Chinese Cocktail Buns Recipe -
Chinese Cocktail Buns Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Chinese Cocktail Buns

Recipe by  

"These cocktail buns are like the ones you get at Chinese bakeries. They are filled with a creamy coconut filling. Yum!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 32 buns Change Servings
  • PREP

    45 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    3 hrs 25 mins


  1. Place 1/3 cup sugar and milk in a small saucepan, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup softened butter, and gently warm the mixture until the butter melts and the mixture is warm but not hot (no warmer than about 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). In a large bowl, stir together the yeast with 2 1/2 cups flour until well blended, and pour the milk mixture into the flour-yeast mixture. Stir in 1 beaten egg, and mix until the mixture forms a sticky, wet dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes, gradually kneading in 1 cup of additional flour or as needed to make a smooth, elastic dough. Form the dough into a round ball, place into an oiled bowl, and turn the dough around in the bowl a few times to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Cream 1/4 cup softened butter with 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy, and stir in dry milk powder, 1/2 cup flour, and the coconut until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Set the filling aside.
  4. Working on a floured surface, punch down the dough, and cut into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 8 equal-sized pieces (16 pieces total). Form each piece into an oblong bun, and flatten the bun with a floured rolling pin. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of filling with a spoon, and place in the center of a bun. Pull and pinch the edges of the dough together to enclose the filling in the bun. Repeat with all dough pieces, and place the filled buns, seam sides down, onto the prepared baking sheets. Cover the buns with a cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place 1 hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. For a glossy coating, beat 1 egg in a bowl, and brush each bun with a little beaten egg. Sprinkle each bun with a few sesame seeds.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the buns are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
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  • Cook's Notes
  • Recipe makes 16 large buns or 32 small buns.
  • For bread to rise, warm oven to 150 degrees F (70 degrees C). When oven is warm, turn it off and place the covered dough into the oven for 1 hour to rise.

Reviews More Reviews

Feb 22, 2010

Delicious. I have made them yesterday. We all loved them. The only change I made, substituted dry milk powder with vanilla instant puding mix, and since I think there is no need for aditional 1/2 cup of flour in the filling, I added 1/2 cup milk. Next time will add a little bit more for a more creamy consistency. Will certanly make again. Thank You.

Nov 30, 2010

Awesome! My whole family loved these. I used the KitchenAid mixer with dough hook to mix and knead and it was very easy. The coconut filling was so tasty and my kids and I had fun learning how to work with a fresh coconut - btw one coconut yeilds enough coconut to double this recipe. When I mixed the filling it was very crumbly rather than creamy so I added a tiny bit of milk to cream it up. Note that the filling does not end up gooey like an eclair - it's drier - and oh so good!


23 Ratings

Mar 02, 2012

Just made them and extremely impressed with how they turned out! Taste exactly how the Chinese bakeries make 'em! Instead of making them oblong shape, I made them round and put black sesame instead. Also, I followed the other reviewer and used milk and vanilla pudding instead of the dry milk (great substitute!)

Jan 24, 2011

Wow!it was so easy to make.I followed exactly the instruction but for the dough,I added 2 tsps. of wheat gluten and for the filling,instead of using all purpose flour,I used corn starch.The buns turned out very soft.Yummy! Thank you,Liang,for sharing this.I would like to give this recipe a 6 stars!

Feb 02, 2012

Wonderful dough for any sweet thing. I made these buns and cinnamon rolls with the same dough. It also freezes beautifully. After I put it back in the fridge to use the next day, I didn't get to it for a few days AND it still rose and baked BEAUTIFUL cinnamon rolls. BUT... There is only one thing that's missing and that's salt. It is a bit bland without adding salt. Maybe it was accidentally forgotten in the original recipe.

Apr 18, 2011

The bun came out just perfect. Everyone liked the filling. Will try red bean paste filling next time!

Apr 04, 2011

I just made these today and they turned out delicious, just like the bakery (see pic I added)! My husband was even impressed. I used dry whole milk instead of non-fat and it tasted great. Next time I will try and use different fillings, like custard or milk-n-raisin. This recipe is a keeper! The dough recipe itself is just like the Hawaiian sweet rolls. Great recipe, thanks Liang!!

May 12, 2012

This is a revision of my original review... torn now between 3 and 4 star (original was 4 star), but will give 4 star for benefit of the doubt. The buns were hard after sitting for several hours. This time though the dough did not deflate when I put on the egg wash. Anyone else have problems with the filling? Mine comes out still all crumbly and flaky. The recipe shows says makes 32 buns, but the recipe says it makes 16? I made 16, and I think there was so much of the filling that there was at least 1/4 cup of filling (if not more) in each, and still had a little left over. This was my 2nd attempt at this recipe. Although I gave it 4 star (for benefit of the doubt), I don't know if I would make this again.


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  • Calories
  • 129 kcal
  • 6%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.1 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 20 mg
  • 7%
  • Fat
  • 4.5 g
  • 7%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.2 g
  • 6%
  • Sodium
  • 39 mg
  • 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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