These Chinese Coconut Buns Come Together With Ingredients You Already Have on Hand

coconut buns
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
17 min
10 buns

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!

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3 ½
cups all-purpose flour
tsp instant yeast
cup granulated sugar
Tbsp whole milk powder
tsp salt
large egg
mL warm water
cup unsalted butter, room temperature


1 ¼
cup sweetened shredded coconut
tsp cornstarch
tsp whole milk powder
Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch salt
Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
egg yolk
tsp vanilla extract

Egg Wash

Tbsp milk



This recipe also requires a rest time of 2 hours.

coconut buns ingredients
Step 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 tablespoon at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated. Knead for another 5-8 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.

Step 2

Form the dough into a smooth round ball, cover with a damp tea towel and let proof for 1 hour.

Step 3

For the coconut filling, mix together the shredded coconut, cornstarch, milk powder, sugar, salt, melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla. Set aside.

Step 4

Divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 85 grams each) and roll into a smooth ball. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.

Step 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 tablespoon of the coconut filling in the centre

The dough for a coconut bun with a spoonful of coconut filling
Step 6

Grab the ends and pinch them together to close the seams.

Step 7

Place the seam side down, and roll out to form a long oval. With a knife, score the surface with 4-5 long strokes. 

Step 8

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.

A hand pinching raw coconut buns closed
Step 9

Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets and cover with a damp towel. Let proof for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 10

Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together the egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush the tops of buns with the egg wash.

Step 11

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.

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