Chinese Steamed Custard Bun

This Chinese steamed custard bun recipe turns out soft, tender, and just the right amount of sweetness. Your sweet tooth will be undeniably satisfied after eating this soul satisfying treat! Adapted recipe by jessicagavin

Chinese Steamed Custard Bun

Photo by Robert P.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Bun Dough:

  • 1

    tablespoon granulated sugar

  • ¼

    cup warm water (105°F)

  • teaspoon active dry yeast

  • 4

    cups all-purpose flour

  • 2

    tablespoon lard or shortening

  • ½

    cup granulated sugar

  • 1

    cup whole milk, warm (105°F)

  • 1

    tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1

    tablespoon baking powder mixed with 1½ tablespoon water

  • Custard Filling:

  • 160

    g custard powder (Dr. Oeker Crème Brulee product- 2 packages)

  • 40

    g cornstarch

  • 120

    g granulated sugar

  • 400

    ml whole milk

  • 4

    tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4

    large eggs, slightly beaten


Custard Filling: Combine custard powder, cornstarch, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Add in milk, and stir mixture over low heat for 1 minute until mixed, then gradually add the beaten egg. Constantly whisk until thickened. Stir in the butter until fully incorporated. Let custard filling cool and set aside until ready to use. The custard will become slightly firm as it cools. This is the correct texture as it will be easier to fill and shape the bun. Dough: Dissolve sugar in warm water, sprinkle yeast over; let stand 2-3 minutes, and then stir to mix well. Let set until it starts to foam, 10 minutes. Sift flour and make well in the center. Whisk together the lard/ shortening, sugar, yeast mixture, and milk. The fat will not completely dissolve into the liquid. Combine liquid mixture with the flour; gradually incorporate the flour with the liquid to make dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour as necessary. Use the oil to grease the outside of the dough; cover and let rest in warm area 1 ½ hours or until double in size. Punch dough down and flatten out to about ¾ inch thick. Spread the baking powder mixture evenly on the dough (this acts as a stabilizer). Roll dough up and knead about 10 minutes, or until smooth and satiny. The dough should be firmer than regular white bread dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes. Dough Breaking: Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll one part by hand to form a rope approximately 9 inches long and 1¼ inch in diameter. Mark into 6 equal parts, 1 ½ inch long. Holding the dough with one hand, grip at the first mark with the thumb and index finger of the other hand and tear away briskly to break off a small dough piece. Continue breaking until you have 24 pieces. Dough Rolling: Flatten each piece of dough with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll each into a round disk, making quarter turn with each roll. Roll to leave the center thick; thinner edges are easier to pleat. Assembling: Place about 1 tablespoon of filling at the center of each dough round, flat side up. Gather the edges by first pleating counterclockwise, and then twisting to seal securely. Place the bun round side up on a square piece of parchment paper (2.5 X 2.5 inches). Let buns rest, covered for at least 30 minutes. Cooking: Steam on high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not uncover the steamer any time during the steaming. If a flat lid steamer is used, wrap the lid in a kitchen towel to prevent condensed steam from dripping on the buns.


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