Steamed Rose Buns: the effortless, light recipe for making impressive steamed buns

Total time: 1H10 + Resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

These steamed rose buns are an easy, impressive and light recipe where the buns are shaped as roses. The recipe is inspired by the classic Chinese bao recipe.

It’s possible to make the steamed rose buns with a handful of humble pantry ingredients: pumpkin, flour, sugar, warm water, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter. The pumpkin adds flavor and slight sweetness and gives the buns a nice orange-yellow color.

The buns are light and fluffy with just a hint of sweetness. Just makes them very versatile. Fill them with a savory char siu pork, or enjoy them as a sweet snack.


Steamed Rose Bun Ingredients

Pumpkin – cook the pumpkin before using.

Yeast – make sure the yeast is still active.

Sugar – granulated sugar.

Flour – all-purpose flour.

Baking powder – use fresh baking powder and check that it hasn’t expired.

How To Make Steamed Rose Buns

Prepare the pumpkin first by cooking it—you can either microwave it or roast it in the oven. Once cooked, mash the pumpkin until fine. Mix the dough ingredients together until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Allow the dough to rest for one hour or until doubled in size. Once rested, roll the dough into 15 equally-sized balls. Allow to rest again for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough balls into small disks, then place them next to each other, making sure that they overlap. Roll up the layered dough discs, cut, and form into roses. Set aside for 30 minutes and proceed to steam them.


Steamed Rose Bun Filling Ideas

To enjoy it sweet, fill it with hazelnut spread and dust with powdered sugar.

To enjoy a savory steamed bun, fill it with pork or beef.


If you want them more colored, you can add beet powder or a few drops of food coloring.

Instead of pumpkin, you can also use orange or purple sweet potatoes.

If the buns become soggy, they probably got web during steaming. To prevent this, allow the buns to rest for at least 3 minutes inside the steamer before opening the lid. When removing the cover, remove it carefully so that water drops don’t fall back onto the buns.

Make the steamed rose buns vegan by using vegan butter or coconut oil.


How To Store Steamed Rose Buns

Store the cooled Steamed Rose Buns in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

The buns can also be frozen. Allow to cool, wrap tightly with plastic wrap (or place in an airtight container), and freeze for up to 3 months.

boiled pumpkin
70 g (1/3 cup)
Dry yeast
3 g (1/2 tsp)
5 g (1 tsp)
Warm water
50 ml (3 tbsp)
All-purpose flour
190 g (1 1/2 cups)
30 g (2 tbsp)
Baking powder
3 g (1/2 tsp)
15 g (1 tbsp)


Mash boiled pumpkin until smooth puree forms.

Whisk the yeast with the water, set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy.

Whisk flour with baking powder.

Mix together the yeast, pumpkin puree, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until a dough forms.

Set the dough aside until doubled in size (around 1 hour).

Roll the dough into 15 balls and set them aside for 15 minutes.

Roll each ball out into a disk and lay 5 disks on top of one another, overlapping.

Roll the dough to form a rose.

Cut the roll in half.

Open the petals to form it into a rose.

Set the roses aside for 30 minutes, then steam for 12 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

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