in the direction of one nook and squeeze out as a lot air as attainable. Seal the bag, and reduce 1/4” (6mm) of the tip off.

Bake the buns

  • As soon as the buns have completed their second rise, brush gently with the egg wash. Pipe two strips throughout the quick ends of the buns. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds if utilizing. Bake for 20 minutes, or till golden brown. Switch the dish to a wire rack to chill.

  • Serve the buns heat or at room temperature.

Retailer and reheat

  • As soon as the buns have cooled off utterly, place them in a ziplock bag or hermetic container. Retailer within the fridge for as much as 3 days, or within the freezer for as much as 3 months.

  • To reheat the buns, you may both microwave them or bake them in a 300°F (148°C) oven till warmed all through, 5 minutes for refrigerated buns or 10 to fifteen minutes for frozen ones.


  1. In case your room may be very chilly, the filling can develop into very agency and troublesome to form. In such instances, I often place it in a heat spot akin to on my radiator. It should loosen up the butter so it’s simpler to work with as you form the buns.
  2. I like to recommend making 12 buns if utilizing a baking dish. I made 16 once I shot the pictures and located the buns obtained squeezed collectively an excessive amount of. If utilizing a baking sheet, both 12 or 16 works. I personally choose to make a batch of 16 buns for a smaller serving dimension.
  3. You need to use an everyday baking sheet as nicely. The buns will come out extra separated, with solely a small half connected collectively.
  4. The filling ought to be crumbly and stiff, and you must be capable to wrap it simply. If you happen to’re searching for the proper form, you may type the filling right into a log earlier than wrapping.


Serving: 1serving, Energy: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 28.4g, Protein: 4.5g, Fats: 8.1g, Saturated Fats: 5.1g, Ldl cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 91mg, Potassium: 53mg, Fiber: 0.9g, Sugar: 8.1g, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2mg

The coconut bun filling and topping recipes are from Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho, described in my very own phrases in response to my cooking expertise.



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