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how to make coconut bun

Delicious Coconut Buns w...

If you’re a fan of Asian baked goods, you’ve probably come across the irresistible aroma and taste of coconut buns. These soft and fluffy buns, also known as cocktail buns, are filled with a rich and creamy coconut filling that will leave you craving for more. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of making these delectable treats at home. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey filled with the flavors of coconut and the satisfaction of homemade goodness.

A Brief History of Coconut Buns

Coconut buns have their roots in Chinese bakeries, where they have become a beloved staple. These buns have also gained popularity in other Asian countries and among Western audiences who have developed a taste for Asian desserts. The combination of soft, pillowy bread and a luscious coconut filling has made coconut buns a fan favorite.

The Key Ingredients

To make coconut buns, you’ll need a few key ingredients that are easily accessible. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Bread flour: This high-protein flour will give your buns the perfect texture.
  • Instant yeast: Make sure to use instant yeast for this recipe for optimal results.
  • Sugar: A touch of sweetness will enhance the flavor of the buns.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt will balance out the sweetness.
  • Milk: Whole milk will provide richness and moisture to the dough.
  • Unsalted butter: This will add flavor and tenderness to the buns.
  • Coconut cream: Look for canned coconut cream, as it has a thicker consistency than coconut milk.
  • Powdered sugar: This will sweeten the coconut filling.
  • Whipped cream: Prepared whipped cream or cool whip can be used for convenience.
  • Desiccated coconut flakes: These will add a delightful crunch and extra coconut flavor.
  • Honey: Brushing the baked buns with honey will give them a shiny and sweet glaze.

Making the Bread Dough

To start, you’ll need to prepare the bread dough, which will serve as the base for your coconut buns. Follow these steps:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt.
  • Warm the milk and melt the unsalted butter.
  • Gradually add the warm milk and melted butter to the dry ingredients, mixing until a soft and elastic dough forms.
  • Knead the dough for several minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise until it doubles in size.

Creating the Creamy Coconut Filling

While the dough is rising, it’s time to prepare the luscious coconut filling that will take your buns to the next level. Here’s what you need to do:

  • In a bowl, combine coconut cream and powdered sugar, mixing until well combined.
  • Gently fold in the prepared whipped cream until the filling is creamy and smooth.
  • Set the coconut filling aside until you’re ready to assemble the buns.

Shaping and Filling the Buns

Now comes the fun part—shaping and filling the buns. Follow these steps for perfectly shaped coconut buns:

  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into equal-sized portions.
  • Take a portion of the dough and flatten it into a circle with your hands.
  • Spoon a generous amount of the coconut filling onto the center of the dough circle.
  • Carefully fold the edges of the dough over the filling, sealing it tightly.
  • Place the shaped buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving enough space between them for expansion.

Allowing the Buns to Rise Again

After shaping the buns, it’s important to let them rise again before baking. Follow these steps:

  • Cover the shaped buns with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
  • Allow the buns to rise for about 30 minutes or until they have puffed up and become slightly larger in size.
  • Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature specified in the recipe.

Baking the Coconut Buns to Perfection

Once the buns have risen, it’s time to bake them to golden perfection. Follow these steps:

  • Brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg for a glossy finish
  • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the buns for the specified time or until they turn golden brown.

Serving and Storing Coconut Buns

Freshly baked coconut buns are best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven. However, if you have any leftovers, here’s how you can store them:

  • Allow the buns to cool completely before storing them.
  • Place the cooled buns in an airtight container or resealable bag.
  • Store them at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat the buns, simply microwave them for a few seconds to restore their softness.

Variations and Tips for Success

While traditional coconut buns are delicious on their own, you can also experiment with different variations and add your own twist to the recipe. Here are some ideas:

  • Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top of the buns before baking for added texture and flavor.
  • Incorporate other fillings such as red bean paste or taro for a unique twist.
  • For a vegan version, substitute plant-based milk and butter in the dough and use a non-dairy whipped cream alternative in the filling.

To ensure success when making coconut buns, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best results.
  • Be patient and allow the dough to rise properly for light and fluffy buns.
  • Seal the buns tightly to prevent the filling from oozing out during baking.
  • Brush the buns with honey after baking for a beautiful glaze.


Making homemade coconut buns with creamy filling is a delightful culinary adventure that brings the flavors of Asia straight to your kitchen. With the right ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can achieve bakery-quality buns that will impress your family and friends. So go ahead, put on your apron, and embark on this delicious baking journey. Your taste buds will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a coconut bun the same as a coconut pastry?

While both coconut buns and coconut pastries feature coconut as a key ingredient, they are not the same. Coconut buns are typically soft and bread-like, while coconut pastries are often flaky and pastry-like, similar to a turnover or puff pastry.

2. Are coconut buns gluten-free?

Traditional coconut buns are not gluten-free because they are made with wheat flour. However, gluten-free versions can be made using gluten-free flour blends or almond flour for those with gluten sensitivities.

3. Can I freeze coconut buns?

Yes, you can freeze coconut buns. To do so, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil, place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to a few months. Thaw them at room temperature or reheat in the oven when you’re ready to enjoy them.

4. How are coconut buns typically served?

Coconut buns can be served as a snack, breakfast item, or dessert. They are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. Some people also like to drizzle a glaze or icing on top for extra sweetness.

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