Chinese coconut buns
Sweet Buns

Inside-Outside Chinese Coconut Buns


These are a Chinese bakery favourite. The filling is evenly distributed throughout the soft bun. Once you try these you will want more than one.

Chinese coconut buns

Inside-Outside Chinese Coconut Buns

Lovely sweet coconut buns. Great tasting coconut with the added sugar syrup on top. So soft. So hard to stop at just one.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Sweet Buns
Servings 4 servings
Calories 300 kcal



  • 160 mls heavy cream , room temperature
  • 235 mls milk( whole milk preferred but you can use 2% at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 70 grams cake flour
  • 11 grams active dry yeast
  • 7 grams salt

Coconut Filling

  • 125 grams sweetened coconut flakes
  • 30 grams milk powder
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30 grams butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 37 mls milk

Finish the buns

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 12 grams sugar, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water


  • In a bowl of a standmixer fitted with the dough hook attachment , add ingredients in the following order: heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast and salt. Turn the mixer onto lowest setting to bring the dough together. Knead on low speed for 15 minutes. If needed turn off the mixer to bring the dough together with a rubber spatula
  • The dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl, but it may look a bit sticky (sticking to the bottom of the mixer is ok). If in a humid climate, and the dough is sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. You could also stir the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon and then knead for 20 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, and cover the bowl with damp tea towel or over turned plate. Place in a warm place to proof for 75-90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.


  • Mix the filling in a medium bowl, combine the coconut, milk powder, sugar, melted butter, egg yolks and milk. Set aside.
  • After the first proof, knead for another 5 minutes to punch the air out. Dump the dough on a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball and cut it in half. Cut each half of dough into 6 pieces, so you get 12 equal pieces of dough.
  • To shape the buns, knead and roll the piece of dough into an even ball and flatten. Roll into a 5×10 rectangle. Spread a layer of filling onto the rectangle, pressing the filling into the dough and leaving about a half inch of margin all around.
  • Roll the dough lengthwise into a cigar. Cut the cigar in half lengthwise, leaving it attached at the top end, so it looks like a pair of pants. Twist the two pieces together and then roll into a round spiral, tucking the ends underneath the bun. Place onto a lined baking tray. Use two trays with 6 buns on each.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel, and proof the buns for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C/350F. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Brush the risen buns with beaten egg and bake for 22-26 minutes, until golden. Remember all ovens will differ in temperatures, so keep an eye on the bake. It may take less of the baking time or you will need all the baking time. While the buns are still warm, brush with sugar solution.
  • Best enjoyed fresh and warm out of the oven. However you can continue to enjoy them for 4-5 days. Store these buns in a n airtight container on the counter for 1-2 days, and then store in the fridge. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften/warm them up before enjoying.


  • Active dry yeast does not need to be activated in warm water beforehand.
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