Steamed Pumpkin Custard Buns Recipe

October means pumpkin everything, and it certainly does for my steamed pumpkin custard buns recipe.

My super cute steamed pumpkin buns recipe sees pumpkin baozi made with real pumpkin in the dough itself, stuffed with pumpkin spice custard filling, and moulded into little pumpkin-shaped buns.

The stalks are made with sultanas, making these little pumpkin pie buns completely edible. Well, except for the baking paper on the bottom that stops them from sticking. But I'm sure we've all had that moment as children when we bite enthusiastically into a steaming hot baozi having forgotten to remove the paper first...

To make more traditional, Chinese-tasting steamed pumpkin buns, simply omit the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger which make up the Western-style pumpkin pie spices. But with the spices, it sort of turns the custard into a firm pumpkin pie filling. Whatever you choose, the outcome will be delicious. And adorable.

You can also see how I make these on YouTube:

Ready? Let's go.

(Makes eight steamed pumpkin custard buns.)

Ingredients for Pumpkin Custard

2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
100g pumpkin purée
45g caster sugar
50g custard powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
150ml full fat coconut milk
20g unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Bao Dough

500g bao (low gluten/plain) flour – plain flour also works
100g caster sugar
1 tsp fast action (instant/easy) yeast
200ml warm water
1 tbsp vegetable shortening (like Trex or Crisco)
100g pumpkin purée

To Decorate:

8 sultanas


1. Whisk all of the custard ingredients together, and steam for about 20 minutes until set. I do this by pouring it into a round cake tin greased with a little vegetable oil.

2. Leave to cool until it's just warm – but cool enough to handle. Scoop the custard into a bowl, beat it with a wooden spoon until smooth, and divide it into eight roughly ball-shaped blobs onto a large plate. Pop in the fridge to chill and set even more for an hour or so.

3. Once set, use your hands to roll the blobs into neater balls. Pop back in the fridge while you make the bao dough.

4. Mix all the bao dough ingredients together in a bowl, and knead for about 15 minutes until smooth. Pop in a lightly-oiled bowl to help prevent it from sticking, cover with clingfilm, and leave to double in size (30 minutes to a hour, depending on how warm your room is).

5. Punch the dough back down and split it into eight portions, rolling each into a ball. Cover the balls loosely with clingfilm and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

6. Flatten each dough ball into a disc, and pop a ball of custard inside each, closing them up like dumplings.

7. Using a blunt, unserrated knife like a butter knife, score lines across each baozi to create the pumpkin shape: score deeply but don't cut all the way through to the filling in the middle. Cover them all again loosely and leave to rest for a further 10 minutes.

8. Re-score the lines in each baozi as they'll have begun to even out as the dough rises again, and stick a sultana on top for the pumpkin stalk. Place them on squares of baking parchment to stop them from sticking on the bottom, steam for 20 minutes, and serve (if you need to do this in a few batches, put the ones you aren't steaming yet in the fridge to stop them from overproofing).

Enjoy, and have fun.


Popular Posts