Coconut buns are a Chinese bakery classic for a reason. They’re buttery, soft and fluffy — and loaded with a delicious coconut filling. These Chinese sweet buns are easy to make, come together with just a few pantry ingredients and are every bit as delicious as they look. Enjoy them for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon treat!
Chinese Coconut Buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 15-17 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 10 buns
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp whole milk powder
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
200ml warm water
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp whole milk powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment, add the flour, yeast, sugar, milk powder, salt, egg and warm water. Work the mixture on medium for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together. Turn the mixer to medium-low, add the softened butter one Tbsp at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated. Knead for another 5-8 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
2. Form the dough into a smooth round ball, cover with a damp tea towel and let proof for 1 hour.
3. For the coconut filling, mix together the shredded coconut, cornstarch, milk powder, sugar, salt, melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla. Set aside.
4. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 85 grams each) and roll into a smooth ball. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
5. Grab one ball (keep the rest of the dough covered to prevent drying out) and roll out the ball into a 4-inch oval with a rolling pin. Place about 1 Tbsp of the coconut filling in the centre, grab the ends and pinch them together to close the seams.
6. Place the seam side down, and roll out to form a long oval. With a knife, score the surface with 4-5 long strokes, twist the ends in opposite directions and pinch the ends together. Alternatively, once the dough is filled with coconut, pinch to close the seams and roll it into a round ball.
7. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets and cover with a damp towel. Let proof for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together the egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush the tops of buns with the egg wash.
9. Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden brown, rotating the trays half way. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.