Making Sweet Custard Buns (containing TangZhong)

Mmmmm sweet custard buns, my all time favourite! Hubby was craving for them and asked if I could make some. I have never made the custard filling for buns before. Here is how I’ve done it, first attempt and it was scrumptious, definitely deserve a pat on the back.

I went for the solid (rather than runny) but soft custard filling. We dislike desiccated coconut so did not include any in the filling.

Spot the snowman!


Ingredients for custard buns (makes 12 large buns or 24 smaller buns)

For custard filling:

2 tablespoons custard powder

1/3  cup sugar

¼ cup corn starch

½ cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter, cut

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough, refer to ingredients to make Pai Bao


For custard filling: Mix custard powder, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add coconut milk to make a paste. Add the condensed milk and mix well. Heat the mixture over low heat stirring constantly until smooth. Add butter and mix well.  Keep the mixture stirring until it thickens. Whisk or use an electric mixer to beat the custard when it thickens, remove from heat. Add the vanilla extract to the egg yolk and add the egg yolks into the mixture.  Keep mixing to ensure the egg yolks are well incorporated. Returns to heat to thicken the custard. The custard filling is ready when it turns semi solid. This custard filling can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

 To make the dough, refer to the methods described for Pai Bao, with the following modifications to shape the buns:

1)      After first proofing, deflate to remove the air in the dough and divide into 12  equal portions to make large buns or 24 smaller buns to make smaller portions.

2)    Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into a circular shape. Shape the custard filling into a ball and place a custard ball in the middle of the rolled dough.  Make the dough into a ball.

3)     Roll the filled dough into an oval shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough and custard balls.

4)     Place it on a large baking tray to be covered with cling wrap or a damp cloth for 1 hours and 30 minutes.

5)    Lightly brush the surface with whisked egg (egg wash). Decorate the balls with sesame seeds (optional).

6)     Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for 10 to 20 minutes, until the buns  turn brown.

7)    Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. I have a fan assisted oven, depending on your oven you may need to alter the temperature and time. As long as the top turns brown your buns should be ready. Only you know you oven best.

You can make heart shaped custard buns or ‘tear and share’buns: Refer to Heart Shaped Cinnamon buns on how to.