Coconut Buns


I really like coconut, so I decided to combine Dorie Greenspan’s brioche dough with The Woks of Life blog’s filling to make my own version of the coconut buns you find in Chinese bakeries.  They turned out well and were worth all the time and effort!

Original filling recipe

Baking notes:

  • The buns are best if you don’t eat them straight out of the oven.  Let them cool until they’re just warm or even reach room temperature.
  • The buns taste best the day they’re made.  If they last any longer, you should wrap them in plastic to store them.  Heat them briefly in a 350ºF oven before eating.
  • You can wrap the log of dough or the cut buns airtight and freeze for up to 2 months.  To use frozen dough/buns, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.


Coconut Buns
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and The Woks of Life

Yield: 12 buns

For the dough:

For the filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups sweetened coconut flakes, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder (or another 1/4 cup coconut)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk


  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Dust a surface thoroughly with flour.  Roll the dough into a rectangle 12″ x 16″ in size, with the short end towards you.
  4. Spread filling across dough, leaving a 1″ bare strip along the side furthest from you.
  5. Starting with the side closest to you, roll dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can.
  6. With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, cut the log into slices 1″ thick.
  7. Put buns on the baking sheets, leaving some puff space between them.
  8. Lightly cover buns with wax paper and put baking sheet(s) in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until buns have doubled in volume.  Don’t worry if some of the butter in the filling melts and pools around the buns.
  9. Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Remove wax paper and bake buns for 25 minutes, or until they are puffed and richly browned.  (If you’re using 2 baking sheets, rotate sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 15 minutes.)
  10. With a spatula, transfer buns to a cooling rack.

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