Corner Café

February 1, 2009

Coconut Buns 椰茸檳

Filed under: Breads & Quick Breads — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

UPDATE (March 28, 2009): Coconut Braids



Parallel-Twist Coconut Buns

Ball-Twist Coconut Buns

Makes 8 buns

1/2 portion Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough
remainder of the egg used in Filling, for egg wash

Coconut Filling:
100g desiccated coconut
70g caster sugar
30g butter,softened
30g egg, lightly beaten
1. To prepare the Coconut Filling: Mix everything together. Divide into 8 equal portions.
2. Prepare the Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough as directed in Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough post up to step 3.
3. Shape the buns using one of the methods as descibed below.
4. Let rise, lightly covered, until double in size on a lightly greased tray. When ready, brush with egg wash.
5. Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.


To shape Parallel-Twist Buns:


Take one of the 8 small divided balls and roll out with a rolling pin into a long oblong (pic #1). Lightly egg wash the surface and spread evenly with one portion of the filling (pic #2). Roll up Swiss-roll styled (pic #3 & #4). Flatten and roll out with the rolling pin to a oblong shape again (pic #5). Fold the oblong in half and make 3 cuts at the folded end but do not cut right through to the other end (pic #6). Fold back the dough to reveal the cut strips (pic #7). Gently prise open the middle cut to make a hole (pic #8). Take one end of the dough and push it through the hole (pic #9 & #10). Once the end of the dough is through the hole, pull it back to its original end position (pic #11). Adjust the twists to neaten them if necessary.


To shape Ball-Twist Buns:


1. Either follow the steps for shaping the Parallel-Twist Buns to pic #5, or:
Take one of the 8 small divided balls and roll out with a rolling pin into a round and put one portion of the filling in the centre (pic #12). Gather the outer edges of the dough and wrap up the filling. Pinch and seal the edges (pic #13). Turn it upside down so the seal side is underneath (pic #14). Flatten and roll out with the rolling pin to a oblong shape (pic #15).
2. Fold the oblong in half (pic #16) and make 3 or 4 cuts at the folded end but do not cut right through to the other end (pic #17) – the extra cut will reveal a better looking twist but the thinner strips are also proned to breaking when you are doing the twisting. Fold back the dough to reveal the cut strips (pic #18). Gently pull the dough to lengthen it, be careful not to break the cut strips in the middle (pic #19). Hold one end of the dough in position, use your other hand to roll the other end of the dough up, or down, so the dough strips are twisted, the same as wringing action (pic #20). If the dough is still too short, lightly pull the twisted dough just long enough to make a knot. Tie a single knot (pic #21) making sure the knot is as tight as possible (to prevent the knot unravelling when final proofing), pushing one end of the dough through the centre to secure the knot (pic #22).


To shape Braided Buns:


Divide dough and filling into 4 equal portions respectively. Follow the steps for shaping the Parallel-Twist Buns to pic #7. Then cut right through one end to get 4 strips for braiding, the strips should still be joined at the other end. Shape the bun using the 4-strand braid.


Taste: Soft, fluffy and light buns with delicious coconut filling
Consume: Best served warm but equally good at room temperature
Storage: Can be kept for up to 2 to 3 days in airtight container in room temperature or up to 1 week in the refrigerator, re-heat in the oven or microwave before serving
Recipe References: Coconut filling recipe from the ‘椰茸檳’ recipe in the Chinese cookbook ‘專業麵包製作’ by 周健文 and 馮詠楷


  1. Thanks for giving us the detailed instructions! I enjoy checking your blog!

    Comment by Claire — February 1, 2009 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks SD. Tried out the coconut fillings and shaping method using normal sweet bun dough. Hubby and daughter like the coconut fillings while I enjoyed shaping the buns based on your detailed instructions. Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

    Comment by 3princesses — February 3, 2009 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

  3. thk,SD. Was trying to find some websites that has detailed instruction on shaping the buns as i wanted to shape my sweet buns for better presentation. then found this. very helpful. certainly looks yummy. will try your recipe. 🙂

    Comment by angie — February 4, 2009 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  4. 3princesses,
    Glad the instructions are helpful. Happy New Year 🙂

    No worries 🙂

    Comment by SeaDragon — February 4, 2009 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  5. I live in the British Virgin Island, there is no Chinese Bakery here, and I crave for these coconut buns so much that I had no choice but to make my own. I’m so happy that I found this recipe. I gave it a try and the buns came out perfect, nice and soft. I’ll make the buns again, maybe next time I’ll try to do the savory dough and fill with curry beef. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Will try other recipes as well, they look so good. Love your site.

    Comment by Tongtola — March 1, 2009 @ 1:01 am | Reply

    • Tongtola,
      Glad to hear you’ve success with the recipe.

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 4, 2009 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

  6. […] Coconut and red bean paste filling (note: for the red bean paste I used some red bean boiled in sugar and melted some butter into it.  You can always buy the ready-made ones from Asian shops.) […]

    Pingback by Home-made bread - take 2 « Linda’s Cuppapoint — March 3, 2009 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  7. SD

    Thank you so much for the detailed instructions for shaping the bread. Very much appreciated 🙂


    Comment by Ange — March 29, 2009 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

  8. They look incredibly delicious and yummy. Thank you very much, really appreciate the detailed instructions for shaping the bread

    Comment by Sara — May 2, 2009 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  9. I love this bread; I always buy it from the asian bakeries whenever I get to go to one! Do you know the cup measurements for this recipe? i would love to try the recipe, but i don’t have a weight 😦

    Comment by Dorothy — May 14, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

    • What sized cup are you using, US ones (240ml) or metric ones (250ml), and your tablespoon is 15ml each? I can do a conversion for you if you let me know.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 16, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • Hi SeaDragon, I use US cup measurements. Thanks!

      Comment by Dorothy — May 17, 2009 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

      • Could you also do a conversion for the base bun dough? Thank you!

        Comment by Dorothy — May 17, 2009 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

        • I will put the conversion for that under the bun post.

          Comment by SeaDragon — May 22, 2009 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

      • Dorothy,
        Here’s the conversion for US cup, hopefully I did not make any wrong calculation.

        Please note that measuring by volume is not accurate, as flour and other dry ingredients when measured, depending on how compacted or loosely packed, could varies quite considerably by weight. The following volume amount is just an estimate using 240mL cup and 15mL tablespoon, but I would suggest if you’re really interested in baking to invest in a kitchen scale.

        Coconut Filling:
        1 cup + 2 3/4 tablespoons dried unsweetened grated coconut
        5 1/3 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
        2 tablespoons butter, softened
        2 tablespoons egg, lightly beaten

        Comment by SeaDragon — May 22, 2009 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  10. Hi SD,

    you made the shaping of the bread looked so easy! the last time I tried to so a simple braid with my dough, i ended up getting a deformed looking bun 😛 .

    Comment by mj — May 16, 2009 @ 1:12 am | Reply

    • Haha, I guess practice makes perfect. Don’t give up, just practise more and you should get perfect braid next time.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 16, 2009 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  11. Hi SD, tks for the encouragement 🙂 that plus your detailed illustrations would certainly help!

    Comment by mj — May 19, 2009 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

  12. Hi Sea Dragon,
    Thx for the step by step instruction and pictures. It help me a lot. I bake this bun this morning using the receipt from (baking mum) and your coconut filling. Next time I will try your bun receipt and let you know the difference. LOVE YOUR BLOG

    Comment by mimi — May 24, 2009 @ 4:02 am | Reply

  13. Maybe you can help me. I had these baked buns at as Asian bakery in Chinatown and it has got white, light cream filling. Do you know what that is? Would love to have the recipes. Thank you so much

    Comment by lily — June 3, 2009 @ 10:32 am | Reply

    • Was the filling baked inside the buns or was it added on after the buns were baked?

      Comment by SeaDragon — June 3, 2009 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  14. SD,
    I made these buns today and they are fantastic! The coconut filling is so good that my family said we shouldn’t go buy them from the Asian bakery anymore.

    Thank you so much for your generosity by sharing these wonderful recipes.

    Comment by Tuty — August 23, 2009 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  15. […] adonan  japanese style sweet dough buns.  Roti coconut buns yang berasal dari link website : merupakan roti nostalgia masa kecil.  Waktu kecil dulu, semasa masih ada tukang roti dari rumah ke […]

    Pingback by Coconut Buns « mXpa — June 1, 2010 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  16. Hi, I tried making your buns, but the outcome wasn’t too great. 😦 Inside the bun was fluffy and fine but the outside was hard. Essentially i made a french baguette with coconut inside. Any suggestions to make the outside soft? Thanks!

    Comment by Jenny — June 27, 2010 @ 8:07 am | Reply

    • That sounds like your water roux was not made properly. Please do not reduce the amount of water roux I stated in the recipes. Even if you want to make half the amount of buns, please still make the full amount of water roux then use half of that. Too little water roux is hard to cook properly.

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 3, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  17. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I baked this bun last week. It was really delicious. But the coconut filling is a bit dry. I reckon 1 cup of desiccated coconut is enough for this recipe. I am a novice baker and still learning how to make a presentable bun by using braiding technique. Your illustrations are very useful and definitely benefit the baking community. I gave the decorating technique a few trial runs, unfortunate made a mass of it. I cut the corner to decorate the bun by using
    bread stamp

    Keep up good work. Marry Xmas.

    Best Regards,


    Comment by Fiona — December 16, 2010 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  18. Hi I am a big fan of your website and have baked a number of soft buns using your Japanese sweet bun dough but when I tried to access your site today, all your pictures are gone! I hope that you will restore them quickly if possible as I really miss the recipes on your site. Thank you so much for this wonderful webpage!

    Comment by Shirley — September 4, 2011 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

    • Sorry about that. I did not delete the pics. The reason is due to my using the free Photobucket to store all my pics and they put a limit on viewing bandwidth every month of 10GB (there was a rush for my bicuits/cakes recipes in August due to many of my readers making biscuits/cakes to celebrate Hari Raya which resulted in too many views on my blogs and exceeding the bandwidth limit) and once viewing for the month reached 10GB, no one can see the pics until they reset it the next month. It just happens the beginning of each month for my Photobucket account is on the 5th, ie tomorrow. So all pics will be returned tomorrow.

      Comment by SeaDragon — September 4, 2011 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  19. Thanks for your quick response and I am so relieved about the pictures being restored tomorrow. Can’t wait to view them again; excellent photographs too! That’s what makes viewing your website a real pleasure. Great job!

    Comment by Shirley — September 4, 2011 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  20. Hey, I had a very quick question about the ingredient, I live in Australia, & I just wanted to say that I can’t find bread Flour here, by bread flour do you mean self rising flour or? Please reply ASAP.

    Comment by Sophi — May 14, 2012 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

    • You should be able to find bread flour here in Aus. Please have a look in the Flours and Starches page in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this blog, I have pics in there. Bread flour is a high-protein flour, basically a type of plain flour but has a higher protein content than the normal plain flour, it is also sold as strong bakers flour here in Aus.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 14, 2012 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  21. made these today and your instructions are brilliant…thanks…the best and most beautiful thing i’ve ever baked~1

    Comment by weijinross — February 12, 2013 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  22. I love the brown color of your breads and pastries! What kind of egg wash do you use?

    Comment by Justina — March 20, 2015 @ 11:39 am | Reply

    • Just egg, lightly beaten. The brown colour is also due to the high sugar in the dough caramelising.

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 20, 2015 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  23. A good bakery in my city has those beautiful ball twist coconut buns (as well as other coconut bun varieties), and it’s really neat to see how they are formed!

    Being a novice baker, I may have to convince my mama to bake them for me on a future birthday… He he. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Comment by lovelyratkitten — July 24, 2015 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

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