Gai Mei Bao or Chinese Cocktail/ Coconut Buns – We Knead to Bake #38

After a very long time, i baked for WKTB. When i was doing these buns, i felt as if my No-bake jinx was broken. I m usually regular with #BreadBakers and #BundtBakers, with April Blogging Marathon, i missed both the editions and my oven was almost neglected. If i haven’t baked these buns, then for sure, my oven would have gone into depression!:)
Chinese Cocktail buns is a Hong Kong-style sweet bun with a filling of shredded coconut. It is one of several iconic types of baked goods originating from Hong Kong.
The cocktail bun is said to have been created in the 1950s in Hong Kong, when the bakery owners, resisted the wasteful disposal of unsold but perfectly edible buns. They came up with these delicious looking cocktail buns, where the day-old buns were ground up, with sugar and coconut added in, to create a tasty filling mixture, fresh bread dough was wrapped around this mixture to make the first filled “cocktail bun”.

Later shredded coconut and butter or margarine were added to the recipe, which are now key ingredients in the cocktail bun filling. Each bun is approximately 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches high in the shape of a small baguette. The cocktail bun can be found in many Chinese bakeries along with other popular sweet buns like the pineapple bun, which also originated from Hong Kong. 

I wish the original idea of using up the day old buns are in still in fashion, what an amazing way to prevent food waste!! With so much food these days ending up as bin fodder, traditions like these should be followed! Food for thought!
Sending these yumm buns to Kids Delight – Brunch Ideas, happening here, an event by +Srivalli Jetti 
For the Bread Dough
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups Bread flour
1 1/2 tbsp corn-starch
1 tsp instant yeast
3/4 tsp salt

For the Filling
50 gm butter, soft at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp milk powder
1/3 cup fresh grated coconut
3 tbsp tutti frutti (optional, not included in the original recipe)

For the Topping 
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling

For the Glaze
1 tbsp honey mixed with 1 tsp of warm water


  • I used my food processor to knead the dough. Take flour, corn starch, yeast, sugar and salt in the processor bowl. Run it for a minute for the ingredients to mix well. To this flour mix, add warm milk in batches and knead a soft and smooth dough. You might not require all of the milk, there might be 1 or 2 tbsp milk leftover after kneading the dough.
  • It is a pretty easy dough to knead. The dough will be little sticky to touch, but doesn’t stick to the processor bowl. Remove the dough to a well oiled bowl. let it sit for an hour or until it doubles in size.
  • While the dough is resting, let us make the filling. Mix all the ingredients given under filling in a bowl and keep aside until use. 
  • Once it doubles, remove the dough on to the working surface, dust the area with flour. Punch down the extra air, knead the dough for a couple of minutes and divide into 6 equal portions.
  • Working on one portion at a time, Roll out each portion into a oval disc, place a tbsp of filling in the center, bring the edges together like a sail of a ship, and tuck the top ends on top of it and shape it to a oval shaped bread.
  • Take care not to stuff much and seal the edges properly. If not done well, the butter might ooze out of the filling and your buns will be floating on a buttery puddle! 🙂
  • Let the shaped buns rest, covered, for another 45 minutes. Brush the tops of the bun with milk and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C and bake for 22-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Once done, remove the buns on to a wire rack, brush the hot buns with honey glaze and let it cool. Serve it warm along with tea or as  snack. We had it as snack and i packed some for my elder one breakfast the next day too. 
  • I made the dough the previous night, proofed it for an hour and then couldn’t bake it immediately, so i refrigerated the dough and baked it next day morning. 
  • If doing so, remove the dough from refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking.