Making Rotiboy Buns aka Mexican Coffee Buns (Containing TangZhong)

The first time I tasted the famous Rotiboy bun was nearly 10 years ago bought as a treat by an old childhood buddy, Jamie during my summer holiday in Malaysia. It was when the Rotiboy bun hit Kuala Lumpur with a storm and “seduced the masses”. Recently I have been craving for Malaysian food and thought of the Rotiboy bun (recipe based on Mexican bun). There are a few versions of Rotiboy bun recipes, here is my version which uses TangZhong (I can’t get away from this TangZhong! It’s too addictive, LOL).



  • 180 g butter


Cut into 18 pieces x 10 g cubes
(Notice I did not put sugar in the filling as I find it too sweet otherwise)

Coffee Topping 


  • 200 g softened butter
  • 160 g icing sugar
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp water (I used decaffeinated coffee,smells and  tasted just as good)
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 200 g plain flour


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs gradually adding flour in portions when the mixture turns runny. Add dissolved coffee and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture
(Mixture must be refrigerated prior to use to harden it a little otherwise it will run down the dough/bun too quickly when baking).

Sweet Bun Dough 


  • 250g fresh milk
  • 120g TangZhong
  • 20 g milk powder
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60g softened butter
  • 475g bread flour
  • 7g instant yeast


1) I used my trusty breadmaker to do the mixing, kneading and first proofing. The ingredients were placed in the breadmaker in accordance to the list above and function set to ‘Dough’ on my breadmaker, sit back and relax. The ‘Dough’ cycle on my bread maker takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.

If you do not have a breadmaker, mix all dried ingredients and make a well. Carefully pour the milk into the well and mix gently until all ingredients are incorporated. Knead gently for about 10 minutes and mix in the butter. Do not over do it or you may break the gluten in the flour. Oil a medium mixing bowl, put the dough in it, and cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel. Proof the dough for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

2) Divide the dough into 18 portions and roll them into balls.

Tips: I oil my hands and work bench with some cooking oil so the dough don’t stick everywhere rather than using flour – works a treat!

3) Flattern a ball and place a 10 g butter cube in the middle of the dough. Pinch the edge to seal the dough shaping the dough into a ball.

4) Place filled dough on a grease proof paper and cover with a wet cloth or cling wrap.

5) Repeat to fill all the dough with butter and proof the filled dough for 1 hour 30 min.

6) Pipe the topping in a spiral pattern onto the filled dough and bake for 12 to 15 min or until the buns are lightly brown in a preheated 200 degrees C oven.

7) Cool on a wire rack.

I made 18 buns one night (past midnight) and when I woke up in the morning, there were only 9 left! Hubs must be up in the middle of the night for a drink and decided to help himself with some buns (okay I did have 2 buns straight from the oven, but still, 7 buns in the middle of the night! That’s how irresistibly good they were! LOL)

These buns are best eaten warm, so when they are cold, toast or heat them in the oven / grill for a crispy top and enjoy with a cuppa!

Feeling adventurous, I have also made Rotiboy buns using the Hong Kong sweet buns (Pai Bao) dough. The difference is that the Pai Bao dough makes ‘milkier’ buns as it contains fresh cream and condense milk….it is a matter of preference, if you like a ‘milkier’ bun then do try using the Pai Bao dough.